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THE MAGAZINE OF GORDON COLLEGE

STILLPOINT SPRING 2020

GENERATION GORDON Record-breaking $75.5 million gift announced at Homecoming 2019 Read more on pages 2 and 6

in This Issue 7ISSUE New Board Trustees Chair President 8 Celebrating Roger Green 37 16,000 Stories THEAlso STUDENT TAKEOVER 6 Up of Front with GCSA 34 Holy Week Reflections from Students


A bright future for a steadfast mission Celebrating 130 years since its founding, Gordon College unveiled Faith Rising: The Campaign for Gordon College on October 4. The five-year, comprehensive campaign will raise $130 million to meet the evolving needs of students around affordability, academics and community. Beginning with a quiet phase three years ago, the campaign publicly launched during Gordon’s 2019 Homecoming and Family Weekend with the announcement of a $75.5 million gift from an anonymous donor, one of the largest donations ever given to a Christian liberal arts college. The gift is designated for the College’s endowment and directed to fund student scholarships. www.gordon.edu/faithrising


CONTENTS

FEATURE

GENERATION GORDON They’re beekeepers, ballet dancers and Bible translators; athletes and adventure enthusiasts. They’ve lived in metro New York City and rural Cameroon. Their career paths will take them to the opera house and the State House. Meet 10 students who embody the Christian character and commitment that’s been true of Gordon for 130 years and counting.

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SPRING 2020 THE STUDENT TAKEOVER ISSUE

IN EACH ISSUE

STILLPOINT

The Magazine of Gordon College VOLUME 35 NUMBER 2

Up Front with GCSA President Jonathan Frink This one’s for the students

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Inspiration Victoria Barcelo ’22 GCSA VP for communications

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Heather Korpi, Editorial Director Mary (Hierholzer) Jacobs ’15, Staff Writer Bri (Young) Obied ’14, Staff Writer Veronica Andreades ’20, Student Writer Ellian Chalfant ’22, Student Writer Rebecca Powell, Art Director Selina Taylor ’18, Graphic Designer Mark Spooner ’14, Photographer Marilyn Helgesen, Alumni News Rick Sweeney ’85, Vice President for Marketing and External Relations ADDRESS CHANGES Alumni Office | alumni.office@gordon.edu OTHER CORRESPONDENCE Editor, STILLPOINT | Gordon College 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham, MA 01984 stillpoint@gordon.edu PRINTING Flagship Press | North Andover, MA

On the Quad Campus news and happenings, student edition

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Opinions expressed in STILLPOINT are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Gordon College administration.

Student Work A snapshot of accomplishments from the other side of the lectern

Page 10 Romans 1:12: “. . . that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith . . .”

ARTICLES

Reproduction of STILLPOINT material is permitted; please attribute to STILLPOINT: The Magazine of Gordon College.

MISSION STILLPOINT magazine is one of two keynote communications (along with Gordon’s website) that exist to connect the extended Gordon community to the life of the College. STILLPOINT offers meaningful, relevant news and stories to educate, inspire and engage Gordon and Barrington alumni, parents, donors and friends. Send feedback and story suggestions to stillpoint@gordon.edu.

Class Notes Alumni news and stories

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Reflections for Holy Week Eight Gordon students offer pause and inspiration for each day of Holy Week.

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CORRECTION Sarita Kwok was born in Sydney, not Singapore (fall 2019 issue, page 33).

ON THE COVER A snapshot of character and commitment: social impact student Deb Sullivan '21 and Rowing team member Grant Veurink '21. Read their stories on pages 20 and 14.


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UP FRONT with GCSA President Jonathan Frink

This one’s for the students

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” —Isaiah 43:19

Student Edition The first clue that Convocation would be different on October 4 was the start time. My Introduction to Comparative Politics class let out 30 minutes early, and I joined a horde of classmates filing into an unusually dim, unusually packed Chapel. Aidan Stockin ’20 buttoned his suit jacket and took his place on the left-hand corner of the stage, accompanied by Jessica Richmond ’16 in the right corner. “130 years, 12 name changes and seven locations from Boston and Providence to our present home on the North Shore—today we celebrate the people of God that are the fruits of Gordon College,” they began. The image on the projection screen behind them widened as a grainy black and white video filled the front of the sanctuary—floor to ceiling, corner to corner. What in the world is going on? I thought.

“My name is Sarah,” said an apronclad student appearing center stage. “I first came to the Institute because I wanted a glass of cold water . . . The next year, I enrolled as a student in the class of 1891, with my classes held in converted rooms of the Bowdoin Square Tabernacle . . . I wanted to be a missionary.” The video projection widened again— now encompassing the full length of the windowed walls on the side of the sanctuary—and more student actors entered the stage. We met Rev. Dr. Arthur Whitaker ’55, who served as a chaplain in World War II and went on to be the first African American to graduate from Harvard Divinity School. We met Gordon’s first bachelor’s degree recipient, May Effie Hancock. We met Signe Erikson ’27 and Sastra ChimCham ’96, who were martyred in the Philippines and Rwanda respectively.

But what do our predecessors of 50, 80, 100 years have to do with us today? They’re part of a bigger story. We’re all part of a bigger story. It’s the story of what God has done—and is doing— generation after generation to raise up people who will lead and serve in his name and for his purposes. And that’s when the big news came: In that crowded chapel, Gordon announced a recording-breaking gift of $75.5 million, which launched the Faith Rising campaign to meet the future needs of students (www.gordon.edu/ faithrising). In order to stay a part of this bigger story, Gordon has to be agile. It has to evolve and adapt so it can continue to be here for the next generation of students like me and the ones on stage in front of me. As I reflect on the faithfulness of God in my own life, someday I look forward to being among the students who have

L to R: Aidan Stockin ’20 as narrator; Sarah-Catherine Hartiens ’22 as Signe Erickson, Class of 1927; Olugbolahan Fajolu ’20 as Arthur Whitaker, Class of 1955; Grant Veurink ’21 as Jimmy Higginbotham, Class of 1946; Sofia Jeanes ’20 as Angela Taylor, Class of 1903; Sarah Garcia ’20 as May Hancock, Class of 1919; Mandie Salmon ’21 as Sarah (last name unknown), Class of 1891; Alyssa Leston ’22 as Estella Magee, Class of 1895; Arley Kangas ’20 as Kenneth Pike, Class of 1933; John Skoog ’23 as Terrence O’Neill, Class of 1914; Kenneth Kidd ’22 as Leslie Deinstadt, Class of 1935; Alexia Rowe as Lariviere “Lytie” Noel, Barrington Class of 1958; Julia Murphy ’21 as Winifred Currie, Class of 1945; Jes Mabanglo ’20 as Elise Taylor, Class of 1903; Adenyi Samuel as Jean Claude “Clyde” Noel, Barrington Class of 1957; and Jess Richmond ’16 as narrator.

