Judson students encouraged to ‘Leave Your Mark’

The first person to open a shelter for survivors of domestic violence in Alabama, the first woman to serve as an Alabama Supreme Court justice, the first woman to address a legislative body in the state of Alabama and the woman who led the clinical development of Tygacil, an antibiotic now widely used to treat drug-resistant pneumonia and malaria in the developing world, have all left indelible marks on our world.

These women, and thousands of others, were educated in a place named for a woman who left a mark on her world as America’s first female international missionary. Ann Judson inspired countless people in America in the 19th century with her selfless service to the people of Burma (now Myanmar). Her influence in Myanmar is still celebrated among Christians, and today 10 Judson alumnae from northern Myanmar, direct “spiritual descendants” of Ann Judson, are leaving their own marks on the lives of their people through service in indigenous churches, parachurch organizations and at Kachin Theological College and Seminary.

On Aug. 18, 2019, a new freshman class will join the Judson College community, living and learning on a campus situated on land given to the college by Julia Tarrant Barron, a woman who made her mark on Alabama Baptist life through her roles in the founding of Judson College and Howard College (now Samford University). 

This fall’s Rose Sunday service will commemorate Judson College’s ties to Julia Barron and other Judson founders at Siloam Baptist Church. These groundbreaking leaders left their mark through their work to establish entities like The Alabama Baptist newspaper and the North American Mission Board. Their early investment in women’s education has empowered thousands of Judson women to be bearers of God’s “light and truth” in the world for the past 181 years.

This year, faculty and staff, joined by new President W. Mark Tew, will continue to encourage students to leave their mark as they recognize and develop their unique, God-given talents through their studies, spiritual development and service to others. 

‘Leave Your Mark’ through service

New campus signage exhorts students to “Fan to a flame the gift of God, which is in you …” (2 Tim. 1:6). Not only are Judson students equipped to follow their own unique callings after graduation, they also have opportunities to exercise their gifts and follow Christ’s call to “love your neighbor” (Mark 12:31) during their college experience. 

Through Judson’s nationally recognized Faith-Based Service and Learning (FBSL) program, Judson students apply what they learn in the classroom to meet the needs of their neighbors in Perry County, Alabama. This past spring, the Education and Social work departments partnered with the Judson FBSL Office and the Perry County Coalition to coordinate a community program called “Strengthening Families.” Judson teacher candidates and faculty taught the 10-week course, covering such topics as conflict resolution, accepting when parents say “no,” positively communicating with others and accepting differences, to Perry County families who volunteered for the program. In December, a group of Judson students spent part of their Christmas break in an intensive week of community partnership and service called Restoration, working alongside Perry County natives like Judson alumna Frances Ford, executive director of Sowing Seeds of Hope, whose mark on the world has been celebrated by her induction into both the Alabama Health Care Hall of Fame and the Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame.

After 181 years of equipping women to be agents of God’s light and truth in the world, Judson College is poised to begin a new year of providing today’s students with opportunities to develop and use their gifts to leave their mark on the world for Christ. (Judson)

Important dates

  • Rose Sunday: August 25
  • New Student Move-in: August 18
  • Judson College Authors Symposium: October 23
  • Preview Days: September 21, November 16, January 25, May 16 

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Judson College offers new minor in Equine-Facilitated Mental Health

Judson’s addition of a new minor in Equine-Facilitated Mental Health will offer students all of the courses and training necessary to be eligible for Riding Instructor Level I certification with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH). 

The new minor will give psychology and social work students opportunities to make a mark on their world through therapeutic horsemanship — the only program in the Southeast that provides PATH-related academic offerings.

Elisabeth Grandstaff Goddard, ’16, a “missionary kid” of parents who served in Romania, took advantage of the college’s former academic “emphasis” in Equine-Facilitated Mental Health during her time as a Psychology major and Equine Studies minor.  Elisabeth is currently making her mark as a PATH-certified therapeutic riding instructor at the Red Barn in Leeds, Alabama, but eventually hopes to use her training as a platform for international missions service. (Judson)

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Campus updates

The support of Alabama Baptists continues to leave its mark on Judson College. In addition to operational support through the Cooperative Program, this fall new and returning students will enjoy fresh campus spaces updated through the work of Alabama Baptists. This summer volunteers from First Baptist Church of Huntsville made lighting and electrical updates in Julia Barron Hall and additional updates to the Mary Katherine Archibald Blount Student Center. 

Other improvements have been made this summer to Alumnae Auditorium, Sara Hunt Christenberry Dining Hall and the President’s Home. (Judson)