Semester kicks off with GPA results and campus-wide gathering, Thornbury discusses the importance of secrecy
Financial District, NEW YORK - Dean David Leedy, Student Body President Peter Flemming and President Gregory Thornbury kicked off the Spring 2014 semester with a campus-wide gathering. Students and faculty packed the City Room for the lunchtime meeting on Tuesday, January 14. Dean Leedy briefly reflected on the Fall 2013 semester, describing it as one of the most successful semesters he has experienced since he first begun working at King’s, fourteen years ago.
After the hardships that the college faced during the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters, the King's community welcomed a new president, as well as a growing spirit of camaraderie among King’s students and faculty with relief and excitement.
Leedy ended his talk by announcing the results of the GPA competition, with the House of Queen Elizabeth the I receiving first place, followed by the House of Sojourner Truth and finally the House of Margaret Thatcher in third place.
President Thornbury began with a simple, yet challenging question: “What would it profit the college to fulfill its mission and yet lose it’s own soul?” He explained that many institutions, particularly religious institutions, have abandoned their vision while successfully fulfilling their mission.
Thornbury remarked that King’s is especially good at two particular “disciplines of engagement," study and service, but advised students to adopt the spiritual discipline of secrecy. “...Jesus says that the purest acts of faith are always private,” he said. “The discipline of secrecy is being faithful to God and letting God decide when to take that public.”
Using the example of Plato’s Symposium, Thornbury challenged students to consider who they would want to be present "at the party" when they execute their “acts of righteousness,” and whether they would rather party with famous public figures, like those attending Plato’s dinner gathering, or party with God in secret.
“...Each one of us have a role at the King’s College, or in life,” said Thornbury. “We have to realize...that we have to fulfill our stations and roles in life...when the curtain is up, but when the curtain comes down in community, we are all...too human...we are brothers and sisters in Christ. There’s no distinction between people. And in so doing, we show that our public performances do not get in the way of who we are, and...when we drop all of that pretense, we are reminded of the Incarnation.”
Students of the King's College welcomed the president's address with hopeful anticipation of the semester ahead.
Sizakele Irvin ('16) commented, “I really like how he [President Thornbury] is focusing on community...it’s really refreshing.”
Kaitlyn Leach ('17) described President Thornbury’s speech as “a great, fresh start to the new semester," adding, “President Thornbury’s reference to performing an act publicly or privately in front of God was very impactful. His words challenged us all to live more humbly.” Leach humorously lamented, “Also, I want a campus-wide dog!” in reference to previous comments made by Thornbury earlier in the speech.