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IN EACH ISSUE

INSPIRATION gone before me and sharing God’s great story for Gordon—even 130 years from now. (Maybe time travel will be a thing by then?) I am confident that just as the Lord has worked mightily in the lives of past students at Gordon, he will continue to do so as we put our faith in his power and stay obedient to his call. Back to now: I’m excited that this campaign is prioritizing things that students deeply care about—affordability (a.k.a. scholarships!), adaptability (learning that translates to the real world) and a strong Christian community (friends and mentors for life). It’s also helping Gordon expand some of its truly unique programs—like the La Vida Center for Outdoor Education and Leadership and the Career and Connection Institute. But more than those tactical things, it’s helping to elevate the value of a Gordon degree. As someone staring in the face of graduation, I think that's great news. Since the campaign is all about students, so too is this issue of STILLPOINT. I hope you’ll enjoy our “student takeover” as we celebrate just a few of the tens of thousands of students who have come through Gordon’s doors over the years. I’m proud to be among them and to be part of this historic moment at Gordon. #faithrising

Fashioning Her Own Trademark Victoria Barcelo ’22, GCSA Vice President for Communications You won’t find Victoria Barcelo looking anything but chic unless it’s bedtime. For the communication arts major, fashion is a mode of communicating, and the story she tells is: empowered. “Dressing well makes me feel professional and worthy of the opportunities that God is providing me,” she says. “It helps me feel like an ambitious young adult.” But Barcelo has a deeper story to tell than her mules and maxi dress. It’s a story of faith, conviction and calling. It’s one of a leader who serves youth and has big dreams for a future in marketing. And coming to Gordon, she found opportunities to share. “People pursued me and sought to know not just that I had a name, but why—about my identity, and what it is.” The California fashionista hopes her story includes becoming the West Coast communications director for Nordstrom (combining a few of her favorite things—California, Nordstrom and communications), and living by her color-coded planner and up-to-date Outlook calendar may just get her there. But even with specific aspirations and days scheduled down to the minute, she still pencils in spontaneity. Some of the Clarendon Scholar’s unexpected experiences include joining student government, co-leading a mission trip to Ecuador and gearing up to study abroad in Lithuania. Like the earrings and necklace that complete her outfit, Barcelo says these unique opportunities complete her college experience. “Coming to Gordon, I decided it was my four years to have open arms,” she says. “These years are planned to be full of opportunity, but what those chances look like, I don’t know, so that’s why my arms are open.” So wide open, in fact, that her seaglass bracelets are still jangling.

Photo David Bello ’20

Jonathan Frink is president of the Gordon College Student Association (GCSA). When he’s not working to enhance the lives of students, he’s spending time in the classroom (where he double majors in political science and economics) and on the tennis court (where he has earned the recognition of AllConference the past three years), preparing for his ultimate goal of becoming a diplomat. Last fall, he studied in China, where he developed a passion for huo guo (hot pot). After graduation he hopes to return and continue language studies in Mandarin. gcsa@gordon.edu

students.gordon.edu

Instagram: @yourgcsa SPRING 2020 | STILLPOINT 7


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NEWS: ON THE QUAD

CAMPUS NEWS AND HAPPENINGS

Women’s Soccer midfielder Devin Lacroix ’20 (#12) says, “We all have each other’s backs and never give up on each other. Our team spirit and unity were like no other.”

Student Edition

Women’s Soccer Wins Championship Women’s Soccer finished the 2019 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) with a 7–1 league record. The team came in first for the CCC Regular-season Championship, scoring a league-best 50 goals.

Work Ahead: Ready for 2030 Through a series of TED Talk style events, seven visiting experts have shared insights to equip Gordon students for the workplaces of 2030. “I learned that today’s millennials and Gen Zers will have 17 different jobs in their lifetime. It’s a relief knowing that it’s okay for us to change our minds, to be open to new career paths,” says Sebastian Toro ’20. “It isn’t about finding the perfect job God has for us. Rather, it’s about glorifying God in whatever career we are in.”

New School of Education

SPECIAL EVENT

Homecoming: Celebrating Servant Leaders from Year 1 to 130 At Homecoming and Family Weekend, the Gordon community enjoyed timetested traditions like the Scot Trot 5k and Homecoming Awards alongside new events like the Enneagram Workshop with Ian Morgan Cron, Scottie Bowl tailgate party and rowing lessons for kids on Coy Pond. Pictured above: Scottie Bowl

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“Campus is so full of life during Homecoming Weekend,” says Tucker Van Brunt ’21, founder of Gordon’s mascot program. “The Scottie Bowl mimics the ‘theatrics’ and level of excitement you might experience at an actual football game, but with a Gordon twist!”

As part of the Faith Rising campaign, Gordon launched the School of Education. The School unites existing undergraduate and graduate programs in education and includes a new scholarship and alumni award. “With the School of Education,” says Bethany Fix ’21, “I am excited to have the opportunity to pursue my certification and graduate degree seamlessly.”


ON THE GRAPEVINE

You don’t need to wait until STILLPOINT arrives to get the latest on Gordon. News and stories are published all year long on the College blog, The Bell (named for the iconic structure that sits just outside the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel). stories.gordon.edu

Princeton Review Names Theater in Top 20

Healing Post-Soviet Ukraine through Music

Gordon College’s theater was among the “Top 20 Best College Theaters” in America by The Princeton Review, ranking 16th among many larger and more prominent peer schools such as Brown, Williams and Columbia.

Just before the start of the fall semester, 11 of Gordon’s string chamber musicians and two faculty flew to Ukraine as part of Gordon’s first-ever mission trip with a music focus.

“Gordon’s theater has a very high standard for artistic and professional excellence in all of our shows. We do our art to the glory of God, and our work for him is far from shabby,” says sound technician Elizabeth Van Bebber ’20.

Dear Neighbor In September, Dear Neighbor hosted a panel discussion to educate Gordon students about Islam and the experiences of Muslims in America, providing practical ways for Christians to care for those of another faith. “Many Christians have good intentions to love Muslims, but how can that be done when a Christian does not know a Muslim? By taking a job at a non-Christian company, joining the town’s sports team or even by going to public school, we will undoubtedly encounter those of other faiths,” says Lily Palomba ’22.

“This experience really showed me how music is a universal language,” says violinist Rachel O’Connor ’20. “You don’t have to speak Ukrainian to teach a child from Ukraine how to play the violin. We placed their fingers on the strings. We showed them how to do it.”

Wall Street Journal Features Andrew Huang ’18 and Neema Kamau ’20 A Gordon student and alumnus were both named in a recent Wall Street Journal article about the benefits of a small college approach to preparing for big jobs.

“My favorite part is when the audience and choir sing ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ as one congregation. It is such a moving experience as we praise the birth of our Savior,” says Rosemary Crimp ’20.

Christmas at Gordon In early December, the Gordon community celebrated the Christmas season with a campus lighting, horse-drawn carriages, wreath making, toasted s’mores and two sold-out evenings of the Christmas Gala.

“Gordon, being a small school, presented me with opportunities I may never have had at another institution,” explains Neema Kamau ’20. “Serving as a fellow in the CFO’s office enabled me to interact with executives in the institution’s leadership and work on key projects.”

Herrmann Lectures As the speaker for the 2019 Herrmann Lecture Series, top rising investigator in genomics Dr. Praveen Sethupathy examined ethical issues and opportunities connected to the human genome, ultimately asking, “What does it mean to be human?” Elizabeth Noyes ’22 recaps, “Dr. Sethupathy explained that we cannot define humans by human cells or even by DNA. The image of God is not biological but vocational.”

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STUDENT WORK

A SNAPSHOT OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LECTERN

Internships Last summer, Liza Antonelli ’21 (biology) was the 2019 Lloyd Noble Scholar in Plant Science, researching alongside Sonali Roy and Marcus Griffiths, postdoctoral fellows at the Noble Research Institute in Oklahoma. Their project focused on the effect of peptides on nutrient uptake in Medicago truncatula, an annual legume used in genomics research.

