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No. 2

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By David Halbrook
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Student Named to Town Planning Commission

If the voters of Purcellville, Virginia, thought they’d seen the last of Tim Iversen when they failed to elect him to the town council last winter, they didn’t understand who they were dealing with. Certainly, the Patrick Henry College junior had been a steady presence around town hall since his freshman year, both as a member of the Purcellville Volunteer Rescue Squad and as a keen observer of assorted town council, public safety committee, and county supervisors meetings. The 20-year-old public policy major had even taken a shine to Purcellville’s Centennial Committee, where staging the town’s 100th-anniversary parade and carnival struck Iversen as a cool alternative to late nights cramming for Empirical Research Methods.

Patrick Henry College / Art Cox
Tim Iverson’s passion for public service runs deep—all the way back to his high school days in Franklin, New York.

Still, some might have expected Iversen’s landslide town council defeat—192 votes to the 700-plus by the three top vote- getters—to crush his zeal. Again, they simply didn’t understand.

“I told them, half-jokingly and half- seriously, that they couldn’t get rid of me sitting in the audience in the town council meetings just by not voting for me,” Iversen recalls. “And I’ve kept that promise.”

Indeed—as if the rigors of a PHC public policy major, volunteer rescue worker, school security guard, and library assistant weren’t enough, Iversen soon turned his sights to the Town Planning Commission, drawn to its long-range comprehensive plans, cryptic zoning ordinances, special use permits, annexations, and the like. When an opening on the commission came up, Iversen applied.

“I applied along with four other people in the town, went to the interview, and woke up the next morning to a phone call from the town office saying I was being recommended for appointment to the commission,” he says. “My term runs through August of 2010, and in May I will take a class to become a Virginia State Certified Planning Commissioner, which I’m told is another college education in itself.”

Those who know Iversen understand how deep his passion for public service runs—all the way back to his high school days in Franklin, New York. As a senior at Franklin Central School he joined the town fire department and the emergency squad and became, through the experience, “addicted to community service.”

Adds Franklin Fire Chief Tom Warden, who has known Iversen since Little League: “Once he gets something in his mind, he pursues it relentlessly until he achieves his goal.”

Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro, who supported Iversen’s planning commission appointment, concurs. “Tim has shown not only great interest in the important issues facing Purcellville, but is an active participant in the civic and voluntary affairs of our community. I know he will do an excellent job on the commission.”

Despite his strong interest in politics, Iversen’s future ambitions lie in law enforcement. His interest piqued by a series of “ride-alongs” with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, he now wants to work as a patrol deputy after graduation. And if there have been those who, along the way, didn’t appreciate a student—much less one from a conservative, politically active Christian liberal arts college like PHC—poking his nose in local affairs, on the whole, he says, the reception has been warm.

“I have spoken with a couple of people who didn’t like the idea of a college student running for the town council,” says Iversen with a grin. “But they voted for me anyway.”

PHC Senior Promotes Marriage Amendment

By Jennifer Carden

When Patrick Henry College senior Michael Holcomb ran into PHC alumnus Eve Barner at a church function in 2006, he never imagined it would lead to a role in helping pass Virginia’s Marriage Amendment. Barner mentioned she was working on a script for a Concerned Women for America (CWA) presentation, and Holcomb, an experienced scriptwriter, offered to help. But when it became clear that funding might limit them to a PowerPoint presentation, Holcomb saw a larger opportunity to serve.

Courtesty of Michael Holcomb
Scriptwriter and producer of What God Has Joined Together, PHC senior Michael Holcomb is already working on two new DVD projecs.

Since 2000, Holcomb had been honing his skills as an audio/visual engineer, creating movies and music videos for his youth group (he has interviewed five Grammy winners), filming local weddings, and overseeing promotional projects. In the process, he premiered his own production company, Depth Charge Video, which has experienced exponential growth in the past six years. Seeing CWA’s need for a more modern medium, Mike volunteered to produce a DVD.

“I didn't get paid for it,” he says. “I just figured it was a good chance to make an impact for Christ in our culture.”

At its inception, the project was intended to present a simple civics lesson, but once Holcomb signed on, it quickly evolved into a broader undertaking. Through discussions with CWA Director Patricia Phillips, Holcomb and Barner shifted the focus to the Virginia Marriage Amendment. Determining that churches across Virginia needed a DVD to play at marriage rallies so that entire congregations could be informed about the gravity of the amendment, Holcomb began scripting and compiling footage.

“There is something meaningful in creating videos that speak to the critical issues of our times,” he says. “I wanted to use my video gifts to help communicate to people why protecting traditional marriage is so important, and why they should take action to protect our country from moral decay.”

CWA ordered 500 copies of the finished DVD, What God Has Joined Together. These copies were sent to churches across the state and the DVD video was posted on the websites of CWA and VA4Marriage. Holcomb describes CWA’s reaction to the finished DVD as “ecstatic,” and admits that the extent of the DVD’s audience was “pretty exciting.”

The Virginia Marriage Amendment passed in the November 7, 2006, midterm election, affirming civil unions as constitutional only when contracted by one man and one woman. It also blocks attempts to "create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage."

Soon, Holcomb will join CWA in another project; he was recently notified that a North Carolina group has requested a similar DVD to bolster their own upcoming marriage amendment. He is also involved in the production of a CWA civics DVD encouraging Christians to become more involved in the political process.

To view What God Has Joined Together, visit Concerned Women for America.

About the author

David Halbrook is Patrick Henry College’s director of communications.

Jennifer Carden is a journalism major in her junior year at Patrick Henry College.