Zack Ritchie grew up wanting to be like his dad. “I found myself mimicking him in everything that I did, from his walk with Jesus to the bad habits that I saw,” he says. “But the things that I picked up the most from my father were his interests, including his job as a supervisor of the upper Hudson hydroelectric plants.” Zack knew he wanted to be an engineer, but he didn't know how closely his faith could be intertwined with that calling.
Zack was in high school when he found out about Geneva. New Song, Geneva’s traveling music ministry, was on tour through his area, and Zack’s family hosted one member for the night. “He was a chemical engineer,” Zack says. “And that was the first time I'd heard about a Christian school that offered an engineering program.”
When Zack arrived as a freshman, he realized that Geneva’s Christian commitment meant more than Bible classes and chapel. “In the introductory engineering course there’s a lot about how to be a Christian engineer,” he says. “Your purpose as an engineer is not to make money but to serve other people with the things that you're making. It’s about your morals and doing the best work you can. You're there to glorify God and look out for the safety of others. Everything else comes after that.”
But Zack has learned more than what engineering can do. He’s also developed a deeper appreciation for what engineering is. As he learns physical principles and mathematic equations, Geneva’s Christ-centered focus points him towards the One who designed, created and controls the universe. “I love it,” he says. “The laws, the physics, how things work together — I want to figure it out. There’s no way that could have happened randomly.”
Geneva students have the opportunity each summer to attend Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies to develop practical methods of caring for the environment.