I heard this phrase quite a few times this weekend: “anchored in hope.” Hope is a wonderful word, and a great name for an institution of learning. I learned from its website the origin of its name (it was founded by Rev. A.C. Van Raalte as Pioneer School, to educate the town’s children, and later expanded for secondary and then higher education), and the anchor which is the school’s symbol:
Hope’s name and seal both originate from an observation the Rev. Van Raalte made regarding the Pioneer School: “This is my anchor of hope for this people in the future.” The symbolism follows the Epistle to the Hebrews 6:19, “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul… ” Hope’s motto, taken from Psalm 42:5, echoes the sentiment: “Spera in Deo” (“Hope in God”).
On this his third night in his dorm room, I doubt my son feels very anchored yet. But in the two days I spent on campus, I was very positively impressed by the staff, faculty, and students, and I’m sure he will come to fit in before long.
I don’t know how long it will take to reorient our family life in his absence. I could not help thinking, on the five and a half hour trip home, how changes such as this one are good to remind us that nothing in this life is really permanent. That’s why the anchor of hope in God is so important.
Images of anchors are prevalent on the Hope campus. There is a very large one in front of the Graves library, where freshman families were invited to take pictures prior to saying their good-byes this afternoon. The same image pops up in some other unexpected places, including on the breakfast plate this morning.