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Thursday morning August 25, at 10:00 AM, the Providence community gathered in the Sovereign Grace sanctuary for the college’s annual convocation. Fresh off of the successful defense of his dissertation, dean of student life and assistant professor of education Dr. Steve Kortenhoeven introduced the convocation speaker, Mrs. Mary Ellen Godfrey. Godfrey has been a key figure at Providence from the college’s beginning, serving first as a board member, then as the college’s first academic dean, and now as the college’s accreditation liaison officer. In her address, entitled “Solitude and Success,” Godfrey urged students to take a break from the constant distractions presented by a hyper-connected world in order to learn to think clearly and to be still before their God. For an example of this sort of solitude she referred to I Kings 19—read earlier in the ceremony by new English professor, Juliette De Soto—where the prophet Elijah fled into the wilderness after triumphing over the priests of Baal only to find the source of God’s consuming fire in a whisper. After the frenetic activity of orientation and move-in, and with the pressures of a semester on the horizon, Godfrey’s address was a timely reminder to slow down, refocus and prepare for the work ahead.

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