We are GCC and we are sorry

The signers of this petition are students, alumni, parents, current or former employees, as well as people concerned with the continued healthy academic environment of Grove City College.  We are grieving following the actions of the Board of Trustees on May 13, 2022 and wish to make an apology both individually and collectively to those who have been harmed. We want to do what we believe the GCC Board of Trustees should have done.  

All men and women are created in the image of God and each individual's personality, talent, calling and experiences reflect an aspect of God's magnificent character.  Scripture is filled with diverse ways men and women walked out their faith in God.  

  • Daniel exemplified quiet godly character in captivity 
  • Esther loudly spoke truth in the face of mortal danger
  • Jeremiah continually mourned on behalf of Israel
  • Paul exemplified a believer's ability to continually express joy in tribulation

Dr. Jemar Tisby and the faculty and staff of GCC who were scrutinized by the Board committee spoke regarding racial reconciliation and the gospel. Instead of listening and engaging with those voices, we are grieved to say the GCC Board of Trustees disrespected their calling for such a time as this and missed their opportunity to both lead and allow GCC students to be exposed to various perspectives on the issues of our day. 

The Board statement said it was a mistake to invite Dr. Jemar Tisby to speak at chapel service.  Although no instances of heresy in his sermon were cited, the implication is that Dr. Tisby delivered a harmful and heretical message to GCC.  We reject that and extend our deepest apologies to Dr. Tisby.  We are GCC and we are glad you came to campus and shared yourself with us.  We also apologize for the committee report calling you "Mr." instead of "Dr."  It was incredibly disrespectful of the work you have done to prepare yourself for your calling.

Board members grilled faculty and staff members Cedric Lewis, Gina Blackburn, Justin Jose, Don Opitz, and Connie Nichols in a demeaning McCarthy-like manner as part of their investigation.  We are GCC and are grateful for the way you have loved our school and our students.  We apologize for the way you were treated. We know you have faced so many obstacles to get where you are today and your sacrifice does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. 

Finally, we are GCC and we are sorry for the opportunity our beloved school missed to set the standard for excellence in Christian academia. Instead of exemplifying how Christian thinkers can discuss, debate and express their faith in all facets of learning, the Board chose to narrow Christian thought to one political way of thinking that necessarily excludes part of the Body of Christ.  We will each work independently to counteract that move and pray that the Board, and thus the college, will see their error and reverse course.

Natalie Kahler, GCC Class of 1994    Contact the author of the petition

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