ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: William Kayitare

William Kayitare  |  March 26, 2019

This Q&A is part of a series of interviews featuring RUF Alumni. 

Let's start with who you are and what you do?

My name is William Kayitare. I am a chemistry PhD student at UC Berkeley. As a synthetic organic chemist, I aspire to make and study bioactive molecules with desirable properties, and thereby to extend chemistry’s knowledge and products toward meeting scientific challenges and global problems. My greatest passion however is 2 Cor 5:9, “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.”

What college did you graduate from?

I graduated from Jackson State University in 2017, throughout my tenure at JSU, I had the immense privilege of being part of the wonderful RUF family. These were some of the most formative years of my life in my walk with the Lord.

Who was your Campus Minister?

During my first semester at JSU, the illustrious Elbert McGowan aka “Pastor El” was my Campus Minister. Pastor El has had a huge influence on my life both through his personal testimony and his faithfulness to the preaching of the gospel. After that semester, he was appointed as senior pastor of Redeemer Church in Jackson, MS.

Pastor Cyril Chavis was my Campus Minister for the remainder of my time at JSU. At a young age, Pastor Cyril clearly modeled for me what it means to serve God with integrity. I am forever grateful for his leadership. Both ministers have two things in common, teaching the scriptures diligently and loving the students extravagantly. In my opinion, two core principles that make a combination that can’t be beat in any ministry.

What is your favorite memory from RUF?

There are many beautiful memories that I will cherish forever but I will recount one that has dramatically changed my perspective. It was at men’s small group discussion on Christ the God-man, where we studied the nuances of Christ’s humanity and divinity. I suddenly had an epiphany, that we are born again to be born again period…… (Rom 8:29 transformation) I quickly realized that contrary to the popular belief, we are not saved to go to heaven, we are saved for heaven to come to us. This was an eye-opening, life changing truth for me.

How has RUF impacted how you approach your career?

RUF was key in helping shape my view on my career and God’s calling on my life. I used to have a compartmentalized view of my life where my involvement in church activities was sacred and my work/study was secular. With the above-mentioned Christ-likeness approach perspective, I see my career/place of work as my mission field. A place where God has intentionally and strategically placed me to reflect His glory. Considering this belief, as a chemist I strive to be the best chemist I can be for the Glory of God. This would be very hard and stressful if I was doing it on my own, but the comforting truth is that He is with me every step of the way in my career. With this truth I can wake up everyday with excitement to serve God where He has called me.

What would you say to an incoming freshman?

These four years will fly by so quick! So, make the most of this time, find out what God has called you to do and throw your whole self at it. Live fully, give wholeheartedly and more importantly, fall deeply in love with the Lord, for its in Him that you will find true satisfaction, purpose and meaning. To do this successfully, you will need a faithful group of Christ followers a.k.a RUF!