New St. Andrews College has officially begun its sixteenth year with just under two hundred students. When it started in the fall of 1994, Bekah the guinea pig was in the first freshman class of four, the only woman in the school, but a full quarter of the student body. Though outnumbered three to one, she represented her sex well (just ask those old classmates of hers), and by the time she graduated, she was happily married to Ben and large with our first grandchild who was born a few days after she got her diploma.
Rachel was a freshman in high school when NSA began, and every so often she would tell us that she did not want to go to NSA when she graduated. We would reassure her that no one was going to make her go to NSA. She even tried telling us that she was really the science person in the family, the exception among the rest of us liberal arts majors.
But two years later Nate entered NSA, first part time while attending our local state university full time. But after a few weeks, he decided to go full time NSA and dropped out of our local U. (That is a great story in itself, and I hope he will tell you all about it some time.)
With more students coming every year to NSA, Rachel started making friends with her brother’s friends and her sister’s friends, and we stopped hearing about her scientific bent. (She became our family poet in fact.)Â Nate worked fast and graduated in three years and moved out and on to grad school, and Rachel entered NSA in the fall of 1998 after recruiting two sisters from Maryland to come along too. Since Rachel had informed us that she would not make a very good only child, she invited Gentry and Casey to move in with us. That was momentous for the Williams family, because the rest of the siblings, David, Paige, Kirby, and Jessie have also come to NSA, and tonight the youngest of the clan, Jon, has joined the noble NSA family line! (And now there are seven, going on eight, grandchildren as a result!)
Now NSA is just nine years out for our grandson. Scary but true. And tonight when I sat in convocation, I was struck with the impressive lineup of faculty that God has sent to NSA to make it a truly influential college, not least of whom is our friend and the president of the college, Roy Atwood. He jumped on board in a moment of crazy faith, and God has blessed him and the college in remarkable ways as a result. It seems that has been the common thread when it comes to our faculty: they all lost their minds just long enough to move here and join up. And though now they have recovered their senses, we in this community, and particularly the NSA students, are the blessed recipients of their gifts and labors.
13 thoughts on “NSA Convocation”
Even though I’m most of the way around the world, I am happy just to know that NSA is out there. 😀 And if I never make it, maybe my children will!
Since y’all still seem to keep collecting Marylanders out there, just promise to send a few of ’em back when you’re done with them. We miss them!
Wonderful! Actually we have three friends who are attending at the moment, Melissa Dow among them, and year after next, Lord willing, I hope to be up there and at it. Save a place for me!
May I make a piggy back plug for your new sister school, New College Franklin starting up this year in Tennessee? We are glad the movement is growing–on this side of the Mississippi as well.
My daughter is always talking about going to New Saint Andrews. She is just a Freshmen now, but I know the time is going to fly. We live in Alabama and I am just not sure if we could let her go all the way out there. We are also talking to her about New College Franklin in Tennessee (a little closer).
amen, mrs. wilson! what a fun history, and how grateful are we for NSA! you all mean so much to us – we stand on your shoulders. we’ll be praying for this new year and all involved.
With one daughter a sophmore at NSA, another married, pregnant with our first grandchild, and living in Moscow, and myself in Maryland, I love hearing anything at all about life out west! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights.
I’ve made two decisions that dramatically changed the course of my life: I married my husband and I enrolled at NSA (though not in that order). I simply cannot express how grateful I am for what I received at NSA and that each of those outstanding faculty members you mentioned lost their minds longs enough to join up. I’m thankful that NSA is continuing on FAITHFULLY so it will be an even better place for my son to study.
Since you mentioned us above, I just have to say that we (Casey and I) were so happy we were recruited! We loved living with you guys and had so much fun around your table those many years. And, piggy backing on what Beth said, my decision to come to NSA is hands down one of the most momentous decisions of my life. Not only did I meet my champ of a husband here, but the further I get into life with my children, the more the necessity for the education NSA provided me comes into clear focus. I am so thankful for NSA, for the parents who sent me here, and for the “parents” you were to us in our home away from home.
If anyone would like to see the convocation, I put the video up online at http://www.foucachon.com/nsa_convocation_2009
Thanks Nancy for your post. Leaving my last (Jonathan) at NSA was the hardest and best event of my life. I can’t tell all of you how much NSA and Christ Church has changed our family’s life. I don’t know that I can recount the effects it has had on my life. People think we have required this of our 7 children. But each one has gone based on the changes they have seen in their siblings’ lives. So I am thankful that Rachel needed others there at your house. I’m thankful for the many who have seen the benefit of the education that NSA offers (my sons-in-law being among those) and I am thankful for the Wilson family who made it easier for me to send my 7 children so far from home. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
So happy that our Becca is a part of the NSA world! Elizabeth hopes to join her next year. Outside of Lynchburg, it’s the only place I’d want them to be right now.
Thanks for sharing how many of the NSA students have come to realize NSA is the best for them and desire to go there of their own accord.