For his second summer with the Boston Cannons, a Major League Lacrosse professional team, Jacob Hryzan ’20 (communication arts) spent the summer of 2019 as a marketing intern focused on video and photo. The previous summer, Hryzan served as an equipment management intern.

As a violinist with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Jinyung Suh ’22 (music) participated in community outreach last summer, and toured Brazil for two weeks, performing nine concerts and eight cities under the baton of conductor Benjamin Zander.

The Town of Wenham hosted three students conducting internships for the fall semester: Laura Bongiorno ’22 (English language and literature and political science), Meredith Carlile ’20 (political science and sociology) and Nolan Herlihy ’20 (political science).

Ye Ji Han ’21 (biology) has been invited to spend another summer working at New England Biolabs in 2020.

During the fall, Devon Leslie ’20 (international affairs and political science) interned with Christians for Biblical Equality.

Tochi Anioke ’20 (biology) and EunSeo “Anna” Maeng ’20 (biochemistry) completed summer internships at Duke University in the organ transplantation lab of Dr. Stuart Knechtle, where they characterized white blood cells isolated from non-human primates. For the fall semester, Liam Carrol ’21 (international affairs) completed an internship with the Center for Public Justice in Washington, D.C.

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Aspiring coach Brooke Falzarano ’20 (recreation, sport and wellness) spent her 2019 summer weekends shadowing Buddy Teevens, head coach of Dartmouth University’s NCAA Division I football team. During the summer of 2019, Will Jeffries ’21 (biology) worked in the Kass Lab, a cardiology lab on the Johns Hopkins hospital campus. He contributed to the study of a novel drug to alleviate symptoms of muscular dystrophy, working with mice to test the drug’s effects.

The fall semester of his senior year, Chukwuemeka “BJ” Osuagwa ’20 (political science and sociology) served as an intern with The Boston Project. In 2020, Lais Guilia Marcolan Sant’Anna ’21 (biology) will work at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard in the lab of Dr. Galit Alter for a second summer. Over the fall semester, Arwen Struthers ’20 (communication arts and political science) participated in an internship at the State Department.


STUDENT WORK

Publications While wildlife enthusiast Naomi Tripp ’21 (biology) completed a 2019 summer internship at Wild Care of Cape Cod, an animal rescue and rehabilitation center, she published an article for Cape Cod Today’s “Summer Intern Chronicles” series, detailing her experience.

A story authored by Rebecca Mear ’21 (English language and literature) was accepted for publication in Sigma Tau Delta’s national journal, The Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle. As an author in the volume, she’s also eligible to read her story at the annual convention in Las Vegas this spring.

Honors Theses

Projects

Grace Heffner ’20 (history) is doing an honors thesis in history and museum studies with David Goss, professor in the practice of history. Heffner developed an art show that traces the themes of transition through the celebration of the works created by the Department of Art.

Jin “Rebekah” Choi ’20 (communication arts) attended the National Communication Association’s 105th Convention last semester in Baltimore, MD, to present her study paper, “Everlane and the Citizen-Consumer: Ethically Consuming Our Way to Social Change.”

Capping off their academic experiences, biology seniors Tochi Anioke ’20, Julia Fink ’20 and Qitong Yuan ’20 are completing honors theses based on prior summer collaborations with Dr. Lisa Spencer ’95 in her lab at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado. Their work with Spencer is an extension of her research begun at Harvard Medical School. Yuan, Fink and Nathan Gill ’20 are also co-authors with Spencer and Courtney Olbrich ’18 of a paper submitted to Mucosal Immunology.

Six psychology students in the neuroscience concentration are assisting Professor of Psychology Bryan Auday in the brain imaging laboratory, investigating the neurophysiological correlates of moral decision-making: Sarah Boggs ’20, Jacquelyn Fitzgerald ’20, Danielle McGibbon ’20, Alec McMillan ’21, Evan Paquette ’22 and Miranda Pomphrett ’22.

Jessica Vandervort ’20 (history) is doing an honors thesis with Professor of History David Wick. Her cross-cultural and cross-social-class study explores what can be learned of Persia from the voices of cultures within the greater-Persian world.

Assisting Professor of Psychology Kaye Cook with ongoing research concerning patterns of forgiveness across cultures, Catherine Bee ’21 (psychology) helped run a study during the fall semester to validate a scale measuring differences in understandings of forgiveness in the United States and Indonesia. Jes Mabanglo ’20 (communication arts), Ty Michonski ’20 (biblical studies), Collin Hall ’21 (communication arts and English language and literature), Elaina Francisco ’20 (communication arts) and Miranda Grubb ’20 (elementary education) assisted Christine Gardner, associate professor of communication arts, in devising a script for an autumn performance, As I Am, based on Gardner’s research on LGBTQ Christian college students.

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CHRISTIAN CHARACTER AND COMMITMENT THAT SPANS 130 YEARS, 12 NAMES, 7 LOCATIONS AND 23,000 STUDENTS.

GENERATION GORDON


GENERATION GORDON

O

ne month after Gordon College opened in 1889,

the Record of Christian Work magazine proudly reported: “Here is offered, to men and women

alike, a two years’ course of the most Scriptural, most practical and most spiritual preparation, and it would be impossible for any honest soul to pass through this course of study without being wonderfully enriched thereby.” Since those words were penned, more than 23,000 honest souls have passed through Gordon’s doors— and have gone to all parts the world as missionaries and ministers, educators and entrepreneurs, artists and authors, peacekeepers and policy makers, researchers and rescue workers. Over the 130 years of its existence, Gordon’s students have lived through 23 U.S. presidencies, both World Wars and the Cold War, women’s suffrage, the Great Depression and the more recent recession, the Civil Rights movement, the Space Race, the dot com boom (and crash), nine Red Sox wins at the World Series, and a succession of iconic hairstyles (Gibson girl, flat top, victory rolls, ducktail, beehive, bouffant, afro, mullet, man bun, and back to the mullet). A lot may have changed, but perhaps even more remains. What’s true of Gordon students—then and now—is their character and commitment. They are creative, curious, courageous and compassionate. Most importantly, they’re faithful to Christ and the call he has on their lives. Meet 10 students who embody the spirit of Gordon, 130 years and counting.

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GRANT VEURINK

A WAY ON THE WATER

Conditions were ideal on Pennsylvania’s Schuylkill River. Clear skies, a tailwind and favorable current sat in stark contrast to the previous day’s blustery weather. As Grant Veurink ’21 and his teammate pulled the Gordon A boat up to the starting line, the University of Pittsburgh’s crew was in their periphery—where they would remain during the men’s collegiate double grand finals at the 2019 Dad Vail Regatta, the largest collegiate regatta in the United States. Within 500 meters, the A boat was positioned to medal. After a neck-and-neck sprint with Pittsburgh, Veurink and Manny Mouganis ’22 glided into a silver-medal finish. The duo’s success was surreal. Yesterday’s qualifying heat had been a bust, and just seven months prior, Veurink didn’t even know what “Dad Vails” was (A person? A place?). The Men’s Rowing walk-on spent his first month on the team accidentally flipping his boat into the water, but now he had defeated more established crews from larger schools including the University of Pittsburgh, University of Maryland and University of Michigan. Despite winning two medals that day—the other a bronze in adaptive rowing with a partner who has mental disabilities— Veurink ascribes the success to Coach Maddie Hopkins ’18. At the start of the season she rallied the team around a single goal: making the finals at Dad Vails (which, it turns out, is a race named for former collegiate rowing coach Harry Emerson “Dad” Vail—Veurink’s guess wasn’t totally wrong). “None of that would have happened without the leadership of Coach Hopkins,” he says. “She’s able to draw out the best in us and really push us.”

