President Mills commends students, attends school-wide prayer meeting


Financial District, NEW YORK—In the cold City Room, about 35 students, faculty and staff members met to pray over the lunch hour Nov. 5 for the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the college and the presidential elections.

During the hurricane, interim president, Andy Mills, had sent out an email challenging the students with three action points: First, observe and critique leadership models; Second, work together as a community; Third, begin to reach out and show compassion to the less fortunate.

“The students and faculty and staff at The King’s College absolutely achieved items number two and three through working together as a community and helping other people. I’m proud of the stories I hear,” Mills said after the prayer gathering.

Dean David Leedy echoed Mills’ response: “I am really glad—I am really encouraged by the way our community responded, the attitude of our community, the hospitality I’ve seen, the service, the sacrifice. It’s really been inspiring,” he said.

The prayer meeting began with stories of compassion, community and Christ-likeness that resulted from the hurricane. Then the group moved into a time of thanking God for these things.

Trevor Baier shared how he witnessed the Con-Ed Transformer explode and then saw the power go out at NYU, then he led the group in prayer for the East Coast.

“The lights at the NYU med center flickered on for a second as the generators kicked in, and then went out again. I ran to the front entrance and heard people yelling inside trying to evacuate the building, so I went in and offered to use my flashlight and help,” Baier said via email. “Once the emergency crews got there and they began moving the critical patients, I was no longer able to help,” he said.

Stacey Chen, the counselor at King’s, volunteered after the hurricane at Here’s Life Inner City and then helped a neighbor who had water in his basement. Chen spoke of how someone from Here’s Life Inner City noticed the uplifting attitude of the volunteers during the Hurricane that he hadn’t seen in past volunteers. She also spoke of relationships she developed through helping people and how she may be able to invite some people to church.

Emily Collins, president of the Spiritual Life Project, then led the group in prayer for the college: the presidential search, the spiritual life director search and the spiritual life of the school. Dr. Douglas Puffert, assistant professor of Economics at King’s, led students in prayer for the presidential elections Tuesday.

The prayer meeting had been scheduled for Nov. 5 before Hurricane Sandy hit, but like Leedy said in a recent email to the student body, “Now we have additional things that warrant prayer—and many reasons to give thanks.”