11/10/2008 - Trustees name dining hall after Alumna Christenberry
By Michael J. Brooks
Sara Steele Hunt left Bibb County in 1947 to enroll at Judson College, serving as a "dining room girl" to pay expenses.
Sixty-one years later she was honored when the college board of trustees designated the campus dining hall the "Sara Hunt Christenberry Dining Hall."
Christenberry spoke at the dedication ceremony on Nov. 1, reminiscing that it was in that very room she'd met Boyd Christenberry, a student at Marion Military Institute, who's been her husband of 56 years. They married after her graduation in 1951.
Boyd Christenberry retired as executive vice-president of ALFA in 1993, and the family now makes its home in Montgomery.
The Judson trustees designated a portion of the Christenberry's gift to the college for extensive renovations to the dining hall which were completed in the summer months prior to the current academic term.
Sara Christenberry said that serving her fellow students was a privilege, and a special camaraderie developed among the "DRGs," as they were called.
"We were almost like sisters," she said.
Christenberry noted that the DRGs ate with faculty and staff during the summer months and that her life had been enriched by their friendship as they strolled the streets of Marion after evening meals.
"I'll treasure this honor all of my days," she said.
After introducing his five children and their spouses, and most of his 19 grandchildren who were in attendance, Boyd Christenberry called his wife a "blue ribbon lady."
"She knew how to soothe the hurts of her children," he said. "Sometimes those hurts were hurt feelings or bruised emotions. She doesn't do a lot of talking, but she does demonstrate the way to live. She's a superb mother and grandmother."
Judson president, Dr. David Potts, concurred with Christenberry's assessment.
"I think we can emphasize three words today," Potts said. "They are beauty, truth and goodness. We celebrate a life today made up of these ideals."
Trustee chair Charles Dunkin of Birmingham noted that the college couldn't fulfill its mission without the support of its alumnae like Sara Christenberry.
"This has been a special place for a long time," he said. "Here we develop the mind, body and spirit, and this college has been faithful to this mission for nearly 175 years. We thank [the Christenberrys] for helping students reach another level in their lives."
A portrait of Sara Christenberry and a dedicatory plaque, both of which will be in displayed in the college dining hall, were unveiled at the conclusion of the ceremony.
* Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Department (extension 5162).