Their oldest child may only be in the 7th grade, but Tom and Patricia Alexander are already making college plans for their children. Christendom College’s reputation, as the nation’s premiere Catholic liberal arts college, has gained an enthusiastic response from the northern Virginia-based couple who plan to have all three of their children attend the college.
“We’ve known about Christendom for many years,” Tom says. The family believes that God is directing them to Christendom College, and see their recent move to Virginia a sign that their “family’s compass is rightly pointed toward Front Royal and Christendom College.”
The family has lived in many places, due to Patricia’s career as a U.S. Diplomat, which took her and her family to locations such as Kyiv, Ukraine, and Lilongwe, Malawi. Tom is a lawyer and a staffer for Congress, and worked on immigration and healthcare issues at the embassies in these countries.
Only last year did the Alexanders move back to the States, looking for the best place to educate their children, Shane, Aidan, and Shannon.
The parents chose St. William of York School in Stafford, Va., because it had room for all three of their children. Even though they knew very little about the school, when they met the St. William’s principal, Mr. Frank Nicely ’86, their minds were set at rest.
“In our first office meeting with Mr. Nicely, I saw his Christendom degree hanging proudly on his wall, and that’s when we knew that we’d been guided from above to the right school,” Tom says.
The Alexander family has many good reasons for wanting to send their children to Christendom College.
“We are both from Roman Catholic families and have a comprehensive appreciation for the value of Catholic liberal arts education,” says Tom. “We believe that education, properly understood—and with theology at its core—creates the philosophical path to the transcendent. It provides knowledge, understanding, and ultimately wisdom concerning that which St. John Chrysostom refers to as ‘the fearful symmetry of God’s presence in the world.'”
Additionally, the Alexanders believe that a Catholic liberal arts education provides a historical knowledge base, one that is essential to learning the lessons of human history. Such an education also teaches the destructive results which directly flow from the weaknesses of human nature, which is fallen and unchanging. Further, a study of liberal arts also produces the ability to correct these weaknesses and raises human nature to its fullest potential.
“We believe that the Catholic liberal arts promote universal social values, good citizenship, the Christian virtues, and a guide to good stewardship of our lives,” Tom says. “It provides the tool of critical thinking and the analytical disposition that is essential to navigating through the potentially confusing times in which we live, especially since reportedly the amount of information is doubling every 5 to 7 years. We all need the sharp tool of informed reason to help us sift through the chaff and find the kernel of truth that’s out there is often hidden under all the clutter of ‘information.'”
While college may be years away for their children, they Alexanders couldn’t be more excited to know that Christendom College will be ready to impart knowledge, understanding, and ultimately wisdom to Shane, Aidan, and Shannon.