Monday, June 3, 2013

The Trinity Forum Comes to Gordon College

By Dave Hicks ’14

The week of finals is always frantic. For all levels of the institution, it means the tying up of loose ends, the meeting of a variety of deadlines. The temptation is to keel over, shut off your mind, and auto-pilot through the whole thing. The key is to not do that. 

I spent this past year of college—my junior year—as an expatriate studying English and history at Oxford University. When I arrived back to Gordon’s campus in late April, I began logging hours in the President’s Office in preparation for the work I will be doing during my upcoming senior year as part of the Gordon Presidential Fellows program. So for all intents and purpose, I was not a student during finals week this year. I was an employee of the administration—feeling the pressure of ending another year in a new, but equally hectic, way. Fortunately, this year I was given the opportunity to actively hedge against the auto-pilot impulse, joining a small group of my classmates, including the current and upcoming Presidential Fellows, on a beautiful Thursday afternoon for the first Trinity Forum hosted at Gordon. 

I mention my time at Oxford simply to explain why participating in a Trinity Forum intrigued me. The Trinity Forum is a Washington D.C.-based organization known for hosting group discussions that tickle your intellect as well as your ethical consciousness. They are notable for hosting Forums for Marshall and Rhodes scholars at Oxford. Yet, as one of the billions of people excluded from those elite scholarships (being an undergraduate), I didn’t have the chance to participate in a Forum while abroad. So I was grateful that the Forum took that one late spring day to engage my Gordon College peers and me in some thoughtful conversations.

Not only was this the first time a Forum was hosted at Gordon, it was also the first time a Forum has been hosted for undergraduates. Participating in the Forum meant that myself and twenty-five other students were able to sit a large circle discussing influential readings from thinkers like C.S. Lewis, Dallas Willard and (my favorite) Neil Postman. Together we thought and talked through big questions like, What does it mean to be a person of strong character? And, How can we live boldly as Christians within a widening and ever-changing world? The Forum was rare opportunity to sit down with my peers and reflect on the meaning behind our actions and attitudes. 

The week of finals is always frantic. It generally precludes the luxury of sitting in a group and really chewing on those abstract, big-picture ideas like Love, Courage and Hope. That is why this rare chance to participate in a Trinity Forum, a chance to take the time to rest and reflect on the Why behind all of the finals week busyness, was such a gift.

Photo (left to right): Abigail Nash ’15, Dave Hicks ’14, Jete Thames ’14

Dave Hicks ’14 is a senior English and History double major. He will be serving as a Gordon Presidential Fellow in the Office of the President for the 2013–2014 academic year.

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