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Veurink didn’t come to Gordon planning to play a sport, let alone a sport he’d never played and for a team still in its infancy. By his second year, the finance major was laser-focused on career aspirations, taking 20 credits, volunteering as a student ambassador and co-leading the Business Club. But something was missing; his appetite for competition and new challenges needed to be fed. “I had everything figured out and then Rowing came along,” he says. At his roommate’s urging, Veurink hesitantly agreed to attend the first day of practice, making clear that he was not committing to anything. But amid the novelty of the sport and team’s infectious enthusiasm, Veurink instantly fell in love. The next day, he was on the team, and a couple months later, he was named men’s captain. “It couldn’t have happened any better way,” he says. “I don’t think I would’ve come to that decision if I had time to sit down and think through it.” Once Veurink mastered the art of keeping his boat right-side up, he also started learning lessons he could apply to the working world and his faith—lessons like vulnerability (“When you’re in a boat it’s so clear when you are lacking and when you are not performing.”) and teamwork (“You don’t choose your teams. You’re put into a team and you have to adapt.”). A finance internship last summer gave Veurink the opportunity to bring those lessons from the water to Wall Street, with a refreshing reminder of his motivation to enter a career field that’s historically been riddled with corruption. “One of the draws to finance was that you have the opportunity to be a light,” he says, “to stand out and make a difference—just by having some basic integrity.”

GRANT VEURINK ’21 Major: finance Hometown: Urbandale, IA Goal before graduating: qualify for the Royal Henley Regatta on England’s River Thames


GENERATION GORDON

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YABISI “JABEZ” WEN

FINDING HER VOICE UNDERGROUND AND UP FRONT

Yabisi “Jabez” Wen ’21 grew up living in fear. Her country was a place that suppressed her Christian faith and discriminated against female leaders. Today, she openly lives out her faith and prayerfully leads her peers as the Gordon College student body vice president. But getting there wasn’t an easy journey. Growing up in the coastal city of Wenzhou, Zhejiang (China), as the daughter of a pastor meant Wen faced the constant threat of her family being torn apart. “My father always tells me that he is prepared to be imprisoned for the sake of Jesus,” she says. Wen left her hometown at age 10 for the opportunity to study an American, Christian curriculum with an underground community in Guangzhou, Guangdong. When it came time for college, Wen knew that studying in China wouldn’t be an option since, she says, the government doesn’t officially recognize homeschools—especially Christian ones. But Wen had faith that God would provide a way. He did. With a scholarship under her belt, Wen headed to Wenham, MA, to study finance and economics at Gordon. But college in the United States was yet another challenge. While homeschool taught her to read and write in English, she was still improving her ability to speak it. Feeling lost in a new culture and separated by language, she spent most of her first year in the U.S. silently trying to keep up. Bemused, she recalls, “Everyone thought I was an introvert. But I’m very extroverted!” “Community plays a very important role in learning a new language,” Wen says. “My

professors and my friends, they encouraged me, and I just became more confident. And I found I could speak English better if I was more confident.” Now Wen uses her words to come alongside new, lost students. “Now I can help those people who are experiencing the same thing that I was going through,” she says. As she steadily overcame the language challenge, Wen geared up to break down another barrier: a culturally embedded lack of appreciation for women. During her sophomore year, Jonathan Frink ’20 asked Wen to be his running mate in the upcoming student government election—a position she had never considered. “In China there is no gender equality because women are usually undervalued,” she says “Men are usually considered to be leaders, and when a woman is a leader, people say she is bossy. No one says a man is bossy—they only say a woman is bossy, and it was really hard for me.” The pair won the election. As Wen stepped into the role of GCSA executive vice president this year, her perspective on leadership was transformed by a new concept: workplace as mission. “You don’t have to be a pastor to do ministry,” she says. Wen says she will likely return to China after graduating but will enter the professional world with a new lens. “I’m still figuring out how to be a good leader,” she says. “Being a leader is serving people and making influence through action. Actions sometimes speak louder than words.”

YABISI “JABEZ” WEN ’21 Majors: finance and economics Hometown: Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China Most admires: “my father—he has the strongest faith I have ever seen.” 16 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2020


Photo David Bello ’20

GENERATION GORDON

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NATHAN GILL

THE MACRO REASON FOR MOLECULAR RESEARCH

Thirty years ago, the Human Genome Project launched. Over the following decade, with the involvement of 2,800 scientists from around the globe and a budget of three million dollars, it would sequence and map every gene that makes up the human DNA. The Project produced what many have called the manual for the human body—a record of the physical and functional attributes of each of the tens of thousands of genes that make up the 23 chromosomes in DNA—which helps scientists better understand, diagnose and treat genetic diseases. “Today we can sequence the human genome in less than a day,” says biochemistry major Nathan Gill ’20, “thanks to advancements in genome

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sequencing making it faster, more accessible, cheaper and more accurate.” Last summer, Gill became part of a global effort to develop better, faster ways to sequence proteins. Proteins are built based on information encoded in DNA and perform a wide range of functions. But because their structures and components are much more complicated, there is not yet a simple way to sequence them. Gill was selected for a highly competitive Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship through the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland. He spent 11 weeks last summer at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research under the wing of two research scientists. Together they investigated


GENERATION GORDON

one particular protein, ClpS, whose binding properties and behavior (how it interacts with other proteins) make it a good candidate for helping to advance protein identification and sequencing.

properties.” And improving the ability to study proteins means increasing the opportunity to find answers to things like sleep disorders, autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Commonly known as the “dietary benefit” in food like meats, beans and eggs, proteins also play a role in hormones, immune responses and muscle development. Sequencing them will make research easier, says Gill, whose work contributed to the development of a patent and publication. “A lot of biochemistry is focused on proteins, and being able to sequence a protein is a good step to understanding that protein’s possible function and biochemical

Back at Gordon, Gill carries around a plastic blue replica of ClpS in his backpack. To the unknowing observer, it may look like an unwieldy string of confetti. But for Gill it’s a token of his hard work and a reminder of why he’s doing it. Faith and science, he says, are a lot like the twisting helical structures found in DNA. “They’re not the exact same thing; they’re not two totally separate things.

But they are winding around each other and connecting.” After a previous church experience led Gill to believe he had to choose either science or faith, “I came to Gordon almost as a test,” he says, “to see whether the two could actually be integrated in a healthy way.” “I was skeptical and worried,” he remembers. “I’ve met some of the best people I’ve ever known at Gordon. They both reaffirmed my love for science and biochemistry but also how faith can be integrated with that.” Like the two intertwining strands of a helix, he says, “faith and science cross over.”

