Asbury Snow Days

Published on in February 2015


Asbury students welcomed the winter weather this week and enjoyed an unexpected 4-day weekend. Asbury’s campus was steeped in an unusual amount of snow; this along with poor road conditions in Wilmore and the surrounding area resulted in two days of cancelled classes.

With midterms fast approaching, students saw this break as a blessing. “I decided to relax and enjoy the snow with my friends,” said Matthew Jackson, ’17. “It was really nice to have an unexpected break in the middle of a hectic workload.”

Monday and Tuesday saw a fair share of students enjoying the snowy weather. Geared up with borrowed cafeteria trays and store-bought sleds, students whirred down the hills outside of the Luce Center. Others spent their time building snowmen or starting snowball fights in front of the semi-circle drive.

Still, some students braved the elements for the benefit of others. Levon Gothay, ’14, along with the other student and full-time Physical Plant staff members, spent his time shoveling, plowing, salting and clearing the snow around campus. “After 26+ hours put in over a two-day period, things are looking well, I think,” said Gothay.

Some students used the break time as a mini-vacation and made relaxation a priority.

“My friends and I had a movie marathon and cooked awesome food,” said Sarah Grace Bloyd, ’17. Many other students put away the books, set aside the homework and spent time catching up with friends, sipping coffee and hot cocoa and trying to stay warm.

As classes resume, Asbury students return a little more refreshed and thankful for the rest they were able to catch up on.

Helping Hands: Several Asburians Work Together to Secure a Student’s College Dream


From the Fall 2014 edition of Asbury University’s Ambassador Magazine

Susannah Hall is a freshman from Frankfort, Ky. studying Biology with plans to go into medicine. This time last year, however, Asbury did not seem like an option for her. Hall has found herself rising against the odds due to God’s goodness, generous aid and attentive, prayerful Asburians who have reached out to help.

A home-schooled student who lived not far from Wilmore, Hall enrolled in Asbury Academy, a program specially designed for high school students looking for a challenge and hoping to earn college credit. Hall’s experience with the Academy program — and its director, Kim Okesson — was a good one, and as she searched for an education, she kept feeling drawn back to Asbury. However, Hall’s family had special circumstances regarding financial aid, which made it impossible for them to apply for state and/or federal assistance.

Continuing to pursue Asbury, Hall participated in Asbury’s scholarship weekend and received an academic scholarship. She reached out to Asbury’s Financial Aid Office to explore other options and was able to earn swimming and piano scholarships. The final piece fell into place when a recording of a speech she gave during the scholarship weekend was heard by the University administration, who felt an additional scholarship and grant might be possible.

Hall was overwhelmed by the efforts of people at Asbury to make college an option. She was drawn to the smaller size, community and the intentional, Christian atmosphere she saw Asbury professors create in the classroom.

“The entire Asbury community really cares about the students and are passionate about them learning and not falling behind,” Hall said.

Currently, Hall finds herself involved in a number of activities on campus. She excels in her classes, is on the swim team, plays piano under the direction of Dr. Don Zent, works as the publicist for her class cabinet, performs with a handbell trio and participates in various other groups on campus. Hall remains grateful for the way God worked through Asbury’s faculty and staff to secure her place as a member of the Asbury community. 

Parking Shortage Revealed

Published in The Asbury Collegian student newspape


Published in The Asbury Collegian Student Newspaper

November 15, 2013

With approximately 100 more registered student vehicles than student parking spaces, Asbury students are struggling to find places to park on campus.

According to Tracy Osburn, assistant of security and vehicle parking, there are approximately 606 spaces available for student parking and 717 vehicles registered to students. 

Despite the numbers Osburn provided, there seems to be confusion as to how many students have registered vehicles on campus. “We appear to have an adequate number of parking spaces on campus,” said Jerry Marchál, director of security and environmental safety at Asbury. “But the allocation needs to be reviewed and possibly changed.” 

