4/9/2011 - Mobile alumnae honored with 2011 Alumnae Loyalty Award
By Michael J. Brooks
Judson College honored Carol Schjott of Mobile last week at the college's annual alumnae weekend with the 2011 Alumnae Loyalty Award, but her relationship with the school began several years before she enrolled as a freshman.
"We visited relatives in Marion when I was 10 years old," she said."My dad's cousin suggested we drive around Judson College that day. My dad was so impressed with the school that he said, ‘This is the college my daughters will attend!'"
Schjott's sister, Marian, enrolled at Judson and Carol followed her the next year after graduating from Murphy High School in 1961. Carol earned an academic scholarship and secured a job in the college dining hall to pay expenses.
"I tell people all the time about the uniqueness of Judson," Carol Schjott said. "The atmosphere is different from a ‘party school.' We had fun and made life-long friends, but we also were part of a caring community. When my father died while I was a student, Mrs. Anderson, the wife of the president, came to my dorm room to tell me. Where else would something like this happen?"
At Judson Schjott sang in the choir, served as a class officer, was a basketball cheerleader and was co-editor of the student newspaper, "The Triangle."
Following her Judson graduation in 1965, Schjott earned the master of education degree from the University of South Alabama and the master of religious education degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth.
Schjott served in local church children's ministry for a time following her 1982 seminary graduation, beginning with her church in Ft. Worth, then moving to Broken Arrow, Ok. But she found her true calling in elementary education where she taught for 32 years in Alabama and Georgia and then as a substitute for five additional years.
"This was my ministry," she said. "I just loved to teach boys and girls."
The illness of her mother in Mobile brought Schjott back home to help with care giving.
"I took care of mother, an Alzheimer's patient, for 11 years along with my stepfather, and then at his death became the primary caregiver," she said.
Julia Schjott died in 2008.
Carol Schjott is active in the Greater Mobile Area Judson College Alumnae Chapter and served as president from 2008-2010. She also serves on the college Board of Advisors and considers herself an avid recruiter for the college.
"I tell prospective students from my own experience the difference between Judson and public schools," she said.
"The tuition might seem prohibitive for some, but I remind them that students can take the three-year program and graduate sooner. Plus they'll be in smaller classes where learning is enhanced."
Schjott said her award last week was a surprise.
"My chapter worked on this for months without my knowledge," she said. "I'm honored by their support and the award seems to me to be God's confirmation of the value of my work for Judson College over the years."
Schjott is a charter member of the Luke 4:18 Fellowship, a new Southern Baptist church in Mobile.
* Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Department.