On September 20th, over fifty alumni returned to the Skattaboe building on Main Street for fellowship, encouragement, and to gain a vision for the college's progress. Kicking off the weekend, a panel of New Saint Andrews alumni answered questions posed by the student body during Disputatio (the panel discussion can be watched in full here). Answering the question, "is the rigor of New Saint Andrews College worth it?" Kathryn Church (BA ‘09) summarized the sentiments of the alumni panel well: “We were made to work. And there is joy in work and joy in working hard.” The value of hard work was a consistent theme from the panel, along with the value of critical thinking in business, and the benefits of a good community. The panel consistently and unanimously stated college is not meant for job certification but meant for education under Christ.
Following Disputatio, alumni, faculty, and the current senior class were invited to a reception in the Atwood Commons. Over wine, cheese, and fruit, the seniors met and networked with alumni. It was the beginning of a mentorship program wherein alumni foster relationships with students in order to guide them through the professional sector and to encourage the students as they begin to envision their vocational path.Alumni panel, left to right: David Beauchamp, Daniel Foucachon, David Young, Christine Cohen, Kathryn Church, and Mike Church.[/caption]
That Saturday night, alumni, faculty, and staff shared a meal in the ballroom of the new Conservatory of Music building. There were alumni from the class of 1998 (the college’s founding year) up to the class of 2019; there was a strong showing from the class of 2009 who celebrated their 10-year reunion over the weekend as well. Some distinguished guests, who were integral in shaping New Saint Andrews, also attended. Dr. Peter Leithart, former Senior Fellow of Theology and current President of the Theopolis Institute, and Mrs. Bev Atwood, former registrar and First Lady of the college, were welcomed by President Merkle and thanked with applause from the attendees.
President Merkle revealed new ventures that the college is undertaking: the plans for the new building, the development of the Conservatory of Music, the growth and strength of the Classical Language department, and potential relationships being built with other schools to expand further. He then concluded by asking alumni to pray for continued growth, consistent donations, and faithful witness to the community.
The evening ended with hymn and psalm-singing. In between songs, Dr. Erb paused and said, “Isn’t that glorious? Where else can you go where all of the alumni can sing so well together?” Hands raised in praise, Psalm 134 brought the evening to a close: “Behold, bless the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, who by nightstand in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord. The Lord who made heaven and earth bless thee from Zion.”