When I arrived at The King’s College,
I had not stepped into a church in years. I was so nervous about this that I took Dr. Johnson’s Intro to Old Testament course the summer before arriving at King’s as a freshman because I had not picked up a Bible in SO long. I wanted to at least be knowledgeable. My curiosity and genuine pursuit of truth, as is the case for many King’s students, was met kindly and openly. Dr. Johnson was the first example of many King’s professors (and staff) who were open to hard conversations about faith, philosophy, and life.
My time at King’s was extremely formative for so many reasons. I work in the education field now, and I see how unique and intentional each of the experiences the faculty and staff set up for students truly is. I regularly find myself appreciating it in a whole new light. We lived in and among the people of NYC. We started “adulting” as soon as we arrived for college; we were expected to dress professionally and act with honor. Being a Kingsian was having full freedom with true responsibility. We were part of some of the best and most rigorous academic competitions, like Interregnum, and sometimes they were even physical, like the Great Race. The King’s College set students up to be the leaders on campus, from various offices of the college, to student government and house systems. We led the conversations in classes through Socratic discussions from day one; this is unheard of at other college institutions. Often a student has to be a junior or senior to participate in class the way King’s students are expected to the moment they enter the classroom.
There are too many fond memories to recount in a short letter. I met some of my very best friends at King’s. I have witnessed their marriages and am watching them build families. I met my husband at King’s. I traveled to Turkey. I discovered a love for economics. I met professors who believed in me and helped me articulate my strengths. I defined my core values. I have even made some of the best friends in my post-grad home in Washington, DC because of our shared King’s experience. It remains true that the people connected to the college, especially the professors, made it a place I knew I wanted to be.
Staff, faculty, and student examples of Christ-like love throughout my first year at the college are what brought me back to my Catholic faith. Yes, the academics and medieval philosophy course played a role too, but time and again it was hard to deny God’s presence each day when I saw it all around me in the community I shared life with, shaping me for the better.
For all of these things, I remain eternally grateful for my King’s experience.
Darien Contu
Alumna | House of Corrie Ten Boom | Class of '16
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