Reflections on the Past and Future of the Templeton Honors College with Redmond Brubaker (’11)

Redmond Brubaker graduated from the Templeton Honors College in 2011, and has since become a member of the College’s Advisory Council. Since graduating, Mr. Brubaker has remained passionate about and active in the pursuit of truth. I had the pleasure of talking with him about his current stage of life and what excites him about the future of the Honors College. A transcript of our conversation follows:

Colin Burden: What has life been like since graduation?

Redmond Brubaker: After graduating, I explored a few different potential career paths. I considered the possibility of teaching, but doors didn’t open there, and was offered a job in business consulting, but I decided against the work/life balance that would bring. Time spent traveling during the year after graduation gave me the space to think about the future, but didn’t move me much closer to stepping into a career path. Then I received an offer to work at the John Templeton Foundation in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, where I joined a department making grants for research in mathematics, physics and astronomy, all aimed at shedding light on questions about the fundamental nature of reality. It was the perfect opportunity to put to good use the time I spent studying mathematics, philosophy and astronomy as an undergraduate at the Templeton Honors College.

My job was to manage our portfolio of grants in math and physics, and my days were filled with both the commonplace tasks of grant reporting and exciting opportunities to meet top researchers in these fields. At the end of 2016, I moved into a new role in the Office of the President and now have the chance to work across all of the funding areas of the Templeton Foundation, including character virtue development, the life sciences and genetics, philosophy and theology, and the human sciences. While the areas of our funding are diverse, our work is united by a common vision that research and discovery can lead to progress even in our understanding of God. Some days in the office, I feel like I’m back in the “Good Life” class at the Honors College, exploring new ways to grow in humility and virtue by learning more about the nature of God’s creation. The work I’ve done and continue to do at the Foundation has been meaningful and enjoyable, and the Honors College played a large part in equipping me with the skills I’ve needed in my career.

On a more personal note, I am married to Christina Brubaker, a Templeton graduate from the class of 2012, and we have a beautiful one-year-old daughter named Haya. Quick shout out to Dr. Bradstreet: because of his astronomy class, we gave our daughter the middle name Deneb, which is the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus. We live in Ambler, PA, the best small town in the Philly area, and work with the Youth Group at First Presbyterian Church of Ambler.

Colin: How did you get involved with the College’s Advisory Council and how would you describe your experience as a member?

Redmond: Dr. Yonan approached me and invited me to be a member shortly after I started working at the Templeton Foundation. It was an honor to be asked to represent the alumni community on the Council, and it’s been a pleasure to see the alumni presence on the Council grow since then. I was excited by the chance to be involved in vision-setting for the College and to work with other people who were also committed to that same vision. Being on the Council, I’ve both appreciated the opportunity to serve in some small way, and greatly enjoyed having a front row seat to see all of the ways the community is growing and strengthening each year.

Colin: What in particular excites you about the future of the College, and how do you think alumni can be a part of that?

RedmondOn a general note, the College is now getting large enough to have an active and diverse community of alumni. So many former Templeton Scholars are doing great things in various fields. The College will be able to use this growing community of alumni to help further its reputation, but also and more importantly to assist the current Templeton students as they decide on their majors and possible career paths. A large part of success in finding good jobs is connections, and the Honors College will be able to offer its students  the ability to connect with many different successful people in a diverse range of fields.

Colin: As a current Templeton Scholar, I’d be interested to know what your favorite Templeton class was and why?

Redmond: My Good Life course with Dr. Chris Hall, the former dean, back in 2007, was probably my most formative. Dr. Hall is a grandfather of a man, who has a deep love for God and his students. He truly sought the very best for all of us, and he taught us how to practice the spiritual disciplines. That class was very formative, and was a clear example of how professors who show a deep interest and care for their students can have a lasting impact in their lives.

I greatly appreciated my opportunity to speak with Redmond Brubaker and have a chance to know him better.

Colin Burden (’20) is a Templeton Scholar studying Chemistry and Business. He loves reading the books in the Templeton curriculum and having a chance to discuss them with his peers. He is also a member of Eastern’s Golf team.

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