It is a time of grateful celebration for all of us at Patrick Henry College!
It may be old news to you by now, but on Saturday, January 20, Patrick Henry College captured its 11th Moot Court National Championship. Juniors Caleb Engle and Christopher Baldacci defeated a team from the University of Chicago and became the first ever two-time national championship team in the tournament’s history.
I have been involved with Patrick Henry College from its inception, and I’ve always been excited by these victories. I remember in 2004 when we beat Oxford in Great Britain and then here in the U.S. It was evident then that something special was happening at Patrick Henry College. But I have to admit; I never dreamed that it would continue and get even better. So thankful!
However, success like this can often be problematic. It would be very easy for all of us in the Patrick Henry College community to begin expecting these results as if they were supposed to happen. We could very easily become a community of arrogant, entitled elitists who believe that victory is ours before the opening word is spoken – and that all we need to do is show up. We might look at second place finishes as failures and championships as ordinary and commonplace.
Thankfully, that’s just not the case.
Our academic dean and coach of the moot court team, Dr. Frank Guliuzza, has constantly reminded all of us that Patrick Henry College success isn’t normal, it certainly isn’t easy, and it should never be taken for granted. Moreover, he has always encouraged us to see these victories as honors to be borne with humility and gratitude.
He’s so right! And it’s such a healthy and refreshing departure from our culture’s call to trumpet our successes and beat our chests when we win or complain and pout when we lose. If we are doing this for God’s glory, then our actions need to reflect that belief – win or lose.
I do want to take a moment though and look at this victory. I’m not bragging. I am simply putting forth evidence that Patrick Henry College is doing something right, distinctive, and special. If Patrick Henry College isn’t unique and set apart, it doesn’t need to be supported. All of our resources are God-given, and we are accountable to Him for how we use those resources. But I believe Patrick Henry College is, as much as any institution can, trying to honor God with our efforts.
Let’s look at the moot court program and our victory this year. I wish I could adequately explain the amount of preparation and hard work the students and coaches put into their craft. I don’t think I can. But the results speak for themselves.
Dominance Today and Over Time:
11 out of 14: Patrick Henry College in Virginia has won 11 national championships over the last 14 years, or 79%. That is a record of excellence that Alabama in football, Duke and Kentucky in men’s basketball, and even the UCONN women’s basketball team cannot come close to matching. No other college has won more than one national championship 2 Patrick Henry College teams were in this year’s semi-finals (the final four) Of the 160 speakers at the tournament, 4 Patrick Henry College speakers placed in the top 10, including the top speaker, Christopher Baldacci Patrick Henry College qualified 14 teams to go to nationals, but were limited to 8.
Competitors: At Patrick Henry College, We are beating the best in the nation
The University of Chicago, Duke, Williams College, USAF Academy, University of Virginia, Baylor, Texas A&M, Howard Payne, University of Central Florida, University of Georgia, Morehouse College, William & Mary, Carnegie Mellon, Louisville, and many more. And every year is more challenging than the last. Patrick Henry College, in a good way, has a target on its back. We are the program that other programs seek to emulate and defeat. A win over a Patrick Henry College team is cause for celebration by our competitors. We get everyone’s A-game.
So what does all of this mean? I just said we shouldn’t brag and then I bragged a little…
It means that we are successfully preparing young men and women to lead the nation and shape the culture. Culture change happens in many ways, but one of the primary influences is the way a nation educates its people. You and I know that the American system of higher education is broken, which has led to a demonstrable cultural decline, self-evident to anyone watching the news (from any source).
Patrick Henry College is challenging this unacceptable status quo in higher education. And it’s working. Those moot court champions will become the next generation of leaders in our nation. They will. We already see it happening. As I’ve mentioned before, no other Christian college is specifically preparing their graduates for leadership and seeing these results. That is why three United States Supreme Court Clerks in the last two years have been Patrick Henry College graduates, and three alumni are now heading press offices in Congress and the White House.
I believe the existence of Patrick Henry College is necessary for the preservation of this nation. Without Patrick Henry College, where will our next generation of leaders come from?
Blessings of peace and joy to you in Christ!
Patrick Henry College