The Very Best Gift
By Steven Garber
I met people and ideas at Geneva College that have shaped me for the rest of my life.
It is actually hard to think of better reasons to go to college, than that one will have experiences-in class and out-that form us as human beings, affecting both what we believe and how we live.
When I was in my late adolescence, I began to wonder about a worldview: the whats, the whys, the wherefores of who we are and how we make sense of the world. Being a Californian, and sure that all things very good in this life were centered there, it was a strange grace that brought me to Beaver Falls, PA, and Geneva College. Principally, I was drawn to the possibility that I might learn to understand the meaning of a Christian worldview.
And I was not disappointed. Professors took me into their hearts and homes, caring for me as a young man longing to make sense of my life. I saw in them a profound twining together of good hearts and good minds, and I wanted to become like them, to see the world as they did. But also I was offered ideas about the world-visions of God, of history, of the human condition-that still ripple through my life almost 40 years later.
If there is one central commitment that came from those years, it is that Jesus is Lord of every square inch of life-arts, politics, business, education, everything-from the most personal relationships to the most public responsibilities. My years in the Beaver Vale awakened me to that reality, and my learning has become my life. My education at Geneva College has grown into a vocation, creating a coherence that is the very best gift a college can give.
Steven Garber ′76 directs the Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation & Culture, and is the author of The Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and Behavior (a Christianity Today Book of the Year Award winner). After spending much of his career teaching students, he served as the scholar-in-residence at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) for several years. He is the son and grandson of Geneva graduates, and is married to Meg (Elliott ′73) Garber, herself the daughter and granddaughter of Geneva graduates.