Each decade of students that attend AU have their own set of unique characteristics. Judy Renbarger shares her own experiences while she was a student.
Renbarger graduated from AU in 1957 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Education. World War II had recently ended and many people were still suffering from the impact of both the war and the depression. According to Renbarger, due to these events, AU’s campus was extremely diversified.
Veterans began enrolling in classes and many brought their families with them. Married couples were living in trailer parks that covered the grounds of campus, and students out of high school were eagerly waiting to start their college experience.
Renbarger recalls the age diversity enriched the community and created a unique experience. Additionally, the faculty made themselves accessible to the students, helping enrich and deepen the atmosphere of unity on campus.
Prior to college, youth groups made up a large portion of student’s social lives when they arrived, but that social experience shifted in the 1950s. In the classroom, dorms, and athletics, students unlocked a whole new world of opportunities.
When Renbarger was a student, she remained very involved on campus by joining student government and the cheerleading team. In 1965, she represented her class as homecoming queen.
After she graduated from AU, Renbarger was a teacher for six years before landing a position as the dean at Pendleton Heights High School. She ended up serving as the guidance counselor and dean for 36 years. “This was one of the most rewarding careers I could have had,” said Renbarger. “If I had to start over again, I would do exactly the same thing.”
Throughout Renbarger’s long career in public education, one of the things she treasures most is getting to teach within the same system as her husband, who was a chemistry and physics teacher. Wherever they lived, they were fortunate enough to teach alongside one another in the same system.
Renbarger has still had the chance to serve in lots of committees at AU due to her proximity. Her favorite of these is the Homecoming committee, where she and other alumni set up a tent to represent the 50s class. In recent years, they have collaborated with 60s class and are hopeful that other decades will join in too.
This year, Renbarger and her classmates will celebrate their 60th anniversary at homecoming making it a special year for activities and to reconnect with more classmates.
To this day, Renbarger is still involved in the life of Anderson University. She finds great joy in taking part in alumni activities and catching up with her classmates. Being both close and very involved, Renbarger has front row seat to see all the ways in which AU is growing and developing. “I am still very connected to AU and want to watch this place succeed,” Renbarger said.
– Charis Grubbs is a sophomore from Eaton, Ohio majoring in public relations and political science and is an associate with Fifth Street Communications, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of Communication and Marketing.