Patrick Henry College in the news

I work at Patrick Henry College, where I am a literature professor and the provost, in charge of both the academic program and student life.  Once again, we won the national moot court championship (in which teams of two argue a case against another team before a panel of judges in a pretend-appeals court hearing).  Virtually all of these winners, including the amazing Harris brothers, are or have been my students, and I’m very proud of them:

Building on an increasingly formidable legacy of success in collegiate legal debate, Patrick Henry College traveled to New Orleans, January 14-15, and brought home the College’s fifth national moot court championship in the past seven years. The victory at the ACMA 2011 National tournament at Tulane University Law School was PHC’s third championship in a row, eclipsing the only other time an ACMA competitor has won back-to-back championships—PHC itself, in 2005 and 2006, when the College won its first two national titles.

First place this past weekend went to the College’s already high-profile team of Alex and Brett Harris, best-selling authors of Do Hard Things and co-founders of The Rebelution.com, competing in their first year of formal collegiate moot court. The Harris brothers defeated the team of Willem Daniel and Rachel Shonebarger from the College of Wooster, PHC’s stiff perennial competition at nationals. . . .

Third place went to Jonathan Carden and Joanna Griffith, who, interestingly, beat the Harris brothers in the qualifying regional tournament in Tampa, Florida. Two other PHC teams, Blake Meadows and Kayla Griesemer and Bridget Degnan and Tate Deems, made it to the “Sweet Sixteen” quarterfinals, the latter duo losing to the eventual second-place team from the College of Wooster. . . .

Another PHC tournament highlight was the outstanding individual orator performances of freshman Blake Meadows and junior Bridget Degnan, who won first and third place speaking trophies, respectively. Meadows won the top speaker trophy with a record-breaking 396.83 points out of a potential 400 points, while Degnan also broke the previous record with 386 points.

via Patrick Henry College.

And yet this news on our campus yesterday was somewhat overshadowed in the public eye by the further news that the 2011 Miss America, Teresa Scanlan, is one of our recently-admitted applicants and will be attending here once her “reign” is over.  (Our web site got 25,000 hits, once Miss Scanlan, or I should say Miss America, told reporters after her coronation that she was coming here.)

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  • Kirk

    I wonder how Ms. Scanlan’s participation in the swimsuit section of the pageant will square with PHC’s conservative ethos.

    Also, why could Miss America have come to PHC while I was a student there?

  • Kirk

    I wonder how Ms. Scanlan’s participation in the swimsuit section of the pageant will square with PHC’s conservative ethos.

    Also, why could Miss America have come to PHC while I was a student there?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Is Patrick Henry a Christian College?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Is Patrick Henry a Christian College?

  • Simone

    J. Dean @ 2,
    Yes, it a classical liberal arts Christian college with the purpose of preparing student to go out and impact the culture. I am taking online courses from the college with the hopes of attending on-campus in a couple of years; it truly is a unique place. It is exciting to hear that Miss America would choose PHC!

  • Simone

    J. Dean @ 2,
    Yes, it a classical liberal arts Christian college with the purpose of preparing student to go out and impact the culture. I am taking online courses from the college with the hopes of attending on-campus in a couple of years; it truly is a unique place. It is exciting to hear that Miss America would choose PHC!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Will Miss Scanlan join the moot court team?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Will Miss Scanlan join the moot court team?

  • moallen

    Congratulations on winning this prestigious award!

  • moallen

    Congratulations on winning this prestigious award!

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Somehow I’ve always been ambivalent about beauty pageants……let’s send our daughters out there to be ogled by a panel of celebrity judges and ….what are we trying to achieve here, now?

    Cool to see about another win in the moot court, though.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Somehow I’ve always been ambivalent about beauty pageants……let’s send our daughters out there to be ogled by a panel of celebrity judges and ….what are we trying to achieve here, now?

    Cool to see about another win in the moot court, though.

