Hello! I am a junior from Morris, AL. In my free time (which isn't very often), I enjoy reading, sleeping, hanging out with friends, etc. You know, the normal stuff. History and English consume my academic pursuits at JC. Keep reading to learn more about me.
"Welcome to Wal-Mart," says the older gentleman standing at the doorway. I am almost twenty-one years old, but I have to stop myself from asking for a sticker.
Okay, I have a confession to make. After I am retired, I want to be a Wal-Mart greeter. My reasoning? Sometimes, the most enjoyable part of my shopping experience is seeing the smiling face at the door. Granted, I am a young woman with limited life experience, but I have found it to be true every time that my encounters with strangers have always been memorable.
Case in point, one day I was shopping for a Care Bear in K-Mart. A female employee was helping me dig through every stuffed animal bin for Share Bear (not an easy bear to track down) and the subject of marriage came up. How? I do not know, but the woman was recently engaged. In the course of forty-five minutes, I learned the entire background of this lady. I left the store (bear-less) wondering how I found out everything except this woman's name. To this day, I have never seen her again, but I am glad that she could talk about the exciting events in her life.
Needless to say, I LOVE getting to know people. Thanks to Judson College, I can do just that while helping promote my school.
As a Judson College ambassador, I have the responsibility of answering the question, "So what? Why Judson College?" every time a student visits campus. My job is to share the history of Judson College, where it's going now, and how that young woman's future can be a part of the Judson legacy. I love to share what I know about my college to prospective students and their families, because Judson has stood the test of time. Since its genesis in 1838, Judson has strove to educate generations of young women to be successful in their careers, home lives, churches, and communities.
If you're a young woman looking for a college, I highly suggest you check out Judson College. The best opportunity for you to do so is Saturday, February 19, 2011 during Scholarship Day. Come fill out an application, take a scholarship test, meet current faculty and students, and take a tour of our beautiful campus. Who knows? I might be your ambassador.
Think about some of the most talented people you know. Often times, they will never be on American Idol, featured in a museum, or making the headlines. The success stories of Hollywood and the music industry tell of average Joes and Janes who manage to break through local popularity into national fame.
Quite comically, Justin Bieber started out singing on the street and Miley Cyrus stumbled into the spotlight because of her father's mullet.
I was made aware of an extremely talented Judson alumna by Ms. Judy Martin last semester. Her name is Margaret Eliza King Lumpkin. She was part of Judson's first graduating class and the daughter of Edwin D. King.
Some of you might recognize King's name, because he is considered one of the three principal founders of Judson College. His daughters all attended Judson and were some of the sisterhood's first members. If you're wondering what any of this has to do with talent, I'm glad you asked!
As mentioned earlier, Ms. Judy Martin told me about Margaret Eliza last semester in hopes that I would write a blog and raise awareness. Now I'm getting ahead of myself! Let me tell you about Margaret Eliza's contribution to the school.
Walk around Jewett Hall and one of the first things you see are LOTS of paintings. All of Judson's presidents, donors, founders, buildings, etc. have a portrait somewhere. The supporters of the college can't help it! They simply cannot have enough Judson memorabilia around the school and their homes. Now, back to the point, Judson periodically has paintings refurbished when signs of aging appear.
Ms. Martin took Edwin King's portrait to Nashville, TN to be repaired last semester. When the conserver got a closer look at the painting she was amazed. Margaret Eliza King Lumpkin painted the portrait of her father in 1879 from a tin type. Edwin King had died some time before it was painted and this was one of the family's gifts to the school. The conserver said that there is no way Margaret Eliza was a first time portrait painter.
What does that have to do with today?
Ms. Martin and I (along with numerous others) believe that Margaret Eliza has more paintings out there. In fact, Ms. Martin met this past week with one of King's descendents, Patty, to discuss the portrait. We are on the prowl for artwork done by Margaret Eliza. Here's what we know so far:
~We have traced some of her relatives to Selma, AL and Athens, GA.
~Her artwork could also be floating around the Perry County region.
~She signed her paintings as Emmy Lumpkin.
Hopefully we can recover the lost artwork of a former student and display her extraordinary talent once again. If you have any information that might help in this search, please call Judson College and ask for Ms. Judy Martin.
I was a witness to the first year cadets' cresting ceremony.
