Quincy Robinson was planning on becoming a brain surgeon when something happened that he didn’t expect: He fell in love with the Bible. Ever since he was a kid, Robinson has been crazy about languages. “When I discovered that I could learn how to read the Scriptures in their original languages, I was thrilled!” he says. “Translated texts make conclusions for you, but I wanted to be able to make my own conclusions.”
The Seattle native had heard of Multnomah’s rigorous language programs, and he planned to take full advantage of them. So he packed his bags and moved onto MU’s campus. He added a Hebrew major on top of his Bible & Theology major, and dove headfirst into his studies.
During his freshman year, Robinson made no time for social life. “I stayed in my room a lot and studied,” he says with a laugh. “I was cynical.” Eventually, he began engaging fellow students. Conversations turned into discussion groups. Robinson, a lover of debate, became known around campus for his meetings. Then someone approached him with an invitation: Would he run for president of MU’s Student Senate? Robinson was resistant at first, but ultimately decided to try. He won. Ever since his term began in the fall of 2013, he’s been praised for leading the best Student Senate Multnomah has ever had. What makes it so unique? “We have clear goals,” Robinson says. One of the group’s initiatives is collaborating with nearby colleges, such as Warner Pacific and Reed, to brainstorm new ways to serve the Portland community.
Serving as president hasn’t only strengthened his leadership skills; it’s made Robinson exchange his cynicism for enthusiasm. Now the senior appreciates developing meaningful friendships with his classmates and teachers. “The faculty members and the relationships they have with their students are fantastic,” he says. “I’ve learned more from my professors’ lives than from their classes. Now I know who the Lord is — not just about him. MU prepares the mind as well as the spirit.”
Robinson knows a degree from Multnomah is a foundation for his future. “This school is an amazing place to push you forward,” he says. “What lies ahead for me is going to be easier because I’m doing graduate-level work at the undergrad level.” Case in point – Robinson is analyzing a never-before-published fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls alongside his Hebrew professor and classmates. “The teachers here are premier scholars in their field,” he says. “They’re brilliant and qualified. They all have different views, and they encourage diversity of thought. You’re free to dialogue with them.”
After he graduates in December, Robinson has some clear-cut stepping stones ahead of him — an MA in Rhetoric and Logic, an MA in Mathematics and a PhD in Philosophy of Science — that will lead him to his end goal: teaching Epistemology and Math at Stanford or Oxford. Although MU’s helping him master the skills needed to climb the academic ladder, the friendships he’s made along the way have touched him deeply. “I’m ever indebted to MU,” he says. “It’s like a family. The people here have taught me how to love Jesus.”