  • mark†

    My apologies if this is not appropriate but:

    Study: Undergrads Learn Nothing for First Two Years
    So much for America’s vaunted university system: Almost half of U.S. undergraduates learn nada in their first two years of college, reports USA Today. The reason? Universities don’t make undergraduate instruction a priority. While professors are busy trying to secure research grants, students are spending 75 percent of their time sleeping and socializing. They spend a mere 7 percent of their time studying, according to a survey of 3,000 students on 29 campuses across the country. That’s 50 percent less time hitting the books than a few decades ago. The specifics of the study are unsettling: 45 percent of students made almost no improvement in critical thinking, analytic reasoning, or writing skills during their first two years. Another 36 percent demonstrated only small improvement. The only skill they acquire, it seems, is shirking. “Students are able to navigate through the system quite well with little effort,” said New York University professor Richard Arum.
    Read original story in USA Today | Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011

  • mark†

    My apologies if this is not appropriate but:

    Study: Undergrads Learn Nothing for First Two Years
    So much for America’s vaunted university system: Almost half of U.S. undergraduates learn nada in their first two years of college, reports USA Today. The reason? Universities don’t make undergraduate instruction a priority. While professors are busy trying to secure research grants, students are spending 75 percent of their time sleeping and socializing. They spend a mere 7 percent of their time studying, according to a survey of 3,000 students on 29 campuses across the country. That’s 50 percent less time hitting the books than a few decades ago. The specifics of the study are unsettling: 45 percent of students made almost no improvement in critical thinking, analytic reasoning, or writing skills during their first two years. Another 36 percent demonstrated only small improvement. The only skill they acquire, it seems, is shirking. “Students are able to navigate through the system quite well with little effort,” said New York University professor Richard Arum.
    Read original story in USA Today | Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011

  • DonS

    Mark @ 7: Your post is not appropriate if you are attempting to apply its contentions to PHC. On the other hand, it is very appropriate if your point is to emphasize how different PHC is from many other undergraduate colleges. PHC has only undergraduate programs, and its professors are wholly devoted to teaching the students in their charge, for the purpose of preparing them to be culture-influencers. PHC students, as a body, engage in their studies and have a focus unlike any I have seen on other college campuses. It is a very unique and special place, and I am excited to see how God is using its graduates.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    We’ve done a number of assessments comparing what our students know and can do to what typical college students know and can do. PHC students blow their peers out of the water. I’ll post some details, once we finish assembling them.

  • DonS

    Mark @ 7: Your post is not appropriate if you are attempting to apply its contentions to PHC. On the other hand, it is very appropriate if your point is to emphasize how different PHC is from many other undergraduate colleges. PHC has only undergraduate programs, and its professors are wholly devoted to teaching the students in their charge, for the purpose of preparing them to be culture-influencers. PHC students, as a body, engage in their studies and have a focus unlike any I have seen on other college campuses. It is a very unique and special place, and I am excited to see how God is using its graduates.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    We’ve done a number of assessments comparing what our students know and can do to what typical college students know and can do. PHC students blow their peers out of the water. I’ll post some details, once we finish assembling them.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I am not even sure the study is a legitimate assessment of any undergraduate program. Much of my first two years was foundational work in preparation for more analytical application later. I also happened to be in a major that assumed progressing on to professional or graduate school. So, I wonder about the assessment based on “critical thinking” etc. I also wonder how does one define critical thinking?

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I am not even sure the study is a legitimate assessment of any undergraduate program. Much of my first two years was foundational work in preparation for more analytical application later. I also happened to be in a major that assumed progressing on to professional or graduate school. So, I wonder about the assessment based on “critical thinking” etc. I also wonder how does one define critical thinking?

  • Grace

    Comments on Wikipedia regarding father of Alex and Brett Harris. I don’t often recommend Wikipedia, but in this case I do.

    An interesting piece regarding their family and “homeschool”

    “Harris bases this principle on Psalm 111:2, “Great are the works of the LORD, they are pondered by all who delight in them.” He reasons that because God is good, everything that is necessary for human life is also a source of pleasure. It is when the pleasures of God are separated from the purposes of God for those pleasures that an activity becomes sinful, “God dishonoring”, and self-destructive.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregg_Harris

    Well stated!

  • Grace

    Comments on Wikipedia regarding father of Alex and Brett Harris. I don’t often recommend Wikipedia, but in this case I do.

    An interesting piece regarding their family and “homeschool”

    “Harris bases this principle on Psalm 111:2, “Great are the works of the LORD, they are pondered by all who delight in them.” He reasons that because God is good, everything that is necessary for human life is also a source of pleasure. It is when the pleasures of God are separated from the purposes of God for those pleasures that an activity becomes sinful, “God dishonoring”, and self-destructive.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregg_Harris

    Well stated!

