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Senior to Enjoy Year-Long Fellowship from the ISI

October 27th, 2010

By Sarah Pride

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722

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Bart Gingerich, PHC senior and ISI Honors Fellow

Trapped on the porch of an officer at the Naval Academy during a sudden deluge of rain, Patrick Henry College senior Bart Gingerich took the opportunity to build friendships with some of his companions, top students from across the country. He and the other 2010-2011 Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) Honors Fellows were visiting the Naval Academy during a brief break from intense, academic study during the summer seminar that kicked off their year-long program of mentorship, colloquia, and more. In winning a spot among the fifty other students, including those from Princeton, Yale, and Notre Dame Universities, Gingerich became PHC’s sixth ISI Honors Fellow in the last several years.

“PHC and ISI have a great relationship,” allows Gingerich. “Both organizations are working on the front lines of an impressive project to restore Western civilization.”

For 57 years now, the ISI has networked with likeminded organizations and proved a gathering spot for conservative thinkers. Director of PHC’s Government: Political Theory track Dr. Mark Mitchell has spoken and written for the ISI on many occasions, and the ISI profiled PHC in their 2008-2009 Choosing the Right College guide. Their ideals fall right along the lines of PHC’s motto “for Christ and for liberty” and the College’s vision to recreate the original American collegiate ideal of an education grounded in truth and centred on Christ.

“Oftentimes at PHC we feel like an island,” Gingerich says, speaking of the sometimes-solitary nature of striving to build a college. “But I have found from meeting others at the ISI seminar and colloquia that we are more like an archipelago.”

Some of the 2010 ISI Honors Fellows. Gingerich is in the back row, fifth from the left.

In order to win a spot as an Honors Fellow, Gingerich had to submit a resume of previous awards and fellowships, a three-page personal philosophy, and a 5-10 page academic writing sample. He had heard of the opportunity through previous Fellows from PHC, such as Rachel Spencer (Government: Political Theory, ’10) and his own brother Rob Gingerich (Government: Political Theory, ‘09), who had lauded highly their year of exploring in the wider academic world.




“It was even better than I expected,” says Gingerich, who hopes one day to attend graduate school to study Southern history or intellectual history. One day, he shares, he would like to teach.

“Knowledge is good in itself, connected to the love of God,” he explains. “I want to pass that on to others, but I also want it for myself.”

Gingerich relates that a highlight for him of the July summer seminar was forming friendships with people in academia who were both “nice” and “smart”—as he notes, a combination that is all too rare. He also found entertaining an ongoing friendly rivalry throughout the week between Dr. Patrick Deneen and Dr. Peter Lawler, two professors whom PHC students have hosted at the College for lectures as guests of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society (ATS). Gingerich is currently moderator for the ATS, which is PHC’s political theory student club, associated with ISI.