PASSING IT ON
Published in the Spring 2017 edition of Asbury University’s Ambassador Magazine
During their freshman year at Asbury, Caleb ‘06 and Christy Lee ’06 Swaringen were strangers who found themselves working together in the Z.T. Johnson Cafeteria. “I worked the salad bar and she worked the sandwich bar,” Caleb said — the ultimate Asbury meet-cute.
A little more than 10 years have passed since their graduation, and the Swaringens are now married and living with their three children in Texas. Caleb teaches sixth-grade reading and writing at a charter school and Christy stays home with the kids while working as a freelance graphic designer.
Caleb and Christy say they were shepherded well while at Asbury. They were able to learn the importance of community while being mentored by the people around them. As alumni, the Swaringens are now interested in making that kind of transformative education possible for future Asburians.
For that reason, they continue to support Asbury through prayer, participation in Reunion, other alumni events and by giving financially. Last year, at their 10th Asbury Reunion, Caleb and Christy contributed to the Reunion Class Gift to help support current and future Asbury students.
“We are glad to give,” said Christy. “Any little thing that we are able to give back to Asbury pales in comparison to everything that it gave us — without a doubt.”
Among the gifts Asbury gave the Swaringens are lifelong friends — many of whom came back for last year’s Reunion. “My Asbury friends just get me,” said Christy. She mentioned that the bonds developed while at Asbury have become friendships that are truthful, loving and free of judgment. Though the years and distance make it difficult to remain in touch with every college friend, Christy described seeing these friends as “picking up where we left off.”
Christy and Caleb also credit their time at Asbury with laying the foundation for Christ-centered community. Christy and Caleb experienced community at Asbury in a way they hadn’t before — dorm life, praise nights, Bible studies and prayer events all played a formative role in cultivating that sense of community. “We can see pieces of our Asbury experience in our lives today,” said Christy.