This blog post is part of a series. Read the introduction and Meet Some of Our Hope Forward Students, Why Apply to Hope Forward?, What Connections Are Hope Forward Students Making on Campus?, What Are Some Challenges to Being a Hope Forward Student? and How has Hope Forward Changed Your View of Generosity in Higher Education?

Hope College hosted author and journalist Malcom Gladwell during the day-long “Catalyst Summit”. Subtitled “Access and Innovation in Higher Education,” the summit is bringing together thought leaders from a variety of fields to consider new ideas and spark meaningful conversations about how to fix higher education’s broken funding model.

Jim: This is a question that Mr. Gladwell asked me yesterday, and I had an answer. But I’m curious to get your perspective. Do you think this model could be replicated in a non-Christian college with what we have in terms of giving and wanting to give and being guided by the Holy Spirit? Could this happen at a “North Jersey University?”

Sydney: I think you can find Christianity anywhere. Like, Christianity isn’t confined to a Christian college. And even if you’re not Christian, I think a lot of Christian values are found in lots of good people. And I think it’s about having a good heart. For me, a lot of that comes from knowing Jesus and loving Jesus. But for some people who don’t have that, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have that same love and generosity, so I think it could work.

Jim: Anybody else?

Cora: Yeah, I absolutely think it could work because a scholarship like Hope Forward, it’s very freeing because there’s no income share. So once you graduate, you get to choose how much you want to give back. And so it gives you freedom to be able to pursue what you want to pursue and do what you want with your life. And I think that is attractive for people who go to school.

Davi: It definitely can happen in a non-Christian college because I think the program in itself, we’re investing because we believe in it. And I feel like when other universities, other places believe in this dream — like, what Hope College is doing right now — then it can happen everywhere.
You know, this is just a start. I’m just so excited to see how this will go.

Steven: I think it can. And I mean, the hope and the dream is that it does. I think it definitely helps that we are secure in our love for Jesus, and that helps us start this. …We don’t sign a contract to say we have to [pay it back]. And part of that beginning security is knowing that we love Jesus, love people, want to give back. And so I think, yes. And the dream is that we can; but I think it definitely is a boost … that we love Jesus so that we can start this and point people to this. And if anything, point people to Jesus through this.

Jim: I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I am so impressed by these six people.

And I believe we want to have time for Q&A. Yes, we want to invite you all into the conversation. So if you have questions, I believe we have volunteers who have mics and can pass you a mic. If you have a question just pop your hand up.

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