#1 in Student Engagement

In Fall 2017, With the President by Erik Hoekstra

ENGAGEMENT HAS ME OVERSHARING, AND I CAN’T HELP IT

I’m not a grandparent yet, but I hope to be someday.

And, I’ve noticed something about grandparents. They all seem to realize that showing pictures and telling stories borders on annoying, but they just can’t help themselves.

I feel the same right now.

So, I’m behaving like a proud grandpa and announcing that, for the second year in a row, Dordt College was ranked number one in the entire country in student engagement. I hope that you are as excited about this as I am and that you will help me spread the word.

After last year’s Wall Street Journal ranking release, I had a conversation with a reporter about student engagement. He was puzzled that the top 5 schools for this category were faith-based schools, and he wanted to know my opinion on why that might be.

It gave me an opportunity to share with him my favorite quote from C.S. Lewis’ The Weight of Glory, which I think speaks to the seriousness of how and why faculty, staff, and students engage so deeply at Dordt and at all seriously Christian colleges:

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”

This understanding of reality is the core reason Dordt College was ranked as the number one college in America for student engagement again this year. Our faculty, staff, and students understand that each person on this campus isn’t just a student or professor. We’re all immortal children of the risen king—striving together as a community of mutual image-bearers and kingdom-builders.