It's funny how I've been a student here at Judson College for three years and didn't know this ceremony existed. Apparently, first year cadets are not given a crest until they complete a semester at Marion Military Institute (MMI). If you're wondering what a crest is, then I commend your curiosity, because I didn't know what it was at first either! Essentially, the crest is worn on their hats and symbolizes their official rank at MMI.
To be honest, I do not know enough about the military to explain how the ranking system works. However, I do know quite a bit about MMI and its history with Judson College. My friend, Brittany Hall, wrote a great blog that also talks about Judson and MMI if you want to check it out as well.
The history of Marion Military Institute takes one back to 1842 and the creation of Howard College, which is Samford University today. In 1840, Edwin King and Milo Jewett saw a need to create an institution similar to Judson for males. Reverend James DeVotie, the pastor of Siloam Baptist Church, agreed that the need was legitimate. He raised the money to buy the land surrounding the original Judson Female Institute. By this time, Judson had built Jewett Hall, and no longer used the land.
Reverend DeVotie proposed that the Alabama Baptist State Convention fund the school in order to train ministers of the gospel. The proposal was accepted, and Howard College was created. Milo Jewett recommended Samuel Sterling Sherman to be the president of the college. Despite the difficulties ahead, Sherman left the University of Alabama, a well-established institution, and became the first president of Howard College. A well-known educator, Sherman was given the daunting task of turning "a picture in the air" into reality. Supporters of Howard College were few, but eventually Judson, Siloam, and the Alabama Baptist State Convention were able to ensure that the school became a reality.
When the school chose to relocate to Birmingham, J.T. Murfee, president of Howard College, stayed behind and founded Marion Military Institute (MMI). The school maintained the then "all white, all male, and all military" principles of Howard College. Thus, MMI took up the traditional roles that Howard College had with Judson College.
Now, both schools work hard to maintain the traditions of old while also managing to keep up with the times. Every year, the campuses host numerous events to encourage social interaction with the other.
A friend of mine coins it nicely: Judson and MMI have been going steady around 150 years now."
It's a new year and I've heard quite a few people mumbling about not being ready for school to start back. Over the Christmas break, I was trying to think of the best topic for my first blog of the spring semester. A familiar tune popped into my head and then it hit me! Not many people know the origin of their hometowns. What better subject is there to begin with than the town I live in most of the year?
Of all the cities in the USA,
You are the best and we're here to say,
You're on the map to stay."
At every step sing, Judson girls sing of their honor and love of Marion. In fact, without Marion, Judson would not be here today. This instigated a few discussions with Judy Martin, Judson College Development office, and Eleanor Drake, Judson's registrar, who are noted around campus as being the authorities on Perry County history. Ms. Martin loaned me Perry County Heritage by W. Stuart Harris*. This two-volume work not only taught me about Marion, but will inevitably give me plenty of reasons to spend a sunny afternoon reading. The rich history of the town took me back to pioneer days...
Upon winning the Creek Indian War, a substantial amount of land was surrendered to General Andrew Jackson on August 9, 1814. Five years later, the Alabama Legislature was rewarded some of the land and created six new counties. Perry County was named after Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, a naval hero of the War of 1812. However, before the counties were created, pioneers had already begun to settle the area.
Michael McElroy, known as Michael Muckle, followed his father-in-law to the region in November 1817. Muckle's Ridge, his homestead, was built on the present site of Perry County Courthouse. Following the economic boom of cotton in 1817-1818, he sold the land to Anderson West, the first county sheriff. Muckle felt that the growing number of settlers was crowding his space. West was able to expand the original properties and in 1822 divvied his property into town lots hoping to increase his wealth.
Around the same time, a group of Perry County commissioners were selected to find another location for the county seat. Joseph Evans, a commissioner from South Carolina, opted to move the seat to Muckle's Ridge. Wanting to honor a war veteran from his beloved state, he recommended General Francis Marion the "Swamp Fox" of the American Revolution. The name was deemed an acceptable name for the city and thus Marion, Ala. came into existence. For several years, it was the only city in Perry County recognized on Alabama maps.
Hopefully, this new found interest in the town will inspire a visit to the area. Who knows? Maybe I will be the student ambassador giving tours that day. On behalf of Judson College, see yourself here in Marion, Ala.
*All of the historical research came from this book