When I showed up at Allegheny College at the beginning of June for my 30th reunion, I was excited to spend a few days with my friends in the place where we first met.
Michelle, Ann, Terri, Lori, and I were barely 18 years old in 1984, our freshman year. We hadn’t declared our majors yet, let alone decided what we wanted to be when we grew up. We lived in the same residence hall, and we participated in a Bible study led by a junior named Brenda.
Throughout our four years at Allegheny, we all stayed involved with the CCO’s ministry, many of us serving as student leaders even as we pursued our individual interests. After we graduated, we stood up in each other’s weddings, celebrated each other’s new jobs, and held each other’s newborn babies. We comforted one another as we lost parents, struggled in marriages, and endured challenging child-rearing years.
Three decades after marching down the Bentley Hall south lawn to receive our degrees, we are the same people we were when we tearfully hugged each other goodbye. And we are different.
Michelle works in sales, Ann is a Presbyterian minister, Terri is an interior designer, and Lori is a tenured English professor. Three of the five us married and had children—Lori and I remained single. All of us have dealt with joys and sorrows and everything in between. None of us could have predicted what life had in store for us beyond the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance.”
We often talk at the CCO about how ministry to college students is an investment in tomorrow’s leaders. It’s about helping young adults build a solid foundation and habits of faithfulness upon which the rest of their lives will be built—a foundation strong enough to stand up to the inevitable storms of life.
I am grateful for the opportunity to spend time with my friends in the place where we started to be become the people we are today. I am grateful for getting to see how God has worked and continues to work in each of our lives. And I am grateful for the opportunity to make sure new generations of college students will be invited to build a similar foundation of faith to sustain them for decades to come.
Thank you for supporting my work and sharing my commitment to make the world a better place.
To give to my ministry: ccojubilee.org/donate or send a check to CCO, 5912 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206