Sean Alexander: Faithful Scholar

by The Rev. Mary Vano on December 3, 2015
Sean Alexander, eldest son of Pete and Kris Alexander, and senior at Hendrix has been awarded a prestigious Marshall Scholarship.  As a Marshall Scholar, Sean will go on from Hendrix to pursue a master's degree in Food Security and Development at the University of Reading, and a master's degree in Comparitive Social Policy at Oxford University.  In addition to being high-achieving student and campus leader, Sean has worked closely with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.  After his master's degrees, he hopes to return to Arkansas and use his education to address hunger and poverty issues in the rural areas of our state.

I asked Sean to tell me about how his faith informed his interests, and this is what he said:

"First: Though my faith is many-layered, I have always gravitated toward those altruistic aspects of the Christian faith: love your neighbor, help those in need, always be kind. 


Second: I believe that my belief in a bipartisan system of policy development is related to being an Episcopalian. Growing up in the church, I have become accustomed to hearing views that oppose my own. I have always been willing to hear another side on a matter of public debate, even if I disagree with that view because such discourse is necessary to advance our collective humanity. 


Third, and finally: As I reflect,  I am reminded of my favorite verse, which comes from the Book of Matthew: 

"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

Though I already feel very rewarded, for me, this verse sums it all up. I never began studying rural hunger and poverty because it was the best thing for me to do; I did it because it was the right thing for me to do."

Let's congratulate Sean, and pray for him as he pursues his education with the hopes of making a difference in the world!