"You are making memories, make good ones"

Mr. John Gallo ′92, 2012 Excellence in Teaching Award recipient

John GalloJohn Gallo, Adult Degree Programs director and professor, welcomed the class of 2017 to Geneva College at the opening Academic Convocation. Keeping with tradition, Gallo was invited to provide the keynote address as the 2012 Geneva College Excellence in Teaching Award recipient.

Gallo made a personal connection to the incoming class as he talked about sitting in the same seats 25 years ago. He shared a story about anticipating an easy "A" in the Old Testament Survey class, having been brought up in a Christian home and regularly attending church, but realizing before long before that he had less of an understanding of the Scriptures than he thought and began questioning his faith. At the end of one of his Bible classes, Gallo got up the courage to seek the counsel of Bible professor Dr. Willard McMillan. As he shared his struggle, Gallo expected Dr. McMillan to recommend a commentary or book. But to his surprise, Dr. McMillan invited Gallo to meet weekly throughout the semester-in his office, outside the Student Center or during breakfast in the dining hall. Gallo thanks God for putting McMillan into his life saying, "All I had known about the Bible was in black and white, and he was painting it in beautiful colors."

Gallo challenged the first-year students to think about what they were going to do with their life at Geneva. "How are you going to remember Geneva College? When you look back 20 years from now, are you going to see Geneva College as being part of your redemption story the way I do? Or will you look back on it as a series of missed opportunities, broken promises or maybe even worse?"

He then shared some misconceptions that students have about college and about being a student at a Christian college. They are summarized in his conclusion, "You are making memories, and those memories are going to last a lifetime. It is my hope that when you look back on your Geneva College experience, you′ll well up with emotion the way I do and think about the way in which you have grown closer to the Lord, not the way perhaps you have drifted. I think if you can remember those three things: that the purpose of college is not to find yourself, it′s to learn to lose yourself; that college is not the postponement of adulthood, it′s the start of it; and that it might not necessarily be easy to be a Christian, even at a Christian college, it is my hope that those memories you make will be as vivid as the ones I have. Freshman class, you′re making memories, make good ones."

Listen to John Gallo′s full speech.

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