NATHAN GILL ’20 Major: biochemistry Hometown: Frederick, MD Hobbies: researching proteins and watching Star Wars SPRING 2020 | STILLPOINT 19


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DEBORAH SULLIVAN CALLED TO MOVE

On May 28, 2017, “God dropped the blueprints of an idea in my lap,” says Deborah Sullivan ’20. She didn’t know it at the time, but those blueprints would lead her to invent her own major, travel to Los Angeles for an entrepreneurial workshop, intern at a nonprofit in Boston and at Gordon’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, join a Social Venture Challenge team, mentor the winning team at Elevate Leadership Lab and run a theatre ministry at her church—all in preparation for launching a fine-arts camp for teenagers. Receiving blueprints for the camp wasn’t the first (or last) time she felt God speak to her in a deeply personal way. “When I was younger, I felt abandoned by God. I thought that if he was there, he wouldn’t let all this bad stuff happen,” Sullivan remembers. But during a healing service at her church, “I heard this voice say, ‘Your life is in my hands, and you don’t have to worry anymore.’ That was the first time I felt God and knew that he had been there and was protecting me through everything.” And she’s made it her life’s work to guide other teens to that same realization.

confident and excited enough to bring someone else into the circle with them.” The concept was inspired by her own experience on the drama team at her church, “where we’d tell stories through our movement and emotions, and it helped me process what I had been through, like divorce, death and perpetual uprooting. It was part of my healing.” Now, Sullivan devotes every Thursday to planning and praying about her camp, which she recently named Move—“not just because it’s active art, but it’s also moving people from one place to another in their understanding of life, God and their purpose.” But before the blueprints for Move came into focus, Sullivan was struggling with listlessness. She was in a gap year between high school and college, unsure about her next step. “Deborah,” her dad wisely offered, “you’re not stuck. You’re in a slingshot. It feels like you’re getting pulled back and everyone’s in front of you. But you’re actually getting pulled back so you can launch forward.” In retrospect, it may have been an understatement.

Through art, spoken word, writing, videography, dance and music, Sullivan’s vision is to “build a community of collaboration for students who struggle with loneliness, depression and suicidal thoughts,” she says. “I want to bring joy to people whom others assume could never have joy, and for it to be a living testament of the transformative power of God.”

At Gordon, Sullivan designed her social impact major—a mashup of Christian ministries, psychology and entrepreneurship—through the Kenneth L. Pike Honors program. She remembers God telling her, “‘Doing Pike isn’t just about you. It’s about paving a path for other students.’ And that’s literally what happened.” Her academic model is now being used as an official concentration within the Christian ministries major, and dozens of students have enrolled.

The camp, Sullivan says, will be a lot like the inevitable dance circle that forms during every wedding reception. “Everyone is cheering on the person in the middle until they feel

“I know for a fact that teenagers are going to change this world,” Sullivan says. “I’m just glad I get to be part of it and see people’s lives being changed.”

DEBORAH SULLIVAN ’20 Major: social impact (Pike Honors) Hometown: Beverly, MA Describes her life “like Tetris, with all these little pieces falling into place.” 20 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2020


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ADDISON ABBOT

FROM FASCINATION TO FUTURE 50 As a middle school student wandering around Best Buy with his mom, Addison Abbot ’20 was introduced to one of Android’s first smart phones, the HTC Hero, and apps like the foghorn and flashlight. “I thought it was the coolest thing ever,” he says. “The whole concept of apps showed me that software has opportunities and capabilities to do anything you can think of,” from replacing everyday household items to tracking fitness to connecting with people across the globe. The encounter booted up a fascination with technology, just as his childhood fascination with knights, castles and blacksmiths came to a close. Now a senior computer science major, that fascination is his future. Before even placing his apartment coordinator name plaque on the front door of his Tavilla apartment in August, Abbot received a call that secured his post-graduation job. Just on the heels of completing a summer internship at VMware, a leading tech company, he was offered a coveted full-time spot.

ADDISON ABBOT ’20 Majors: computer science and business administration Hometown: Windsor, CT Current favorite app: Google Photos

Abbot had worked on combining two VMware products: the vRealize Automation Cloud (vRAC) and Network Insight. Together, the products will allow a customer’s company or organization to use internet databases called cloud services across different public or private platforms and access network analytics and diagnostics—a two-in-one system that many companies don’t offer. Now, if a company needs to store a customer’s purchase history in one cloud and their biographical data in another, the company can access and analyze both. Abbot’s months of coding proved his technical acumen and allowed him to stand out within a branch of well-established and experienced employees. Now he has signed on to join the multi-billion-dollar company’s technical staff in May to continue his work on vRAC.

VMware provides cloud services or analytics to nearly every Fortune 500 company. “If VMware disappeared, the world’s economy would collapse,” Abbot says. “It’s really cool that I get to be a part of that because it’s really important.” But before the idea of working for a “Future 50” company—which, according to Fortune, have the strongest longterm growth potential, often with perks like vegan snack bars and foosball tables—went from purely hypothetical to actually happening, Abbot was changing the tech game for Gordon students. He led the renovation of the updated student portal, Gordon 360, during a summer computer science practicum—doubling its monthly users and working to replace the less user-friendly go.gordon website. To keep up in the rapidly changing world of tech, Abbot says, he’s had to “learn how to learn.” And sometimes that learning isn’t just about understanding deeper aspects of code or pushing the bounds of tech. Perhaps more importantly, it’s continuing to learn about the people on the other side of the gadgets. “Anyone can have the inclination for logic and problem solving, but sometimes things are more complicated than just coding,” he says. Issues of ethics and morality (take, for example, Facebook’s data scandals) make headlines just as often as the positive advancements. So Abbot is committed to accelerating his career by first remaining grounded in his faith and paying attention to the people. “You set yourself apart when you learn the people aspects of computer science, and can work with a team to solve problems that people didn’t even know they had in order to get to the root of a greater issue.”

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MATTHEW RHEE

BALANCE IS IN THE BALCONY

Matthew Rhee ’22 fell in love with opera when he was in sixth grade. For the entire year, he ate lunch in Miss Harriet Dogan’s class with a handful of other middle schoolers who would rather watch La Bohème than relive their own “romantic tragedies” in the school cafeteria. That year, Miss Dogan took her young opera enthusiasts to the New York Metropolitan Opera twice. Rhee remembers climbing the stairs to the balcony with binoculars hanging around his neck, slack-jawed at the first sight of chandeliers and red carpet. Even today, when he goes to the Met, his favorite spot is the balcony. From there, he can see everthing—the stage performers and the orchestra musicians (the latter of which are not visible to those with the “best” seats). It wasn’t until Rhee was a senior in high school that he dreamt of swapping out his seat in the balcony for a chair in the pit. One of his former cello teachers had scored a spot in the Met Orchestra and invited Rhee to tour the place he’d always watched from above. “When I looked up at the audience from the pit, it was like God had opened my eyes. He showed me what I truly wanted deep down inside, even though it was a longshot,” says Rhee. At that point in his life, he’d been playing the cello for 10 years and going to the opera for seven. But most of his musical journey hadn’t afforded him this kind of clarity—or possibility. “My music journey was pretty tough,” says Rhee. “The competition, especially in New York City, is very fierce. I was always a couple steps behind, and it was really hard to see all my friends go

ahead of me. I almost quit cello.” Even though he had achieved so much—like being accepted into the Manhattan School of Music’s preconservatory program and Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute—he still had this aching feeling that he wasn’t good enough, even though he loved to play. The criticism he’d received over the years had accumulated. Without realizing it, he’d traded his balcony seat for one in the front row. He was closer to the music than ever before, but he could no longer see where it was coming from. Coming to Gordon was Rhee’s way of returning to the balcony. “I chose Gordon because I wanted to be in a liberal arts school with lots of majors. Not just music. After what I’d experienced, I didn’t want to go to a college that had a culture of fierce competition. At Gordon, all of the musicians lift each other up. This is how music should be.” In a more balanced environment, Rhee actually grew in artistry. He’s doing incredible things in the world of music. Last summer, he performed on Broadway in New York City for a special fundraising event, alongside Broadway stars from Anastasia, Frozen and Mamma Mia. And he traveled to Ukraine with fellow string majors and music professors to give music lessons to a group of Ukrainian middle- and highschoolers, most of whom had never held an instrument before. “These experiences continue to teach me to have fun with music, to see music as a collaboration and not a competition.”

