Sam Whiting, '18

B.A. in History

How your faith has been affected during your time at Grove City College?
I came to Grove City College in large part because I was concerned about how my faith would be affected by the secular environment of other schools. For a while after coming to Grove City College, I worried that I had “settled” for in an environment I was too comfortable with, but the way that I have grown both intellectually and spiritually here have assured me that this is where God wants me. For me, the way that many professors incorporate a Christian worldview into the subjects they teach is the defining characteristic of Grove City College, and the reason why I don’t think twice about my decision to come here. To not only learn about a subject, but to learn why it is important in the context of my faith, has been formative for me.

Tell us about your academic experience at Grove City College.
In my experience, the hardest classes have also been the most rewarding. College is expensive, but I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth out of the classes that I have taken; I have learned a lot about history, but I’ve also learned how to think about history (and many other disciplines). The College’s liberal arts focus has given me the opportunity to have discussions about topics I never would have had otherwise and to become more culturally and academically literate. Even though I love my major, I’m very grateful that I’ll be able to graduate knowing about a lot more than History.

What are relationships like between professors and students?
Professors are generally very approachable at Grove City College. Most of my history classes have a substantial discussion component, and I can tell that the professors are genuinely interested to hear what students are thinking and learning. It has been a blessing to get to know my professors as people over the course of my time here, whether during a discussion in office hours, at a campus event, or even over a meal.

Can you tell us about any department related experience (independent study, an internship, studying abroad) that has provided a particular benefit to your academic experience?
My academic advisor worked with me to coordinate a summer internship with a historical society in my hometown. His help was invaluable because I didn’t have any past experience with internships. At the Maine Historical Society, I was able to help organize exhibits in the museum, lead tours of a historical home, and do primary source research in the library. I enjoyed the internship a lot and learned quite a bit about the history of my area.

Why did you study history?
History has always been my academic passion. I love the storytelling element of history. Reality is more interesting than fiction, and the stories of people and events of the past spark my imagination. History allows us to learn from the mistakes and triumphs of the past so that we can chart a better course for the future; we can’t know where we’re going if we don’t know where we’ve been. And, from a Christian perspective, history represents the unfolding of God’s purposes across space and time. History points us to God by showing us both our fallen nature and God’s grace. While I may not go on to a specifically history-oriented career like teaching or curation, I’m confident that the skills I’ve gained in research, writing, and critical thinking, as well as the perspective that I have developed, will be valuable for any career.

Why should a future student consider studying history at Grove City College?
The classes that you’ll take as a history major are in and of themselves interesting, challenging, and enriching, but I think what really sets our program apart is the fact that the professors teach from a Christian perspective. This doesn’t mean that they insert Christianity into every class, but that they pursue truth and goodness in what they teach. They don’t have an agenda to push, but try to describe and discuss events as they really happened. Additionally, history can prepare you for so many different careers. For me, Grove City College’s program has been an opportunity to pursue the subject I love while cultivating skills that I can use after school.

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