A classical, Christian education prepares students for many different futures. Our graduates have gone into medicine, research, education, homemaking, business, entrepreneurship, and more. From time to time we catch up with a former student to see how they’re doing and what they’ve been up to. Ben Brown (’09) attended Covenant from 6th – 12th grade and now works as a computer programmer for a global software development company. We hope you enjoy reading about how Ben’s time at Covenant helped him to develop a love for learning which has prepared him for his career with computers, as well as for his vocation as a husband and father.
Describe your post-Covenant journey so far.
Post Covenant, I spent four years at Grove City College alongside other inestimable Covenant graduates and faculty. I studied computer science at GCC which has since been put to good use at Bentley Systems, a global software company with an office in Philadelphia. I met my wife Jasmine during my last college semester and we now reside in Lancaster city with our two children (Geneva and Matthew). We are members at Crossway church in Millersville.
While I’m often tempted to view my career in software merely as a means to an end of providing for my family and their future welfare, I’m grateful for the privilege of working for a company that is doing valuable and meaningful work in the vast world of infrastructure and construction. While I don’t have huge plans to start my own software company some day, I love the opportunities that being a programmer opens up on the individual level, whether that’s helping someone automate a mindless task, setting up a website for their business, or making mobile apps for personal use for the fun of creating something interesting and learning something new. I would love to teach programming at some point (and definitely to all of our kids). Learning to program a computer forces you to learn a whole host of other valuable skills including abstract thinking, logical reasoning, and basic problem and puzzle solving skills that are applicable in many other spheres.
Many people believe that a classical education only prepares students to continue studying the liberal arts. How did Covenant’s liberal arts education prepare you for the field of computer science?
One of the trends that worry me most in higher education is the increasing isolation and specialization of disciplines, whether they are scientific, literary or otherwise. While specialization has many benefits, there is a real danger when specialists are unable to dialog with those outside their discipline who, while by no means experts, may have something very important to contribute. Fallible humanity is shot through with disciplinary, generational, and individual blind spots. From a purely utilitarian perspective, studying the liberal arts, multiple disciplines, and especially history can go a long way in remedying this sense of tunnel vision and arrogance that can be observed in higher levels of academia and almost any specialist domain.
Perhaps most importantly for me, Covenant helped to instill in me a love for learning. An education that orients students towards what is good, true, and beautiful at the expense of less time spent on technical training and college preparation is a winning move in the grand scheme.
What is one of your favorite memories from your time at Covenant?
Some of my best memories are from overnight backpacking trips on the Appalachian Trail with faculty and fellow students. I also have very fond memories of David Kemper’s 8th grade literature and history classes discussing Greek and Roman society.
What are you most thankful for about Covenant?
Covenant (the faculty and my fellow students) pushed me harder than I would have pushed myself, left to my own devices. But they were not harsh taskmasters. Learning was a (mostly) pleasurable experience with my three classmates and wonderful teachers.
For any family interested in joining us on the journey of classically educating students, preparing them for the future, and teaching them to walk with the Lord, we invite you to become part of the Covenant community. To learn more, please contact our Director of Admissions, Katie Broeg at Katie.Broeg@DiscoverCovenant.com or fill out the form below.