House of Bonhoeffer Celebrates Website Anniversary


Empire State Building, NEW YORK— The Men of Bonhoeffer (MOB) celebrated the one-year anniversary of the successful launch of their website, Friday, Jan. 20.

The Bonhoeffer men and their advisor Dr. Stephen Salyers (Doc) attended the party, which began at 6:30 in the Founder’s Room. All present munched on quesadillas from Blockheads, chips and salsa and various sodas as they listened to speakers Chad Abbott (’13), President Greg Baumann (’13), Scholar Andrew Debter (’13), Helmsman Joseph Gebert (’14) and Josh Encinias (’12).

Abbott, who has overseen the creation of and improvements to the site, briefly listed statistics regarding the site’s successes and thanked members for their contributions.

“We’ve had 30,000 unique visitors to the site in the last 12 months,” Abbott said. “We’ve had readers from around the world and 150 stories by over 50 contributors. Our largest-read article was the one on Bonhoeffer’s theology by Brad Kramer, and in our fundraiser, we raised $1,000 in 26 days.”

Baumann followed by thanking his fellow MOB members for all they’ve done for the House and then invited Debter to speak. Debter praised the House for its standing in the recent GPA competition, announced John Sailer as his new Assistant Scholar and offered to create academic plans to help members succeed in classes.

Baumann then returned with updates on plans for furthering community within the House, including the institution of prayer groups and continuance of the current “family” system. The family system consists of four subgroups, or families, which all have their own names and help to solidify House relationships.

In keeping with tradition, Encinias read portions of a letter from Bonhoeffer alumnus Sonny Fisher (’11), which will soon be posted on the Bonhoeffer website. At last year’s kickoff party, Encinias read a letter from alumnus Ted Pantone.

Gebert announced Charlie Freeman (’15) as his new Assistant Helmsman. Josh Linder (’14) reminded members of upcoming International Ventures fundraisers and events.  Chad gave updates on Monday’s March for Life and Tuesday’s State of the Union event with John Stossel.

Members laughed approvingly at pictures taken during the recent MOB photo shoot, 40-50 of which are to be used as new banner pictures for the website.

“I think [the website]’s become less of a threatening thing to the school over the course of the year,” Encinias said. “It had its own value proposition—it’s just us, with pictures and stories, just kind of telling our story, telling who we are. And that’s all it’s ever done. It’s never been a subversive thing.”

Encinias, who conceived the idea for the site, said the website has allowed the House to accomplish much more than he thought it would over the past year, including Livestreaming events such as the Student Body President race and Interregnum competitions. He also wrote a toast for the website, which will be posted online alongside the letter from Fisher.

“I’m happy with it, I’m very happy with it,” Encinias said. “Bonhoeffer’s tradition is that we have a really great oral history. We share our stories.”