Eric Kamphof (BA’99)
Connection Magazine - Spring 2017
I studied Philosophy from 1994 to 1999, attending King’s for love of philosophy, but it was never really a career decision. Neither is bikes for that matter. I do it because I love it, or because
there is a small voice that makes me feel called, or compelled, and I try to listen. King’s helped me articulate a sense of stewardship, an idea that I was brought up with and still very much continue to articulate. I suppose selling bikes as transportation rather than just sport could be part of that. Then again, it could just be my Dutch ancestry, or both!
I operate Curbside Cycle in Toronto, where we focus on city bikes, folding bikes, and cargo bikes. I also started Fourth Floor Distribution, a wholesale company where we sell the same items to bicycle retailers across North America. On top of this, I own a small consulting company that works with Simcoe Bicycles, a bicycle brand I started about four years ago and recently sold.
In choosing King’s, I wanted a place where I could explore the wild paces outside of the Christian Reformed Church but to do so without watering down my sense of faith. I am convinced there is nothing safe about education. Unlike so many institutions that seek to preserve safety over learning, I felt King’s venture into these wild places and return to its supporters a deepened theological wisdom that takes seriously the command to love one’s neighbour. To me, that's special. These days I feel the wild spaces concern race, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic disparity, political populism, and environmental catastrophe. I'm thankful King’s puts itself into these conversations.
Near the end of my King’s tenure I discovered postmodern philosophy and it felt wild and full of possibility. Dr. Jeff Dudiak had just arrived at King’s. My friend Michael De Moor and I asked Jeff
if he would lead a reading course and he obliged. That intimate encounter with a text and a group of readers was a remarkable experience. For me, King’s really engaged with its students, and
I suspect this is part of a much larger engagement, too.
My advice to incoming students would be to consider King’s a place that lets you ask a lot of questions. Sometimes it will throw you an answer you don't like, and you can question that too. I really believe that if you seek you will find, and that all that is required is a sense of humility and curiosity.