Grove City College’s Trustee Scholarship Program is more than just a competitive scholarship offered to 24 incoming freshmen. It’s an opportunity for enhanced learning and growth as students engage in rich discussion, research, and cultural experiences with fellow scholars in their cohort, faculty cohort advisers, and top-notch professors who help shape them into wise and well-rounded leaders of the highest character.
We asked a couple of those cohort professors for their perspectives on the Trustee Scholarship Program, and this is what they shared:
Dr. Andrew Mitchell, History
As a professor who teaches all Trustee sections of Western Civilization (a Humanities Core course), how do you strive to influence/inspire/challenge your students? As I do for all my students…
1) I make absolutely certain that I am giving them accurate information in my lectures. I need to be at the top of my game, and as a historian knowing the facts and having them at your fingertips is essential. So even though I’ve taught this material for 14 years, I’m still reading new material and staying abreast of current historical interpretations, constantly looking for ways of improving the structure and flow of this course as it traces Western history from ancient Greece to the present day.
2) Because they tend to grasp both the basic historical narrative and the gist of our primary source documents a little faster, I can move deeper into stimulating conversations about the implications of the beliefs expressed in those documents. We can link up what the authors are saying in their pieces with other authors in “the Great Conversation,” and pay careful attention to the social and cultural elements that influence particular thoughts on liberty, justice, and wisdom, while remaining sensitive to the eternal elements that appear from culture to culture.
3) Time is short. I only have two 75-minute periods to help guide these students to think through the implications of major thinkers in Western history. I speak directly in class, admittedly with some humor, to make sure these ideas and their consequences sink in. This year I am also making myself available outside of class (and outside of normal office hours) for students to stop by in small groups of 3-4 to chat about the implications of what we’ve been talking about over tea and coffee.
How have students in the Trustee Program influenced or inspired you as a professor and person? Teaching Trustee scholars has made me more sensitive to how I present information; trying to find better illustrations or analogies to their present-day experiences; constantly trying to encourage them to think more sharply, to write more carefully, and to consider the implications of what we talk about on how they manage their time here on campus. It also has made me more sensitive to how anxiety seems to pervade (especially) the “best of us,” and how debilitating that can be. On the one hand, the monetary gift is tied to one’s GPA; on the other hand, there are so many more beautiful and wondrous things we talk about during the semester, that to be solely focused on grades is to miss the point of this class, this program, and indeed, the entire nature of a liberal arts college.
Why should a prospective student consider applying for the Trustee Scholarship? The most obvious temptation (not reason) to apply for the Trustee Scholarship is the monetary gift that accompanies it. This is a mistake. You ought not pick a school based on how much money they throw at you, but on what kind of an environment they promote and cultivate, what kind of soil they are nurturing, and what seeds they are planting. Here, you’ll be deeply invested physically and emotionally in a community for the next four years, profoundly influenced by your cohort adviser and the Trustee humanities faculty. If they are wise, if what they offer is spiritually nourishing, if what they seek to develop will bring you closer to a knowledge and love of Jesus Christ, they’re worth sacrificing something.
Why should a prospective student consider applying to Grove City College in general? Taking our cue from our president, Paul McNulty, many Grove City faculty (and heads of Student Life) are firmly committed to the principle laid out by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all these things” (a good GPA, a good job, worldly and worldly-Christian definitions of success) will be added unto you. Grove City College exudes a humane vision rather than a specifically American one, but that doesn’t diminish in any way our duties as Americans to serve our fellow man and work for the common good. Grove City prioritizes life better than most places. We don’t have a campus that gets too worked up about the non-essentials; we’re an active, but not an activist, campus. In an age of all manner of hashtags, this is a really refreshing breath of fresh air.
The administration, staff, and teachers here cultivate thoughtful, loving, caring young men and women. We have a concern to train all of you—body, mind, heart, and soul—in order that you might better love God and love your neighbor. And if loving them means getting a job, we’ll work on helping you with that too. This is truly a counter-cultural identity, one that distinguishes itself from the solely diploma-granting schools, as well as the overly-narrow concerns of specific denominational or politically-minded colleges.
Dr. Kristen Waha, English
As a professor who teaches all Trustee sections of Civilization & Literature (a Humanities Core course), how do you strive to influence and inspire your students? Studying literature allows us to learn about the people and cultures of the past through story, but literature also can capture our minds and our sympathies by reflecting on the big human questions—why are we here? How should we live? How should we treat one another? By telling us stories through poetry, plays, novels and short stories, authors from the ancient and more recent past invite us to think and feel with their characters as they explore these and other questions.
How have students in the Trustee Program influenced or inspired you as a professor and person? The students in these cohorts are pursuing the big questions about human life, God and vocation together as friends—friends who might sometimes disagree with one another but who also care for one another and for truth. They are learning how to talk with one another graciously and persuasively, something that is perhaps easier to practice when you take common courses together and share a love for learning. I love the ways that students in the Trustee cohorts are eager to make connections between texts we read and their other classes in the Humanities Core. Our conversations on Dante’s Divine Comedy are enriched when students connect a passage from the poem with a theological concept from HUMA 102 Biblical Revelation or an event in European history with a Shakespeare play.
Why should a prospective student consider applying for the Trustee Scholarship? The Trustee Scholarship Program is an opportunity to pursue knowledge of God, the truth of one’s academic discipline, and the purpose of one’s calling or vocation in the company of fellow learners. Trustee scholars arrive on campus with a network of faculty and upperclassmen peer mentors eager not just to discuss ideas but to care for them as whole persons.
If you’re eager to be mentored by exceptional faculty who are passionate about holistic growth and the life of the mind, then apply for the Trustee Scholarship! To be considered, fill out the Trustee questionnaire and submit your resume and application for admission by November 10.
We wish you the best!