MATTHEW RHEE ’22 Majors: music performance and music education Hometown: Syosset, NY Music taste ranges from Italian opera to American rap.

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ROSE BAKER

WORDS THAT BELONG TO ONE LANGUAGE BUT ALL PEOPLE

There are many words out there that can’t be translated because they only exist in one language. When Rose Baker ’21 studied abroad in Germany for 10 months, following her high school graduation, she came across her first untranslatable word: sehnsucht. “A lot of times when people first see it, they think it means ‘wanderlust,’” says Baker. “It doesn’t actually mean that. The root of the word is sucht, which means ‘to search,’ and sehn has to do with your soul. It’s kind of a soul searching.” At that time in her life, her soul was searching for something, and that something was language. “Every day when I was in Germany, I would repeat words to myself, trying to figure out pronunciation, but also just tasting them. And sehnsucht was really fun to say because it’s soft. It’s like a whisper.” After Germany, her love of languages led her to Gordon—one of the few Christian colleges with a linguistics major. As a sophomore she joined the College’s new Bible Translation Program, which gave her the opportunity to shadow a Wycliffe linguist in Cameroon this past summer. And that’s how she found herself in a classroom with mud floors, cement walls, a tin roof and a solitary hanging lightbulb, teaching syntax and morphology to Cameroonian seminary students over the drone of goats bleating outside. The students’ aim was to learn enough linguistics to begin translating the Bible into their village language. For most, this was the first time they began to see their native language as intelligent— as something they could actually study. Baker explains that in Cameroon everyone speaks three languages: their village language,

Pidgin and English. But because they don’t use their village language in school or church, they start to think of it as less intelligent and less spiritual. So, they talk to God in English and Pidgin instead. This creates a linguistic divide and also a spiritual divide between village people and the God they worship. Having a Bible in their own language removes that divide. “Imagine reading the Psalms in Spanish with a couple of years of school Spanish,” poses Baker. “You know what it’s supposed to mean, but it hasn’t really ever spoken to your heart. When you read the Bible in your native language, it’s much more personal and we love a personal God.” Untranslatable words like sehnsucht make language feel personal. “We can’t translate it the way it should be translated,” says Baker. “The only person who can write the Bible in a language is the person who actually speaks that language.” Even untranslatable words can describe something we all know and feel, regardless of which language we speak. “Soul searching” may be two words in English instead of one, but it carries the same meaning. Even though there is no synonym for sehnsucht, the idea of a soul searching for something is universal. Languages, as a whole, may differ in sound, tone and even direction (think Hebrew or Japanese), but each one gives people the ability to communicate. This bird’s eye view of language has transformed the field of linguistics rather recently, says Baker. She explains, “Over time, linguists have realized they are not studying differences, they are studying what’s the same.”

ROSE BAKER ’21 Major: linguistics Hometown: Layton, UT If she could be fluent in any other language, it would be Russian. SPRING 2020 | STILLPOINT 27


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DANIEL HA

THE SECRET LIFE OF BEE . . . RESEARCHERS

Daniel Ha ’20 didn’t get his first bee sting until last summer, when one of his research subjects crawled up the inside of his pant leg and stung him on the thigh. It was a rite of passage—the day he became, in his own words, a beekeeper. Growing up in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in a missionary family from South Korea, Ha didn’t cross paths with honey bees. It was too hot for them in the city, so they retreated to the mountains. He was blissfully unaware of them until a family friend brought over a jar of 100 percent natural, wild honey. “It smelled so bad,” he laughs. “But it got me thinking about bees.” On YouTube, Ha learned that honey bees were disappearing. Each year, beekeepers in the U.S. reported colony losses around 30 percent. The losses were the same for beekeepers in the mountains of Thailand and virtually everywhere else. Loss of habitat, lack of crop diversity and poor beekeeping practices were all part of the problem, he says, but the single most devastating factor was a virus that was causing wing deformity in perfectly healthy bees. It didn’t take Ha long to put two and two together. “Bees are the main pollinators for most fruits and vegetables. I knew that if honey bees aren’t here, we won’t be here either,” recalls Ha. At Gordon, he joined the Beekeeping Club and helped care for the observation hive on the third floor of the science building. And last summer, he was hired as a research assistant for Professor of Biology Craig Story. In collaboration with other researchers, including the principal investigator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Bee Research Lab in Beltsville, Maryland, Story and Ha investigated bee viruses, like the deformed

wing virus (DWV), that are found in colonies and are putting bees under stress. They looked for ways to treat infected colonies and to see if the viruses were coming from the very nutrient that was supposed to be sustaining honey bees during the harsh winter months: pollen. “Without our support, bee colonies can’t make it through the winter on their own. We feed them pollen, which is a source of protein and sugar,” explains Ha. “These pollens get shipped around the world. Governments have little to no regulations for them. We wanted to know if pollen was capable of carrying the virus. If that’s the case, we have to have regulations in place.” While Korean musicals and live versions of “Piano Man” played over laptop speakers in the lab, Ha analyzed samples prepared by a USDA research fellow. After temporarily relocating the colony, Ha also heated the beehive to see if heat treatments could kill the virus. And it worked. At 70 degrees Celsius, “you can actually reduce the spread of infection,” he says. Ha, Story and their collaborators continue trying to learn more about the sources of viruses and possible ways to prevent their spread. While the jury is still out as to whether pollen is responsible for the spread of DWV, it’s definitely a suspect. Ha and Story found evidence of the virus in pollen DNA. They also found proof that Ha’s childhood dream of being a researcher is anything but far-fetched. “When I was little,” says Ha, “I thought a researcher was a white-bearded grandpa in a lab coat, a kind-looking guy holding a boiling test tube.” Although it will be several years before Ha can grow a white beard, he’s got the test tube, a lab coat and research subjects that definitely need his help (even if they do sting him from time to time).

Editor’s note: This article has been updated from its original version to include Ha and Story’s research collaborators.

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DANIEL HA ’20 Major: biology (environmental science concentration) Hometown: Chiang Mai, Thailand Keeps a mental list of pollen colors he’s seen in the beehive (the rarest one is blue).

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MADISON MERCADANTE POISED FOR NEW BEGINNINGS

Madison Mercadante ’23 lived in a world of tulle tutus, pink satin pointe shoes and the glow of the spotlight. At age 18, she was immersed in the idealized career of a ballerina that lures young dancers from their very first trip to The Nutcracker. But for Mercadante, life as a professional ballerina soon became more agonizing than enchanting. “People realize that ballet is so beautiful and know that you have to work really hard, but I actually worked harder than people know,” says Mercadante. “It’s not just the dancing aspect; I spent hours sewing my pointe shoes, washing my tights and leotards, and mending costumes to fit.” And dancing full-time in the Chevalier Ballet didn’t cut it for a New York City budget. When she wasn’t stretching or icing her blistered feet, Mercadante earned a living by babysitting and waiting tables on the side. Even after landing a contract with the professional company in her late teens, she needed to ensure her future in a tumultuous industry. Contracts are only given on a year-to-year basis, so Mercadante spent many

anxiety-inducing weekends traveling as far as London to audition for other companies. An open spot meant someone in the company was fired, injured or retired. “People are hoping that you fail,” she says. The physically demanding routine— not to mention the mental pressure—was unsustainable. “My body couldn’t handle it after a while,” she says. “Some days were so hard that I wished something happened to me, so I had to stop.” After making the bittersweet decision to depart from the industry, Mercadante took back the reins on her physical and mental health. It was time to fulfill a promise she’d made to her mother before chasing her ballet dreams: someday she would go to back to school. And because Mercadante’s Christian faith had been her refuge during years of chaos, she was sure it would be a Christian school. “There were days where I’d be sitting in church and would start crying,” she says. “Being out of the chaos of the week, it felt so good to be in God’s presence and be reminded that he’s always there and would carry me through what I was dealing with.”

