Recently, I had the pleasure of attending Northeast Catholic College’s (NCC) spring conference in Warner, New Hampshire. The theme was “Classical Reception” which inspired a broad range of excellent papers delivered by students and scholars from the area–NCC, Boston College, University of New Hampshire, etc. In some ways, I was an “outsider”, arriving as I did from my home in Kentucky. However, it didn’t take long to realize that I was amongst likeminded people. More than that, I was with friends. What I didn’t immediately notice, though, was that many of my students and former students were also at the conference. One had driven all the way from Indiana to check out the college and attend the conference. Kolbe Academy was well represented, as you can see from this photo.
Having taught hundreds of Kolbe students, this was only the second time I had been in a room with more than a few of them at the same time–the other occasion was during our graduation celebration last summer. (For those interested in attending this year’s graduation in Atlanta, click here.) In my experience, meeting Kolbe people is like meeting family.
Along with the conference and Kolbe fellowship, I was deeply impressed with the campus, the faculty, and the opportunities for Kolbe students who attend NCC. Students there experience a unique integration of the Catholic great books tradition with classic majors in philosophy, theology, politics, and literature, complemented by sacred music, iconography, and other fine arts. As I learned, NCC’s “Philosophy and Humanities” sequence spans eight semesters (with six credits per semester) and integrates everything from the Epic of Gilgamesh through the writings of Benedict XVI! Add to this language studies in Greek and Latin with a semester abroad that combines Rome with Krakow and Norcia and you will see how such an education would be transformative. And we have not even begun to consider how the liturgical life, co-curricular activities—including crew, hiking, and skiing—and broader student culture help students grow deeper in their faith and prepare for a post-graduate life of human flourishing.
I left the NCC conference feeling refreshed by the unique New England culture and uplifted by the moments spent with my students.