XASS: Let’s start with the basics. Where are you from? What class are you?
Jack: I’m class of 2023 and I’m from Southern California, the suburbs outside of LA.
XASS: I think a question most people have about you, Jack, is why the suits?
Jack: I started getting into classic menswear as kind of a way to embody the ideal of a gentleman. And then as I started getting deeper and deeper into my faith, I started wearing it instead to show respect for my neighbor and practice self-control.
XASS: Deeper into your faith? Were you raised in a Christian family?
Jack: I was raised evangelical, but we weren’t really church going that much. I really started getting deeper into my faith junior year in high school.
My interests shifted from astrophysics to philosophy, funnily enough, in a physics class where I had a conversation with a substitute who had a degree in philosophy. And then I kind of developed a personal prayer, in pursuing wisdom and truth. “Lord, may I know the truth, know what to do with the truth, and do it.” So I could be a man of prayer and action, and I think the honest pursuit of truth and wisdom necessarily led me back to Christ, theology being the queen of the sciences.
XASS: Does that influence what you want to study here at Stanford?
Jack: Absolutely. I’m hoping to study philosophy with an interest in, or a focus in, religious studies, because I think that would probably set me up best to go to seminary afterwards. I’m not sure exactly what I want to do post-seminary. I know I want to study theology at one point, but I’ll leave that up to God when He wants me to do that.
XASS: Do you have any nonacademic hobbies or passions?
Jack: I’m pretty big into gaming. I do game every now and then.
XASS: Board games or computer games?
Jack: Both. I guess the other hobby would be men’s fashion. That’s probably my biggest hobby. I do a lot of research on menswear. I get most of my stuff actually from eBay. So instead of retail $650 blazer, I get it for $90, worn twice. So if you need anything classy, I can get it on eBay, like 90% off, almost guaranteed.
XASS: That’s awesome. Now what kind of games do you most enjoy playing? Are there specific titles that you go to with gaming?
Jack: I like Rainbow Siege Six on the Xbox. That’s a fun one to play. Apex Legends is fun too. Board game-wise, I really like a game called Deception. Anything where it’s like a murder mystery, like where you have to figure out something with logical deduction. I really enjoy those.
XASS: Do you have a favorite Bible verse or passage?
Jack: Colossians 2:2, “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
That’s my favorite because that’s my approach to all my scholarship: that all Truth is God’s Truth. I’m reminded of a quote by John Henry Newman that kind of emphasizes my relation to that verse, which is, “All that is good, all that is true, all that is beautiful, all that has beneficent, be it great or small, be it fragmentary or perfect, as well as natural and supernatural, as well as moral and material, comes from Him.”
So that verse is the perspective that I start philosophy and start seeking wisdom because it’s His.
XASS: Okay. Now the final question, the classic Chi Alpha Spotlight Series question, Jack, are you in a relationship?
Jack: No, I’m not. I don’t know where the Lord will take me regarding that. So in the meantime, I’ll dedicate my singleness to Him, and if He wants me to find a lady, then I’ll leave that to Him.
XASS: All right. Jack, thanks for your time.