Asbury freshmen and sophomores have expressed discontent with the current parking situation and have expressed that the underclassmen James Street lot (known as “the Cage”) seems particularly cramped this year. Marchál said that his office is still working to confirm the number of freshmen and sophomore vehicles. 

According to the Office of the Registrar, there are 384 freshmen, 300 sophomores, 251 juniors, 280 seniors and 110 students classified as “other.”

These numbers produce a ratio of 684 underclassmen to 541 upperclassmen. All non-commuter underclassmen drivers must park in the James Street lot, while non-commuter upperclassmen have their choice of parking in three separate lots.

If the number of student drivers from each classification is consistent with the ratio of underclassmen to upperclassmen students, then student vehicles will definitely need to be rearranged to other parking lots in order to create enough space for everyone. Marchál expressed that the time seems right to shuffle around assigned parking lots to students in order to better utilize space.

Attempts have already been made to relocate some sophomore student drivers to upperclassmen parking lots. However, according to Marchál, this was not an official action made to free up more space in the underclassmen lots. Some sophomores who are close to junior academic standing have already received their purple, upperclassmen parking stickers.

Sophomores who did not receive upperclassmen parking murmured their displeasure.

Sophomore Heather Hollingshead said, “I hate parking…especially if you work and get back late…especially when you’re tired and just want bed.”

Holingshead highlights another point pertinent to Asbury’s parking situation: parking during sporting events. 

The James Street lot is positioned right next to the soccer field and is very close to the Luce Physical Activities Center, which hosts many of Asbury’s sports. Because of its close proximity, many visitors park in this lot when they attend various sports events.

Since parking is already cramped, visitors parking in student lots put those lots over-capacity; no spots are left and people often choose to park in the grass. 

When asked about the solution to this problem, Marchál responded, “This is a new problem for us, and, at this point, we don’t have a final solution. I suspect that the rear lot of the Luce is not being fully utilized by the visitors, especially for track meets and soccer games, which occur in front of [the] Luce.” 

Marchál said that, instead of parking in the grass, students who are left without a parking space during special events should temporarily park in the commuter lot behind Akers Auditorium and promptly move their cars as soon as a space in their assigned lot opens up. 

Although this is in violation of Asbury rules, some students choose not to register their vehicles with the university in order to avoid the student parking hassle. These students often park in front of houses on Kenyon Avenue and Maxey Street. Administration is aware of this issue, and Marchál sent an email addressing the problem on Nov. 11.

“To students who elect to park on these streets in order to avoid getting a student parking permit, this is a big disservice to the residents who don’t have the option of using a parking lot,” Marchál said in the email. “As a courtesy to the residents on Maxey St. and Kenyon Ave., I ask that you please not park on either of these streets at any time but rather park in your assigned student parking lot.”

In order to prevent future parking problems as Asbury continues to grow in enrollment numbers, Marchál gives this solution: “We are looking for areas that might possibly be developed for additional parking as well as the possibility of reassigning certain parking lots.”

The IGA Breakfast Club


Published in The Asbury Collegian student newspaper in the Fall of 2013

A mere thirty minutes after opening its doors for the day, Fitch’s IGA buzzed with community and the smell of drip-coffee. Fresh, homemade donuts lined the top of the deli bar; sausage, egg and cheese biscuits wrapped in tin foil sat in the makeshift buffet line behind the deli counter. Strangers to this community and this early hour of the morning, my group of friends hesitated by the counter, unsure if we were supposed to help ourselves or if an IGA worker would wait on us. “Come on back here and help yourselves!” a friendly IGA worker said. We nodded and, after a moment more of polite hesitation, started for the delicious smelling breakfast.

After paying for our food at the front register, we took a seat near Wilmore’s own “breakfast club” — a group of older men who meet every morning at IGA for breakfast. The breakfast club has been around, in essence, ever since there have been small towns. As the generations move through the quiet town of Wilmore, Kentucky from birth to death, the breakfast club changes and renews itself like a phoenix rising from ashes.

