The King’s College is where I found my tribe.
I remember the move-in day being greeted by about ten Churchillians to help me bring my stuff into my room. The House of Sir Winston Churchill immediately swept my freshman class into the fold. Before I knew it, I found myself in the annual great race. My hometown was a hamlet of 650 people, which made the city a little overwhelming. The Churchill upperclassmen kept me and the others in the fold. As we neared the finish line, I felt ready to give up. I began to stop. Out of nowhere, I feel a shoulder in both of my armpits. Two of the other Churchills were carrying me to the finish line.
After the chaos of the first week, I began to settle into my classes. The following weeks and then months were filled with classes that I loved and social events with other houses. Every class I took at King’s felt relevant and interesting. I was infected by the professors at TKC with a love of learning. After two master’s degrees, I do not take the quality of professors and staff at King’s for granted. My professors in my master's degrees have been surprised when I stay after class to ask questions about the material. I, like many King’s grads, lament that we did not ask more questions and dig even deeper during our time at TKC.
The year I entered King’s was during the momentous 2016 election year, which meant that there were political events galore in the city. As a PPE student, my life was split between attending lunch lectures, classes, and political speeches in the city. During my freshman year, I attended Professor Tubbs’ Foundations of Politics class which turned my understanding of politics on its head. Professor Tubbs taught us how to discuss and be political without giving into partisanship. Before the end of the year, I had met all but two of the presidential candidates and attended three televised interviews.
As I entered my sophomore year, I was contemplating atheism. As a twist of irony, I had been elected as the spiritual life associate for the House of Churchill. In my sophomore year, Professor Johnson invited all of the spiritual life associates to his house. During the retreat, Dr. Johnson challenged all of us to find a local church where we could become members instead of just attendees. This advice eventually led me to a small Caribbean church where I experienced a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit in my life. My life at King’s and in the city grew from that point forward. The positioning of King’s in the heart of Manhattan meant that on an average weekday, I would find myself volunteering in the Bowery or at a church event in the morning and attending a black-tie dinner the following night. When I was not out and about in the city, I was in the library. The library was the great watering hole of King’s where my fellow students would gather to work on assignments and to talk a little too loud about the meaning of life. At King’s, I found a small village amongst the greatest city. My appreciation for the professors at King’s has given me a passion for the liberal arts that I want to share with the next generation as a teacher. Several shoutouts are in order.
Thank you to Dr.Bradley for the countless hours of mentorship you poured into my spiritual life. Your passion for creating brotherhood and male mentorship continues to elevate the House of Churchill and the men at the college.
Thank you to Dr. Hershey for teaching me about the big questions of science. My curiosity about science continues to grow because of the educational foundation you helped me build. Thank you to Dr.Johnson. I use the skills you taught me in Principles of Biblical Interpretation and Hebrew Literature class every day.
Thank you to Dr. Talcott and Dr.Blander for teaching me how to use the Socratic method. Thank you to Dr.Brand, your classes taught me the art of careful historical research. I hope to one day rival your skill at telling war stories.
Thank you to Dr. Carle, the Islam class I took with you gave me a deep cultural understanding of Islam. As I traveled abroad, I was a much kinder friend because of the example you showed. Thank you to Professor Parks. I learned a deep love of the Federalist papers and the Constitution from you. I want to imitate your calm approach to politics as I teach my American history classes.
Thank you to Professor Mueller. You introduced me to the breadth of Austrian economics and the value of innovation. I am also deeply grateful to you and your family for hosting me for multiple dinners.
Thank you to Professor Pincin. You gave me a much deeper understanding of the roots of poverty and the mechanics of the economy.
Thank you again to Professor Tubbs. I never would have been able to finish my Master's thesis without the time and effort you dedicated to teaching me how to write. I deeply appreciate your love of the human person and your intellectual thoroughness. There was rarely a dull moment in your classes and I never miss a moment to hear you speak when I see your public lectures online.
Lance Gocke
Guardian of The Library | House of Sir Winston Churchill | Class of '18
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