Michele Suskin dropped off her son—her oldest—at Patrick Henry College with confidence. Commending a child to an institution of higher education today is unsettling for many. Here's why it is different for Michele.
As a parent, seeing your student off at their college orientation is never easy. But Michele says that although she’ll miss her son, Jonathan, she knows he’s in a place where he will grow, develop, and hone his skills as a student and as a young professional. But most of all, she has confidence that he’s in good company as a part of the PHC student body.
I couldn’t get over how professional everyone was at such a young age—especially as college kids,” Michele told us. “Everyone was so mature. I’m going to be nervous and heartbroken to leave him… and I do, I miss him, but I am so confident to leave him there.
If you’ve never visited the PHC campus, you might be wondering what sets our students apart from others. What exactly did Michele pick up on?
Patrick Henry College isn’t like most college campuses. Students are dressed professionally, are professionally poised, and think professionally. They’ve come to PHC, aiming to become a part of the next generation of American leaders. The students that choose Patrick Henry College want to demonstrate remarkable skills in leadership and display substantive character. Many—not all—have a roadmap from their high school graduation to graduate school to vocational calling. When you put a whole lot of students like that in the same place, it has a life-shaping impact on the whole student community.
So, from the way they perform in the classroom to how they interact with people outside of the College, PHC students are working not only to develop themselves academically, but also honing their charisma, the strength of oration, and their strive for excellence.
It’s part of the fiber of the student body’s culture—one that encourages new students to adopt those habits as well.
(click below to learn how the classical liberal arts help equip our students not only with information, but also with a love of learning)
To someone who’s only nominally familiar with the school, the high caliber student population is something that might come across in a firm handshake or a surprisingly lively conversation on geopolitics. And to that person, it might seem exceptional. But at Patrick Henry College, it’s a cultural norm—by design.
Michele told us that her interaction with the students at PHC weren’t like the interactions she’s had with other students from other universities.
These kids don’t act like college kids,” Michele said, “I live next to a few different colleges. I interact will college kids all the time. These students are different.
Being immersed in this type of learning environment is a catalyst for personal development that can’t be taught in a classroom. And as Jonathan embarks on his new college journey, his mother is confident that this community is something that will push her son toward excellence "for Christ and for Liberty!"