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West Coast "Inspirational Evening" Attracts More Than 230

April 8th, 2010

By David Halbrook

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722
OfficeOfCommunications@phc.edu

PHC Chancellor Dr. Michael Farris addresses attendees at the Blackhawk Museum

More than 230 local guests, friends, and supporters from the San Francisco Bay area gathered to celebrate and support the College’s mission at "An Inspirational Evening,” March 30th, at the beautiful Blackhawk Classic Automobile Museum in Danville, CA. A line-up of noted speakers included former US Congressman, Bill Baker, as the Master of Ceremonies, accompanied by his wife, Joanne, and also popular San Francisco radio personality, Brian Sussman, the evening’s keynote speaker. Sussman hosts the number one morning talk radio show in the country, KSFO 560.

In what visitors described as an at times hilarious, provocative, and entertaining talk, Sussman commended PHC for its mission and urged attendees to support what he described as one of the nation’s few remaining colleges that offers excellent academics with an authentic Christian worldview. Sussman, an award-winning television meteorologist for many years, also pitched his new book, entitled Climategate: A Veteran Meteorologist Exposes the Global Warming Scam.

Attendees included Dr. Jon McNeff, senior pastor of NorthCreek Church, and his wife, Anne, center.

"I was hoping to reach the homeschool community with my book because it is the truth, and fully footnoted,” he told the audience. “And when the opportunity to appear at this event came up I thought, 'that's just amazing how God works.'" Sharing anecdotes about his life, career, faith, and his research into the climate change controversy, Sussman concluded with a personal testimony about the tenuous state of Christian higher education today. Describing how difficult it was to find a quality Christian college for his children,  he repeatedly praised Patrick Henry College as that rarest of modern educational commodities: a true classical Christian liberal arts college that not only provides an excellent undergraduate education but which also is bearing fruit in its mission to shape the culture and impact the nation for Christ.

Brian Sussman delivers the keynote address

Observed event coordinator and PHC’s West Coast Representative, Kathy Young: “If beauty and precision point us to God, and we know that they do, then our evening was blessed from the start.” She explained how the charming evening “began in the parking lot, with PHC students greeting guests and ushering them into the beautiful Blackhawk Museum, located at the top of a terraced hill in front of beautiful winding paths and a cascading waterfall.”
 
Once inside, PHC’s two-time winning national legal debate champion, senior Rachel Heflin, and incoming freshman Alyssa Mundy, both Californians, accompanied guests to a reception in the museum’s elegant upper gallery, where local homeschooled students serenaded them with gentle harp music. Both Heflin and Mundy later addressed the audience with testimonies of their separate paths to PHC.

“There was a definite ‘Wow” effect when the doors opened to a large room with gleaming automobiles and beautifully appointed dining tables,” reported Young. “The meal was delicious, and, during dinner, guests enjoyed a silent slide show on two enormous screens, featuring photos of Patrick Henry College and campus life.”

PHC President Dr. Graham Walker greets Anne Sweeris, College Counselor at Berean Christian High School.

Dr. Michael Farris, Founder and Chancellor of Patrick Henry College, and Dr. Graham Walker, PHC’s President, each addressed the crowd, with Dr. Walker detailing PHC’s many academic accomplishments as well as its recent recognition as a Top Conservative College by The Young America’s Foundation. Dr. Farris recounted the College’s growing reputation in national moot court competition and emphasized its mission to raise up a new generation of Christian leaders. “It doesn't take large numbers to change a nation,” he said, “it takes leadership.”
 
Pro-life Attorney and PHC Society Member Terry Thompson challenged the attendees to financially support the college, as did Ron Reagan, a local CPA and business owner. Brad Smith, a local homeschool administrator and real estate developer, opened the evening in prayer.
 
In all, through a delightful evening of music, speeches, and entertainment, new friends and old found hope in the story of a young College standing strong for biblical integrity, defending fearless learning in the spirit of the American Founding, and equipping Christian men and women to represent Christ to a watching world.

Click on the video below to watch a slideshow of the Blackhawk Museum evening.