End of an Era

There are times in our lives that we consider milestones. Becoming old enough to get a driver’s license, graduations, college, marriage, birth of our children, and more all fall under that heading. But for me, yesterday was an opportunity to travel back in time to one of the biggest milestones in my life—college.

Photo by Cindy Bingamon

The Bible college I attended for four years has come to the point where they merged with another college and the existing campus will be sold. Yesterday was the last opportunity to visit the campus to see the dormitories where we lived and walk the halls where we had classes.

Saint Louis Christian College was small, but it was just what I needed for my hungry heart. I think I would have been somewhat lost in a larger university. My freshman year was everything I dreamed of, despite the fact that first semester I failed a couple early morning classes! I was challenged to grow in my knowledge of the Lord and to develop more than a surface relationship with God. I was exposed to new ways of thinking and looked at theology in a whole new light. I found relationships with peers, faculty, and staff that turned into lifelong friendships.

I made four years of memories. Attending classes, participating in skip days, going to basketball games, meeting at the picnic table under the huge, old mulberry tree—all these things I look back on with nostalgia. Traveling for a summer with the Kaleidoscope Players (our drama team) and going on choir tours provided their own unique memories. College was where I experienced my first heartbreak, where I realized that just because you are a Christian does not mean you will not have struggles, and where people on pedestals were revealed to have flaws just like everyone else.  

I have always maintained strong ties to the college. I taught drama classes and coached a drama team before I got married. I served on the Alumni Steering Committee for several years, two of them as President. My husband was their Vice President of Development for almost fifteen years, and I was manager of the bookstore for nine years. One of my sons and daughter-in-law received an associate degree from there.  So to say I had many memories is an understatement.

Some of the class of 1974

Yesterday was a day to reconnect with so many of the people who made those memories a reality. I saw an old roommate who always greets me with “Hey, Roomie,” every time she sees me. I saw several of my graduating classmates and many other people I have known through the years. It was a time to reconnect with those I only see occasionally, and to catch up with others I see more frequently.  

My senior year

And so yesterday was bittersweet. I realized as I was leaving there were some I would never see again on this side of heaven and that made my heart sad. But then I remembered to be so, so grateful for everyone whose paths have crossed with mine because of Saint Louis Christian College. My life has been richer because I have had the privilege of knowing so many brothers and sisters in the Lord because of one small college.

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