Laura Roland, a woman who has worked at Fitch’s IGA for the past 18 years, said that the current breakfast club members have been meeting there every morning since before 2006.

There are two distinct groups of men at IGA—two breakfast clubs.

“They’re segregated,” Roland laughed. She said the retired ministers and professors tend sit in the back by the food and the farmers mostly sit at the small table near the front of the store.

According to Roland, the men usually arrive at the store at 7 a.m. and stay until about 8:30 a.m. “Except on rainy days the farmers stay longer—sometimes through lunch,” she noted.

It was drizzling and gray outside. The farmer table looked content to sit until the crops were sufficiently watered. They were quiet — enjoying the rain sliding down the store windows. They sat in their work-jeans and boots with their arms folded.

The back table of ministers and professors provided quite the contrast. The men greeted every person who walked past them. “You ladies back so soon?” one man said as we walked back to the table from paying for our breakfast. All the men at the table smiled. Their deep-bellied laughter shook the tables and coffee mugs.

A couple weeks later, I returned, alone, to the same scene on a nearly identical drizzling day. I bought two long johns with chocolate icing and then asked the men who comprised the back-table breakfast club of ministers and teachers if I could have a seat with them.

Charlie Denger, an elderly gentleman with frost-colored hair and wrinkles deep enough to hide loose change in, sat across from me and quickly identified himself as the comedian of the group. Every few minutes he would crack a joke with a completely straight face. Everyone laughed; every now and then you could hear a half-serious warning from one of the men: “Now, Charlie…”

The Wilmore breakfast club has been convening in some form or another for 46 years. Cecil Zweifel, a former Asbury University baseball coach, is one of the oldest surviving members. He knows the history of this early morning gathering.

He said they originally met for breakfast every morning in downtown Wilmore. Over the years they bounced from restaurant to restaurant. Eventually the different places closed and the men found themselves holed up in Fitch’s IGA.

Zweifel pointed out photos of different former group members who have passed away. This arrangement of picture frames hangs above their little table area in the back corner of IGA. The men call this the “wall of fame.” Mr. Denger, the comedian, joked that the reverse side of the wall, part of IGA’s storage area, is the “wall of shame” where most members’ photos really go after they pass away.

All jokes aside, there was a certain sadness I could sense in the men as they remembered the friends who once laughed and talked politics with them — friends who had sat in the same seat at the same table, ordering the same breakfast and telling the same jokes every morning for years.  Zweifel showed me the pictures of all the club’s fallen comrades and said something kind about each one of them.

Another member, Dean Cook, sat to my left and filled me in on how things run at the breakfast club. Cook said that the men in the group look out for one another. If someone is in the hospital, they go visit him. If someone needs money for a good cause, they all chip in. “There’s no  ‘leader,’ it just happens,” he said.

Cook said that before their breakfast club started up, there was likely one that came before it. He said this type of community is a vital part of small-town life. It helps spread information and spans the whole community. Cook mentioned that there’s a lot of diversity in their group.

Men from all sorts of different professions join together every morning and discuss the issues. There are farmers, veterans, professors, artists, and many others. Cook believes that the diversity of knowledge represented by the group is a big help to the Wilmore community. If somebody in the community has a question, they go to the breakfast club. “Somebody here will know,” said Cook.

The men who compose Wilmore’s breakfast club are far along in years, but their legacy of knowledge and discourse, laughter and jokes will live on as new generations continually refresh this small-town tribe.

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.

Image courtesy of
The Asbury Collegian

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.

Though 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.”

A typical 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.

Let’s face it; no Pinterest tutorial could ever capture the essence of our President’s luscious locks. Her hair is mesmerizing.

This is a modified version of an article I published in the Asbury Collegian in the spring of 2013. The images and graphics are courtesy of the Asbury Collegian staff.