Judson dedicates King Instructional Center | Judson College
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Judson dedicates King Instructional Center

MARION, Ala. – Last month, volunteers, donors, faculty, staff, students and friends of Judson College gathered for the dedication of the King Instructional Facility at the college’s Piper Equine Studies Complex.

Named for donors from the family of General Edwin Davis King, a Judson College founder, the King Instructional Center includes faculty offices, restroom and locker room facilities, a concession stand and the Alfa Equine Studies Classroom, made possible by a donation from the Alfa Foundation.

The Nov. 2 ribbon-cutting event, coordinated by the Office of Institutional Advancement, was the culmination of a project related to the College’s “Blessed Light” Campaign and made possible by the efforts of volunteers from Northside Baptist Church in Jasper, Ala., and First Baptist Church of Huntsville, as well as contractor James Patterson and architect Julie Potter (Davis Architects).

Equine Science student Nicole Smith of Lowndesboro, Ala., said that the King Center provides her and her classmates with access to “amazing classroom opportunities” and facilities that improve their co-curricular experiences. “All of these aspects of the King Center have created the unique community at the barn that means more to the equine students than I could express,”  Because of the “selfless gift” of the King family, volunteers, donors and builders, Smith said, “many young women, including myself, have a place where they can mature into strong leaders in their industry, as well as individuals.”

According to Dr. Pamela Mitcham, Head of the Equine Science Department, the equine industry needs more “highly educated, skilled young people to help continue driving it forward and helping it grow and prosper.” She says that the King Instructional Center and Alfa Classroom provide a “unique environment” that will prepare young women to make an impact on that industry. “So much of working with horses requires practical application of theoretical knowledge,” Mitcham said, “and we are able to provide that here by simply walking out of the classroom and into the stables or into the arena. We count ourselves fortunate to work, learn and teach in such an incredible environment.”

Alfa Insurance and Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell echoed this sentiment. Parnell said he hopes that the Alfa Classroom will be a place that prepares students for their lifelong vocations. “Alfa Insurance, the Alabama Farmers Federation and Judson College are built on similar values — strong faith and a commitment to serving those in rural areas,” said Parnell. “We hope this new facility will equip Judson students to to be an even bigger part of this thriving industry.”

Henry King, great-great-great grandson of Edwin D. King, said that he and his family always enjoy “hearing students talk about their experience at Judson and the impact it has made on their lives–and knowing the contributions many of them have made since they left here.” Citing Judson’s emphasis on women’s education in a Christian environment, King said that his family believes Judson is “a unique and special College”. “We want to invest in the future of Judson and in the lives of the students that will continue to choose the Judson experience in the next 180 years.”

PHOTO: Donors, volunteers, guests, and Judson students and administrators participate in the ribbon-cutting for the King Instructional Center. From left to right: Judson student Lexy Small, Pensacola, Fla.; David Byrd, pastor of Northside Baptist Church and member of the Judson College Board of Trustees, Jasper; Gordon Perry, volunteer from First Baptist Church of Huntsville; Dave King, Owner of King Honda, Auburn; Patricia King, President at Sunny King Honda, Anniston; Henry King, President at King Acura, Hoover; Jimmy Parnell, Alfa President & CEO; Judson student Kirsten Britnell, Hoover. Photo by Mary Johnson, Alfa Director of News Services.

Article by Mary Amelia Taylor