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.
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.
Originally published in the Spring of 2017 in Asbury University’s Alumni publication, the Ambassador Magazine
10 THINGS ASBURY’S BROCHURE DIDN’T TELL ME ABOUT CAMPUS
So many things
in my life have changed since I first came to Asbury University in the fall of 2012. I
have absorbed so much information from not only lectures and profs but also
from the campus community culture. There are so many things I didn’t know about
or expect when I arrived at Asbury for New Student Orientation. Asbury has a
distinct flair and personality that I have been able to experience and enjoy
over the past two years. Here are ten essential parts of the Asbury community
that the brochure didn’t tell me about.
1. If you didn’t enjoy an ice cold Ale-8-One before coming to Asbury, you will before you leave.
There is one
thing in common at nearly every campus-hosted event: Ale8.
It is definitely the Asbury drink of choice. Though some initially dislike the
super sweetened ginger-ale taste of this soft drink, most are bound to acquire
a taste for the fizzy liquid after accepting three or four free ones from
various Asbury events.
2. Owning at least one pair of Chacos sandals or Toms shoes is a requirement for graduation.
Though both of
these brands are admittedly strange looking, after seeing so many chic students
strutting through campus in either Chacos or Toms, you will be filled with and
insatiable desire to purchase a pair.
3. Chapel tweets are provided for your thrice-weekly chapel entertainment.
We all came to
terms with the chapel requirement before enrolling in classes at Asbury. But
what many of us did not realize is that on those days when chapel is especially
interesting or especially dull, the Twitter hashtag “#chapeltweet” provides entertaining
commentary to your chapel experience.
4. Campus cat is the most loved cat in the world.
What other cat
on earth has more than 1,500 people seeking its affection?
Campus cat is a hot commodity at Asbury. There’s always someone
(usually myself) desperately trying to pet her or seeking her out to bring her
a peace offering of canned tuna.
5. The line at HICCUP is only long when you’re in desperate need of a caffeine fix five minutes before class.
A good portion
of the time, there is no line at HICCUP. You can simply walk up to the counter
and ask for your drink of choice; within a few minutes a smiling barista will
hand it to you. However, on the days you’re rushing to get to the class that
you simply cannot sit through without some HICCUP motivation, the line will
inevitably be super long.
6. Owning an outdoor hammock is essential for feeling like you’re cool enough to hang (pun intended) with the Adventure Leadership students.
hammocking and college don’t seem to go together on the surface, a few
good-weather days on campus will prove that relaxing in a hammock on the green
is the absolute best kind of study break.
7. You can find a batch of freshly-baked cookies, a cute secondhand sweater, or a Seventeen magazine from 2011 on one of the many Glide-Crawford “free tables.”
conversation on Second Glide: “Oh I love that shirt! Where’d you get it?” “I
scored it off Second Front’s free table! Free table swag!” Seriously, if you’re
ever in desperate need of a new addition to your wardrobe, forget hitting up
the Goodwill; just do a round of free table shopping.
8. Those who achieve “Ring by Spring” status are treated simultaneously with adoration and contempt by all the single ladies (and by a few of the fellas as well).
We try to laugh
off the idea of “Ring by Spring” as a joke. While the whole idea is pretty
ludicrous to most college-aged kids, we cannot discredit the fact that this
actually happens at Asbury quite a bit. You hear a girlish squeal across
campus. You look over to find the source of the noise: a girl jumping up and
down and showing her new engagement ring to her gleeful and envious friends.
9. There are a lot of abbreviations and names for places on campus that sound ridiculous to outsiders.
If you fail to pronounce the name for the Campus Post Office as CPO (“cēē – pō”), you will be ridiculed by your peers. However, when you’re on the phone with your grandma and you thank her the lovely care package she sent you in CPO, be ready to extend the conversation several extra minutes to explain this strange word to her. The same goes for the stuce, the caf and the cage. Call them by any other name to your Asbury friends, and you’ll never live it down; use these names when talking to other friends and family, and they will have no idea what you’re talking about. (If they’re anything like my parents, they’ll mockingly accuse you of picking up “the cool college kid slang…”)
10. The student body is obsessed with President, Dr. Sandra Gray’s hair.