Senior Spotlight: Stephen Priest

Jacob GoodwilerUncategorized

Join us in honoring the Class of 2020 as we celebrate their time at Cambridge which represents a culmination of hard work and dedication. We are so excited to see what the future holds for our graduating students who have been educated to think well, love rightly and live wisely. Send them your encouragement and support in the comments below, and share your congratulations with the Class of 2020 on their Kudoboard link.

Meet Stephen Priest. He distinctly remembers loving his first day at Cambridge, in second grade with Miss Kang. Looking back at the past eleven years, Stephen is thankful his family found Cambridge!

Stephen will be attending Baylor University in Waco, Texas, on a full-tuition scholarship. He’ll be studying in their University Scholars program, which is within their Honors College and allows students to design their own interdisciplinary course of study. Congratulations, Stephen! 

What has been your favorite subject to study at Cambridge? Why?

There’s so many! There have been few classes I haven’t enjoyed. I’ve always particularly liked the maths and sciences, especially when I’m able to interact with the amazing teachers at Cambridge who know how to push me. But, I would say my favorite subject has been Latin – it brings together logical and artistic elements in amazing ways. On the one hand, I’ve learned the structures of a foundational ancient language and seen so many fascinating aspects of language in general. On the other, learning Latin reveals so much about an ancient people’s culture and ways of thinking, and I’ve gotten to appreciate what makes those people’s language beautiful to them. Studying Latin has also led me to study other ancient languages, such as Biblical Greek and Hebrew.

What do you appreciate the most about your Cambridge education? 

There’s a lot that can be said about our environment and community, but as to the education itself, there are two main things.

The Christian aspect of the Cambridge education is invaluable. The discussions we can have in class are all the richer because we all share a foundational understanding of God and our faith. I have really come to value this, and it’s why I’m pursuing a similar environment for college.

The other thing I most appreciate about the Cambridge education is the focus on integration. Without this focus, which nurtures connected, broad, and critical thinking, I would not be the same person I am today. Integration is where the really meaty questions come out – I can learn about quantum mechanics all day from a textbook and find it interesting, but what are the implications of quantum mechanics on our understanding of the supernatural, or of how we talk about our faith to unbelievers? Cambridge has kindled my love of learning and has shaped not only my ability to think, but how I think. There are few things I am more thankful for than that.

What will you miss the most about Cambridge?

Although, I suspect, a common answer, I’ll definitely miss the community here the most—my good friends who have pushed me to grow throughout the years, my classmates who are all astonishingly brilliant in so many ways, and the teachers who care not only for my intellectual growth but also my spiritual well-being.

What are you looking forward to at college? 

I am most eager to dive into my courses of study. I look forward to continuing to read great works of Philosophy or Latin poetry, discuss great mathematical ideas with my professors, write papers, and generally, make the most of my time in academia.

I also look forward to where and with whom I’ll be doing these things – the chance to be in the Honors College at Baylor, one of the country’s leading Christian research universities – was a large part of deciding to enroll there. I cannot wait to train under Christian philosophers or to have late-night discussions with my friends about the implications of (for example) quantum mechanics on our apologetic methods.

What interests will you be pursuing during your college experience?

Because of Cambridge’s focus on integration and strength in all subject areas, I have a ton of interests. I’ll pursue as many as I am physically able while still getting sleep. 

In the University Scholars program at Baylor, I will pursue three emphases: Math, because I love its logical beauty; Philosophy, which I’ve come to love through our many philosophy-heavy classes at Cambridge, and by which all subjects can be integrated; and Linguistics, my interest in which was sparked by Cambridge’s unique and extensive training in grammar, classical languages, and rhetoric. 

Additionally, I hope to continue taking upper-level Latin courses, studying Pipe Organ (Baylor has a world-renowned organ professor), and composing music for fun.