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith – I have read some of the accomplishments of the Harris family, including their father and children. Very interesting study.

    My husband has followed some of the twin’s debating, and is, as many others impressed. They are an amazing team.

    Sadly, it is true, a high number of students in their first two years of college, would do well to attend community college, rather than waste funds. Once they realize where they might be headed (career) getting over the ‘buzz’ most kids have, (even the brightest) can then settle down to follow their vocational gifts with focus. Obviously the Harris twins were focused to begin with, thanks to their parents and the gift of learning they inspired in their children.

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith – I have read some of the accomplishments of the Harris family, including their father and children. Very interesting study.

    My husband has followed some of the twin’s debating, and is, as many others impressed. They are an amazing team.

    Sadly, it is true, a high number of students in their first two years of college, would do well to attend community college, rather than waste funds. Once they realize where they might be headed (career) getting over the ‘buzz’ most kids have, (even the brightest) can then settle down to follow their vocational gifts with focus. Obviously the Harris twins were focused to begin with, thanks to their parents and the gift of learning they inspired in their children.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Oooh, wheee.

    Just checked out Patrick Henry stats at the collegeboard.com.

    That is one highly selective school.

    The entering freshman 25%ile to the 75%ile scores on SAT critical reading range from 640-750. Just under the MIT range of 650-760.

    Patrick Henry is attracting the cream of the crop.

    It also has a good male/female balance of 49/51, which is also typical of top colleges.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Oooh, wheee.

    Just checked out Patrick Henry stats at the collegeboard.com.

    That is one highly selective school.

    The entering freshman 25%ile to the 75%ile scores on SAT critical reading range from 640-750. Just under the MIT range of 650-760.

    Patrick Henry is attracting the cream of the crop.

    It also has a good male/female balance of 49/51, which is also typical of top colleges.

  • The Jones

    Frustrated and romantically depressed former PHC Student to me: “What in the world is the draw for Miss America to PHC!? Why? Why!?”

    “Isn’t it obvious, man? D4 has been there the whole time. It was only a matter of time.”

    “Well, I didn’t factor that in. Well, why did it take so long, only happening once we’re gone?”

    “Well, they did build D5 shortly thereafter. There are always pluses and minuses in any decision of this nature.”

    Petty PHC dorm rivalries never die. Oh yeah, and they’re not petty. I suspect they will have a serious effect on certain pieces of congressional legislation in the coming decades.

  • The Jones

    Frustrated and romantically depressed former PHC Student to me: “What in the world is the draw for Miss America to PHC!? Why? Why!?”

    “Isn’t it obvious, man? D4 has been there the whole time. It was only a matter of time.”

    “Well, I didn’t factor that in. Well, why did it take so long, only happening once we’re gone?”

    “Well, they did build D5 shortly thereafter. There are always pluses and minuses in any decision of this nature.”

    Petty PHC dorm rivalries never die. Oh yeah, and they’re not petty. I suspect they will have a serious effect on certain pieces of congressional legislation in the coming decades.

  • WebMonk

    D4 rules!!

    D5 is just a jonny-come-lately, hardly worthy to be numbered among the other Ds. Even the dastardly D3 ranks far above D5.

    (Yeah, I was a D4 supporter. I got recruited for several Bobtism raids against the evil D3ians before Bobtisms were outlawed)

  • WebMonk

    D4 rules!!

    D5 is just a jonny-come-lately, hardly worthy to be numbered among the other Ds. Even the dastardly D3 ranks far above D5.

    (Yeah, I was a D4 supporter. I got recruited for several Bobtism raids against the evil D3ians before Bobtisms were outlawed)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Really, those are the dorm names? Wikipedia mentions actual dorm names (e.g. Monticello) — do the students not like those?

    Bobtisms were outlawed? Why?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Really, those are the dorm names? Wikipedia mentions actual dorm names (e.g. Monticello) — do the students not like those?

    Bobtisms were outlawed? Why?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Bobtisms were outlawed? Why?”

    too much fun

    :-)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Bobtisms were outlawed? Why?”

    too much fun

    :-)

  • DonS

    I don’t know the “legal” status of Bobtisms, but they continue on, regardless. Any PHC guy who becomes engaged is in line to be Bobtised, though the event may be delayed until the water is warmer. “Lake Bob”, by the way, is really only a retention pond, and a stagnant one, so the water is of questionable healthfulness.

