Eddie Love has had an incredible range of experiences, and he hasn’t even finished college yet. Upon graduating high school, the California native shipped off to the U.S. Air Force Academy with dreams of becoming a pilot. After two years at USAFA, Eddie took time off from school and served at a school and orphanage in Pretoria, South Africa, for nine months. Having realized that he did not in fact want to be a pilot, he decided to transfer to Harvard. Now a senior, Eddie studies the Classics, plays rugby, and is very involved with the Catholic community on campus.
He recently spoke with ISI about Plato, teaching in China, C. S. Lewis, his experiences as an ISI student leader, and more.
- How did you find out about ISI?
Jim McGlone, a friend at Harvard and a former ISI Honors Scholar, recommended ISI to me. When I looked into the organization I knew right away that I wanted to be involved. I was drawn in particular to the ISI Honors Program. I hoped it might provide some of the conservative formation I was lacking at Harvard, and I was excited to meet intelligent, driven conservative students from other universities. I was not disappointed.
- What has been the highlight of your undergraduate experience?
My experiences have been too many and too varied to pick just a single highlight. But certainly the intellectual turning point of my undergraduate experience was taking the Scholars Political Science course at USAFA with Lieutenant Colonel Rouven Steeves, an ISI faculty member and frequent mentor in the Honors Program. In that class we focused on the Federalist Papers and Democracy in America, but Lieutenant Colonel Steeves’s lengthy digressions on Plato, virtue, American Christianity, and everything in between left me spellbound. Before that course I hardly knew Plato from Play-Doh, so, finding that my entire education had hitherto been woefully inadequate, I used my time in South Africa to catch up as much as I could. I began with the Ancients; since I chose to study the Classics at Harvard, I suppose have yet to make it much further.
- What have you valued most about your ISI experience?
The Honors Program has been everything I hoped it would be. At the weeklong summer conference we explored “Traditions of Liberty.” All the talks given by the faculty members were engaging and enriching. The opportunity to continue the discussions more informally over meals and then in the evening was the highlight for me, as I think it was for many of the other Honors Scholars. It is so life-giving to be part of a community of intellectual individuals pursuing the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.
- How have you spent your summers?
It seems like a lifetime ago that I graduated from high school; the past four and a half years have been such a whirlwind. To name just a few things: learning to skydive, enduring Combat Survival training, and teaching English in China.
- Whom do you admire most, and why?
Jesus provides the ultimate example of sacrificial servant leadership, making him the measure against which all other leaders must be judged. One of the great paradoxes of Christian faith is that we are exalted only when we humble ourselves—Jesus’s glorious resurrection and ascension came only after his voluntary crucifixion and death. C. S. Lewis wrote that we must all be “little Christs” in the world, and I find that I admire others insofar as they can be said to be “little Christs.”
- What advice would you give to other students who want to preserve the principles of liberty?
The great strength of the conservative worldview is its integrity, which comes as a consequence of being grounded in common sense and the wisdom of ages past. Your average, liberalized college students are restless, breathlessly bouncing from one novel idea or experience to the next. They fuss about animal rights and abstain from eating meat, for example, because they are searching desperately for something to believe in and also are easily swayed by popular opinion. The conservative, however, should be a model of the peace and confidence that comes as a result of holding fast to all that is Good, True, and Beautiful. Be virtuous. Love God and love your neighbor. If we want to preserve the principles of liberty, then our lives must demonstrate that those principles, as the necessary preconditions of human flourishing, are worth preserving.
- What are your plans after graduation?
Only God knows at this point! Most immediately after graduation, my dream would be to study international political theory and play rugby at Oxford, Cambridge, or St. Andrews next year. I expect that whatever I do after that will involve a great deal of work overseas.