MADISON MERCADANTE ’23 Major: kinesiology Hometown: Midland Park, NJ Favorite thing about ballet: feeling weightless 30 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2020


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Now autonomous with her time (as much as a college student can be), Mercadante volunteers in the local community with the audiences who always meant most to her: kids. Back when she was in the limelight, the most rewarding performances of her Chevalier Ballet career were their workshops at public schools and hospitals. “When we walked in, the kids would smile and light up,” she says. “We didn’t get paid for the workshops, but you’d rather do that than a performance for a big audience because you know the impact it has on the kids.”

Photo Courtesy of Matthew Karas Photography

Mercadante entered Gordon excited to take a new approach to her appreciation for the human body by majoring in kinesiology on the pre-physician assistant track. “In dance you have to think about your body and the movements,” she says. “It’s so interesting for me to be learning all the work that goes into even just the slightest movements. It is incredible for me to be learning about treating our bodies in the most healthful and beneficial way possible.”

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TIMEUS MULINGE

WHEN OPPOSITES ATTRACT

Lifelong city dweller Timeus Mulinge ’22 never envisioned himself sitting cross-legged around a campfire, his skinned knees brushing the sides of his dirt-caked boots, huddled with strangersturned-friends. But it was that very setting, he says, “that made me open up, and that was the first time I opened up in a long time. It was therapeutic.” For one weekend, during Mulinge’s Discovery course camping trip, the constant buzz of Mombasa, Kenya’s, cars and tourists was replaced with the soft thrum of cicadas deep in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Towering pines replaced skyscrapers, and the only light source was the glow of the fire and tapestry of stars above. “It was pretty silent,” he says, “but it was absolutely breathtaking.” In a place as foreign to him as the woods of America, Mulinge found something he had needed: the space to connect more deeply with God, with his peers and with himself. “Discovery drew me closer to God,” he says, “And it drew me closer to his people and to understanding how I can help as a person and as a designer.” As a self-professed introvert and a creative, this was an important, well, discovery. Mulinge is an aspiring architect, meaning his life’s work will be about developing buildings and indoor spaces for people to live and gather in. But to accomplish that, Mulinge found, he needs the opposite: a quiet place without the bustle of restaurants, houses and workplaces. “Even now,” he says, more than a year after his Discovery course, “I wake up sometimes, head up to the woods and just sit there and absorb

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everything as I do my reflections, drawings and architectural designs.” Though he’s found a new affinity for the woods, Mulinge still shares his heart with the city. And maybe they’re not so different after all. In the city and in the woods, he says, “there’s always a challenge, an obstacle.” It may look like finding a taxi or finding water, navigating through winding road work detours or through overgrown trails. “No matter the environment or the setting you’re in, you work with what you have to find a way to achieve what you want.” That’s true of art, too, he says. As the child of an architect-turned-pastor and an interior designer, Mulinge has long had an appreciation for art. But art, he says, is not just a painting (or, in his case, a CAD sketch); it’s the ability to create something out of what you have. At Gordon, that means forging an architectural bent into Mulinge’s art major. He works with his professors to connect his coursework to his goal, like investigating how ancient architecture (zigguratts, pyramids and the Parthenon) inspired modern architecture (the U.S. Capitol and White House, Walt Disney Concert Hall and Burj Khalifa) for a history course. In Old Testament, he studied the architecture of the City Gates and the Tower of Babel in biblical times. And he’s applying lessons from a science course to study “how structures can minimize the contribution we make to global warming” so he can “make designs that are favorable to the people of the future.” Mulinge’s end goal in sculpting his education is not just to become an architect, but to build a better world—“to expand my knowledge as I follow my dream, pursue God and use what I do as a form of ministry,” he says.

TIMEUS MULINGE ’23 Major: art (design studio concentration) Hometown: Mombasa, Kenya Aspiring architect, introverted creative, newfound outdoorsman.


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Reflections for Holy Week APRIL 5–12 Daily devotionals written by Gordon College students

PALM SUNDAY | APRIL 5 John 12:12–19 Philippians 3:8–10

Worthy of Worship

Growing up in your typical Sunday school classroom, I loved Palm Sunday. We always got our own palms and acted out the story in John 12:12–19, our small faces filled with joy as we shouted “Hosanna! Hosanna!” and shook the green leaves. It, of course, came as a shock to me to find out that the same people who were declaring Jesus as King were ready to turn on him five days later. And yet, can’t we all relate? The Jewish people thought Jesus came to be a literal king and save them from their oppressors, but Jesus had something different in mind. When he did not go along with their plan of crowning him king, how quick they were to shout, “Crucify him!” How often do we say Jesus is King, but quickly follow that with a list of “Terms and Conditions”? If he

MONDAY | APRIL 6 Psalm 24; Mark 11:9–18

The King’s Kind of Order

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The very day after being hailed long-awaited King, making his grand entrance into Jerusalem to the acclamation of the gathering Passover crowds, Jesus came crashing into the temple courts and flipping tables. In the ancient world, kings were responsible for establishing and maintaining order in their kingdoms. But surveying the fleeing moneychangers and toppled tables, Jesus, the gentle colt-riding King of Palm Sunday, certainly looked to be creating disorder on Monday. Not surprisingly he agitated the religious establishment, who promptly fixated on arranging his death; soon gratified, the title “King of the Jews” would crown Jesus’ cross with bitter irony on Friday, representative of his subjects’ rebellion.

does not follow our stipulations, we turn to whatever else serves our selfish ambition. And these lesser things look so much more appealing than a crucified Savior! Paul urges us that Christ is of surpassing worth—far above the things that whisper for our attention and our worship every day. This week let us see Jesus as he is, without reducing him to something he is not. Once we see him in his glory, we can confidently say that he is of more worth than anything! When we crown him King without any conditions, we experience the greatest gift of all, the gift that is of supreme worth and surpasses all our lesser loves. Emily Marcotte ’23 Education and biblical studies Reading, MA

Though once welcoming the King of Glory into his royal city (Psalm 24:7–10), the people were not prepared for the “clean hands” and “pure heart” he would demand of those presuming to tread upon his holy place (Psalm 24:3–4); as the King put his house in order, the extortion and deception accompanying temple transactions had to go. Are we ready for this kind of order the King demands in our hearts and lives, deconstructing our false perceptions of “order” for cleanness of hands and purity of heart to prevail? Ellie Wiener ’19 Biblical studies Elmhurst, IL


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TUESDAY | APRIL 7 Isaiah 53:3–7; I Corinthians 1:18; Colossians 2:13–18

