This blog post is part of a series. Read the introduction and Meet Some of Our Hope Forward Students and Why Apply to Hope Forward?

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: Tell me this, and anyone can answer this if you like, we don’t have to go down the aisle. Do you have a “Hope who?” And by that, I mean, is there someone or someones — let’s keep it to one if we can — who has really impacted you since you’ve been here at Hope?

For me, it was my freshman English professor, Jack Riddle, who I think inspired me to become a writer. I owe my career in part to his inspiration. We’re still friends to this day. The fact that I have a professor older than me who’s still alive is pretty amazing. But if someone asked me, ‘Who did I take away from this college?’ It would be that man. Do you have someone like that at this point in your educational journey?

Steven: I think it sounds cliche, but President Scogin. I think he just does such a good job. I know he’s an intelligent man and he’s very smart, but he also does such a good job at talking about Jesus every time he’s up here. And not in a way that’s exclusive, not in a way that compromises being intelligent or being welcoming or being open, but in a way that puts Jesus first and lets him do the work. And I admire that as a person who wants to go into medicine and knows that medicine is a field where you have to maybe just be intelligent and let your feelings not be a part of what you do. And I think there is always a space for Jesus, and Jesus should be the first. And I think that drives me wanting to excel in medicine. I see that in what President Scogin does. A model like [Hope Forward] that is made to be funded like a church … there’s just so much hope and so much just pointing to who Jesus is … not just this model but in what I want to do.

Jim: Amazing, anyone else?

YJ: I’ll go. For me, it’s everyone in the Center of Global Engagement: Amy, Kristen, Kendra, Katie, Jasmine, Habeeb. They were all so helpful in the beginning. And I feel like if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been able to settle into Hope as easily as I did. So, yeah.

Anyone else?

Anna: I feel like the professors here know us and see us. And being at Hope College, we’re able to develop those relationships with our professors. So I can’t name just one because there are so many that I’ve formed relationships with and who have impacted me in many meaningful ways. I think that’s also part of the Hope Forward vision — moving away from this transactional relationships with students and professors and moving towards transformational relationships amongst all people at the college.

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