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Letter to the Class of 2017

May you understand this eternal reality encompassed in those who are followers of Christ. For surely, He is the telos, the end pursuit.

Dear Seniors,

I remember standing in the hall of my high school getting ready to graduate on a Friday night in June. I remember walking through those hallways and sitting in my gymnasium taking in all that was my graduation, the end of one thing and the beginning of something new. I remember taking pictures before and the dinner afterwards with family. I remember hanging out with classmates later that night. The experience was palpable, surreal . . .

I have watched you for two years outside of my office walking to and fro various activities and classes. I have enjoyed saying hello to you on our campus, seeing you in restaurants in our great city, playing outdoor laser tag at Victory Ranch, cheering you on as you compete or perform, and observing you do life as a student. You are the class of 2017. Here are some interesting things about this class:


  • 71% of this class received merit, leadership, athletic, and military scholarships.
  • They were awarded $8.5 million in scholarships from 48 colleges and universities in 18 states.
  • Many qualified for the Tennessee Hope Scholarship resulting in over $1 million in additional scholarship offers.
  • 36% of this class has been at ECS since either kindergarten or first grade.


The accomplishments and awards are jaw-dropping, but they are not the telos, the end pursuit. A commencement is the end of one thing and the beginning of another. You will journey forward. I could not fathom what God had in store for me as I sat on that gym floor at my high school graduation. I hope and pray there is much ahead for you that conforms you into the image of Christ. As one of my alma maters sings at the end of each commencement ceremony, we meet to part, but part to meet. May you understand this eternal reality encompassed in those who are followers of Christ. For surely, He is the telos, the end pursuit. I hope to see you soon! We love you! Blessings!

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