The Paradoxical Lamb

For centuries, the people of God eagerly anticipated the coming of King Jesus and the establishment of his mighty Kingdom; yet, in the three days leading up to his death, no one was prepared for his impending affliction and crucifixion. He would silence his mouth like a lamb led to slaughter. They would pierce his flesh, bruise his body and take his life with scoffing laughs. The King of the world did not come to exert power over his oppressors but would ultimately suffer at their hands. This paradox deserves deep contemplation. Perhaps the crucifixion was not a choice of weakness but a type of power greater than our comprehension. Humanity is bound by the curse of sin and cycles of violence that we are powerless to overcome. Humankind

WEDNESDAY | APRIL 8 Luke 22:39–44; Romans 8:32

Strength Amid Suffering

In the days leading up to his crucifixion, Jesus experienced deep agony. Knowing that a death sentence awaited him, that he would bear the sins of the world on his shoulders, Jesus asked the Father if it was possible to change the plan. But even in his temptation, Jesus prayed that the Father’s will be done, and not his own. While praying, an angel appeared to Jesus and strengthened him so that he might not give in to temptation (Luke 22:39–44). The Father did not change the plan or take the trial away from Jesus. Instead, the Father strengthened him amid his suffering. Likewise, the Christian life often is a difficult one. Every day we are buffeted by the temptation to abandon God’s plan for us. Maybe the challenges seem insurmountable

needed a divine strength to cut through our depravity and offer a freedom and hope not confined to the finitude of this world. King Jesus humbled himself to the point of death because this was the only power great enough to break the chains of sin and death. Christ canceled our debt so that we may rejoice in collective communion with him. He chose to endure suffering because his mission was not to overcome his oppressors with an iron fist but ultimately to welcome all people into divine communion. He met violence with love which tore the curtain of segregation and saved our souls. All praise be to the mighty Lamb of God. Hannah Beck ’22 Political science (peace and conflict studies) Quincy, IL

or maybe we think we know better. However, like Jesus, we must understand that we can overcome the temptations that reside in the principalities and powers of this world. When we face trials or doubts or discouraging days, let us pray to our Father who strengthens us so that we will not give into temptation. Surely, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”—including strength to overcome temptation and to press on (Romans 8:32). Fatu Kanu ’20 Christian ministries (global Christianity and social impact ministries) Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Philadelphia, PA

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MAUNDY THURSDAY APRIL 9 John 13:8, 16

The Kneeling King

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It’s dark outside, and around the candle-lit meal there’s an air of familiarity and a dose of tension. Jesus’ disciples are gathered for what will be their last meal with him. Something is about to happen—but what? Suddenly, Jesus bends to one knee and begins to wash his disciples’ feet. They are confused and deny Jesus’ service at first, but warm up to accepting it when Jesus explains that unless he washes them, they cannot be part of him (John 13:8). Now imagine Jesus kneeling in front of you and washing your feet, making your whole body clean. It’s a simple act of service turned sacred. With ordinary water, he makes us spiritually clean—and in doing so sets us apart, for him, in love.

GOOD FRIDAY | APRIL 10 Psalm 22; Hebrews 2:14–18

On Our Mourning Bench

After his son Eric died tragically in a climbing accident, theologian Nicholas Wolterstorff wrote Lament for a Son as a means of processing his deep suffering and grief. “What I need to hear from you is that you recognize how painful it is,” he wrote. “I need to hear from you that you are with me in my desperation. To comfort me, you have to come close. Come sit beside me on my mourning bench.” What Wolterstorff recognizes is that suffering isolates. But one of the greatest comforts in our faith is that we are not, in fact, alone; the Triune God sees us and meets us in our deep suffering. The author of Hebrews highlights this reality (2:17), explaining that Christ was fully human in every way. Christ was not just God with skin on; Christ came and joined our

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This isn’t simply because of Jesus’ call to serve others. It’s because he sees you. As you are. Not as you see yourself, but as he sees you, unswayed by your view. And even still, he loves you. Jesus set an example that we should do as he has done for us: “Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him” (John 13:16). This Easter season, remember that Jesus, the Kneeling King, sees you and loves you as you are. Go and do likewise in love and service to others. Anna Molnar ’21 Christian ministries, English language and literature, secondary education Cuyahoga Falls, OH

humanity in fullness. God in Christ did not exempt Godself from any part of humanness, including deep physical, social, emotional and spiritual suffering. A quintessential image is seen in quoting a suffering David in Christ’s last moments (Psalm 22; Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). Christ’s work on the cross demonstrates a God who loves deeply and is willing to initiate, coming to suffer with us and allowing us to experience relationship with this same God in our present time and space. God came in Christ, meeting us in our deep suffering and taking it onto Christself, giving us access to a God who still comes. God is with us, sitting beside us on our mourning bench. Bridget Hadorn ’21 Christian ministries Leominster, MA


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HOLY SATURDAY | APRIL 11 Luke 23:56; Matthew 27:62

Sabbath War

Very few volunteered to take this dead man. Some women followed them to the burial. With clenched teeth they could only quickly lay the bloody man down. It was Friday night. Luke 23:56: “Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.”  How great the distress when the holy women of Galilee delayed their care for the dead Jesus? Must we still rest when Rabboni has been killed? Must we be still before injustice? Must we not rise to tend to the last needs of our Lord, our love? Matthew 27:62: “The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.”

working hard on the day after preparation day. Recruiting all the armies of Satan to block, seal and guard this tomb; toiling so hard in rebellion against God on his holy day. “We will work against you,” they say. “We have defeated you, and we will put the seal on your loss. No promises fulfilled. No death overcome.” What war raged on that Sabbath day! The wounded ones were still in their rooms while evil was rampant on the streets. The pride of the devil at its highest point, declaring, “I have overcome! I have overcome! I have overcome!” And Jesus laid still and alone in the tomb, forsaken by God and man.  It was Saturday night. But the story didn’t end there. Harim Choi ’19

EASTER SUNDAY | APRIL 12 I Corinthians 15:58

Come to the Garden

Past the women’s silent weeping we see the lawless men and the heathen Pilate

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Mary Magdalene turns in anguish from the empty tomb to mistake her risen Lord for the gardener. Jesus devotes the first hours of this Easter morning to tending a garden. The echoes of Eden are unmistakable—new life is cultivated in the garden. It is in the garden that God fashions man into his image. It is in the garden that the Lord’s presence walks with them. It is within the garden that man is called to work, to steward and to worship.

It is on that glorious Easter morning that we are again summoned to the garden. This garden is a renewed creation, bursting with the promises of God. This garden extends beyond the walls of Jerusalem, on to Samaria and to the ends of the Earth. It is in this garden that God’s spirit dwells with his people. And it is to this garden that Christ calls us as co-laborers with him for the cultivating that is still to be done. Holding fast to the hope of a resurrected creation, we devote our lives to work, to steward and to worship, knowing that “our labor is not in vain” (I Corinthians 15:58).

On the dawn of this new creation, the resurrected Jesus stands as the second Adam in this second Eden. Paul writes that all of creation, the Earth and all that is in it, groans for redemption. Christ is the fullness of Adam, the redemption of creation, the fulfillment of the promise, the keeper of the garden.

Senegal and Korea

Salome Palmer ’19 Music and biblical studies (Pike Honors) Mason, OH

SPRING 2020 | STILLPOINT 37


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Save the date: October 2–3, 2020 Join us for a wonderful weekend on campus! Highlights include a 50th anniversary celebration for La Vida and the dedication of the Kanas Court in Bennett Athletic Center.

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STILLPOINT Spring 2020  

Spring 2020 issue of STILLPOINT, the magazine of Gordon College.

STILLPOINT Spring 2020  

Spring 2020 issue of STILLPOINT, the magazine of Gordon College.

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