Excellence comes with a drive to work hard and a curiosity to know more. According to Dr. William Batchelder, associate professor of history and director of the honors program, as well as Dr. Karen Fischer Younger, chairperson for the humanities department and associate professor of history, one graduating history major has been the perfect example of excellence.
Senior History and Political Science Major Elliot Kimball has been recognized by the History Department for his ‘brilliant’ work done during his time here at Waynesburg University for the past four years during his time at Waynesburg.
“Well he’s taken all my hardest classes and he’s performed beautifully in all of them,” said Dr. Batchelder. “He showed up already academically outstanding, but I think his reading [deepened] over time and I think that’s always true when you challenge yourself with difficult things.”
To Kimball, coursework was not coursework but fruitful assignments to help quell his curiosity.
“In a sense the excellent work he does doesn’t ever surprise me and the reason is, he is extremely serious about his work and he is very very intellectually curious,” said Dr. Batchelder. “Once I understood what sort of person he was, and that was pretty early, his excellent work never surprised me because I know that I’m dealing with an extremely morally serious person, who as a result of his serious and dedicated inquiry happens to get A’s.”
Kimball continued to prove his strive for excellence through his work as a Stover Scholar, in Student Senate, as History Club Vice president and through being an officer in other clubs on campus.
“In my four years at Waynesburg, I have grown in many ways,” said Kimball. “As a student, I have developed tremendously. My analytical skills, critical thinking, and ability to carefully investigate texts are all tools that I have developed while being a history and political science major at Waynesburg. I have also grown as a leader…”
According to Kimball, his learning opportunities did stop in the classroom as professors such as Dr. Batchelder and Dr. Lawrence Stratton, professor of ethics and constitutional law and director of the stover center for constitutional studies and moral leadership, helped Kimball with other various opportunities.
“Each of them have gone out of their way to discuss academic content with me outside of classroom hours, recommending books and setting me up with external opportunities to succeed,” said Kimball. “For example, Dr. Batchelder got me into an academic consortium on constitutional law in Orlando during the summer of 2021, and Dr. Stratton has introduced me to several jurists whose work I aspire to emulate in my own career.”
However, according to Kimball, there was an even greater area of growth which made everything he has accomplished possible.
“Above all else I have grown in my faith,” said Kimball. “During my sophomore year of college, I essentially renounced God and wandered away from Christianity. The faith I thought I had when I entered college turned out to be shallow and void. In His infinite mercy, Christ saved me from destruction, and in my junior year I began to discover what true Christianity looked like. I am forever indebted to Nick Haushalter, Brenden Byham, Chaplain Sumpter, and other members of the faith community at Waynesburg for helping me mature as a Christian. This is the growth I am most thankful for.”
Although Kimball just returned from a semester-long study of law at Oxford University, he is going to take the next year off from school to work.
“I am planning to take a year off from school to work,” said Kimball. “I would like to pursue graduate school sometime in the near future, but I am seeking clarity of which kinds of programs I am best suited for. All prayers for discernment are appreciated!”
Whatever uncertainty may come Kimball’s way, Batchelder is certain Kimball will succeed in whatever life holds next.
“I know with every confidence that he’s going to accomplish whatever it is he’s going to accomplish and he’s going to be morally serious in the way he does about it, which is just as important,” said Batchelder.