    The five dorms are all named. However, I believe that the original four dorms were identified numerically before they were named, and those numerical identifiers (D1 through D4) became the way students referenced them, and that is still the case. D5 is Red Hill, which was constructed later.

  • DonS

    I don’t know the “legal” status of Bobtisms, but they continue on, regardless. Any PHC guy who becomes engaged is in line to be Bobtised, though the event may be delayed until the water is warmer. “Lake Bob”, by the way, is really only a retention pond, and a stagnant one, so the water is of questionable healthfulness.

    The five dorms are all named. However, I believe that the original four dorms were identified numerically before they were named, and those numerical identifiers (D1 through D4) became the way students referenced them, and that is still the case. D5 is Red Hill, which was constructed later.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    Give my best to Mike Farris –
    We in the Homeschool realm supported HSLDA and the founding of PHC-
    Indeed- PHC – was founded upon Christian principals-
    I am glad that PHC’s students are excelling –
    C-CS-
    Early 1980’s Homeschool Mom whose off-spring was accepted by two Academies –
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    Give my best to Mike Farris –
    We in the Homeschool realm supported HSLDA and the founding of PHC-
    Indeed- PHC – was founded upon Christian principals-
    I am glad that PHC’s students are excelling –
    C-CS-
    Early 1980’s Homeschool Mom whose off-spring was accepted by two Academies –
    C-CS

  • WebMonk

    Bobtisms certainly happened for those engagements, but the dorm wars had Bobtisms happening all the time. Get 20 guys from D4 and go raid D3, grabbing every guy in the common area, carting them down to Lake Bob, and in they went!

    Such a raid was defended against, though. The calls for help went out and the D3 members would come flooding out of their dorms to help their beleaguered comrades. On several occasions the raiders were the ones who wound up in the drink.

    So, you start planning for when most of the dorm would be at dinner. D4 guys would eat early or late, so they would be able to strike when the enemy was mostly gone. Various methods were utilized to counter this, including occasionally having general head counts done of each dorm if you noticed there weren’t many D3ers around.

    They had lots of fun. Like DonS said, though, it’s pretty nasty water, and sometimes when it was low, it was more like throwing them into mud. It eventually got outlawed, though it still happens to the occasional newly-engaged person from what I hear.

    Lots of things got outlawed in the first couple years. The original theory was that they were fine, Christian, mostly-homeschooled young adults and wouldn’t need many rules. No sunbathing on a dorm roof was my favorite rule which they felt necessary to put up. (and no, there weren’t any maintenance access routes onto the roof – I think a rope was employed, though knowing the guy who caused the rule I could see him managing to free-climb it somehow)

  • WebMonk

    Bobtisms certainly happened for those engagements, but the dorm wars had Bobtisms happening all the time. Get 20 guys from D4 and go raid D3, grabbing every guy in the common area, carting them down to Lake Bob, and in they went!

    Such a raid was defended against, though. The calls for help went out and the D3 members would come flooding out of their dorms to help their beleaguered comrades. On several occasions the raiders were the ones who wound up in the drink.

    So, you start planning for when most of the dorm would be at dinner. D4 guys would eat early or late, so they would be able to strike when the enemy was mostly gone. Various methods were utilized to counter this, including occasionally having general head counts done of each dorm if you noticed there weren’t many D3ers around.

    They had lots of fun. Like DonS said, though, it’s pretty nasty water, and sometimes when it was low, it was more like throwing them into mud. It eventually got outlawed, though it still happens to the occasional newly-engaged person from what I hear.

    Lots of things got outlawed in the first couple years. The original theory was that they were fine, Christian, mostly-homeschooled young adults and wouldn’t need many rules. No sunbathing on a dorm roof was my favorite rule which they felt necessary to put up. (and no, there weren’t any maintenance access routes onto the roof – I think a rope was employed, though knowing the guy who caused the rule I could see him managing to free-climb it somehow)

  • Cincinnatus

    Webmonk, do I know you? I’m also an alumnus of PHC. When did you graduate?

  • Cincinnatus

    Webmonk, do I know you? I’m also an alumnus of PHC. When did you graduate?