An open letter to the campus community from some of its members

Dear students, faculty, staff, and administrators,

With Easter rapidly approaching, we would like to recount for you some of the historical background for this important holiday.

For many of us, our relationship with Jesus Christ has proved to be life-changing. Knowing that our sins have been forgiven is transformative, and experiencing God’s love for us makes a huge difference in our lives every day. We want to take this opportunity to share with you a little bit about Jesus’ resurrection, since His resurrection is so fundamental to the Christian faith.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his brutal crucifixion is one of the most meticulously recorded historic events from that time. Thanks to the careful reporting by a number of eyewitnesses, we know quite a bit about the scene at the empty tomb.

On the third day after His death, His cave-like tomb was discovered to be empty. The great stone which had sealed the tomb had been moved away from the entrance, and the Roman soldiers who had been charged with guarding it were nowhere to be found.  Most amazing of all was the fact that Jesus’ grave clothes were in the spot where His body had been placed, with the head wrappings separated from them.

Since that day, all speculations which have been offered to give a non-miraculous explanation of the empty tomb have fallen flat. None has been able to explain, either logically, historically, or medically, all of the details surrounding that historic morning.

But the most incontrovertible evidence was still to come. Over the next 40 days Jesus met with individuals and groups in different locations and under different circumstances.  He had a long walk and conversation with two men on the road to Emmaus, and then He shared a meal with them. He met another group of His disciples on the shore, cooked a meal, and ate it with them.  He visited some others who were skeptical of His bodily resurrection and said to them, “Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.  Handle me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” (Luke 24:39)  On another occasion, this time with Thomas present (one of Jesus’ disciples), Jesus spoke directly to him and invited him to inspect the remnants of His wounds. Thomas immediately believed, saying, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:27-29)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead confirmed His true identity as the only begotten Son of God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity. The resurrection also authenticated His ministry and message, since He had repeatedly stated that He would be killed and would rise again on the third day.

Since that historic day, millions of people have been restored to fellowship with God through the forgiveness of their sins by faith in Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross and subsequent resurrection. We, the undersigned members of the HVCC community, urge you to take a fresh look at who Jesus is, what He has done, and what He longs to do for you. You may contact any of us with your feedback or questions.  A more extensive examination of the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection has been documented in Lee Strobel’s book, “The Case For Easter.” Copies of this book, as well as New Testaments, are available. See Jeff Schoonmaker in SCI 133 if you would like one.


Jeff Schoonmaker, Professor of Physics

Doris Schoonmaker, Professor of Mathematics

Sue Smith, Secretary 1 – Cntr. for Careers & Employment

Susie DiFranzo, Assistant Professor of Physics  

Melissa Coon, Associate Director of Admissions

Carrie Farley,  Secretary I – Dean of Arts and Health Sciences

Mary Musso, Instructor of Physical Education                       

Mary Kate Robinson, Financial Aid Information Systems Manager, retired

Cathy Rathbun, Program Assistant, Academics II Nursing

Michele Wiltsie, Instructor of Accounting

Tara Farley, Center for Effective Teaching Technical Assistant

Jim LaBate, Writing Specialist & Assoc. Prof. of English

Andrew Miller, Assistant Professor of Accounting

Pat Gilmaier, School of Business Associate Professor

Kim Denue, Continuing Education Program Assistant

Thomas Dreyer, Adjunct Math INstructor

Mary Pettograsso, Associate Professor of CIS

Peter Young, Adjunct Math Instructor

Gregorio Anicete, BCP Dept.

Rebecca Marconcelli, Admissions Councelor

Lou Rosamilia, Mayor of Troy

Terry Munk, Technical Services Laboratory Assistant

Cylon George, Campus Chaplain



Some of the members of the Student Christian Association


Marisa Bradley, President

Yair Asher, Vice President

Alex Babson, Treasurer

Kari Stockdale, Secretary

Laura Pierson

Charlie Porteus                         

Eric Pierson

Christine Hesler                              

Steven Pierson

Austin Elliot            

Jordan Bartlett

Tim Dignon            

The Student Christian Association meets every Monday at 2 p.m. in BRN-107.  Please don’t hesitate to come by and check us out.  We’d love to meet you and address any questions you have and listen to any comments you have about this letter.

The names above in boldface type are the faculty advisors to the club.  Any one of them would be delighted to talk with you about anything on your mind concerning matters of faith.



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