This issue: Summer 2021

What does it mean to Be Known?

Students share their Be Known stories

I’ll tell you my story. It was 2011 and I had barely set foot on campus since graduating 13 years prior. Hired to be the university’s alumni magazine editor, I went about the process of reorienting myself to campus. Much of it looked the same; I did not. No longer a youthful college student, I was a grown man with thinning hair and an expanding waistline. All that is to say, it would have been entirely forgivable if a past acquaintance didn’t recognize me.

But then I heard a familiar voice. “Hello Jeremy!” It was Ed Higgins, a dozen homegrown eggs in his hand, greeting me at my office door – almost certainly wearing the same jean jacket he had donned when teaching my creative writing class back in the late ’90s.

“Surely Ed is the only one,” I told myself. After all, he was my academic advisor. But then I ran into Bill Jolliff, Howard Macy, Craig Johnson. I had not seen these people in years, but each one recognized me, without hesitation – they knew my name.

I was blown away, but truth be told, it’s a common story. You see, back when I was a student at George Fox we didn’t call it “Be Known.” We didn’t call it anything at all. It just was. All these years later, this unique campus culture has been given a name, but it’s still the same.

So, what does it mean to Be Known? Is it academic mentoring? Is it praying with a student when they are hurting? Is it inviting them to your home? Is it remembering their name more than a decade after your last class together? The truth is it’s all of that and none of that, depending on who you are. The Be Known promise is about people, and each person is unique. It’s about recognizing that uniqueness and allowing each individual to feel seen, heard and valued – not just for who they are, but for who God intends them to be.

Recently a student shared a Be Known story about biology professor Kathy Weiss, and so we set up a photo shoot with the two of them. The concept was simple: They would sit and talk, and we would take a few pictures. About halfway through, as I shouted out instructions to lean this way, look here, put your arm there, Kathy looked up and asked if we were finished yet. “You’re interrupting our conversation!” she exclaimed, only half-joking. It was then that it hit me: Be Known is a great marketing slogan, but the truth behind it is even better.

Jeremy Lloyd
Class of 1998
Editor, George Fox Journal

Students Share Their Be Known Story

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