Cheryl Hilbert ’92 Fulghum is a second-generation Asburian. Her mother attended before her, her daughter Mary Holland Fulghum ’17 after her and now her son Will Fulghum ’22 will be starting as a freshman. Fulghum and her two children all chose Communication majors and studied under the School of Communication Arts Dean Dr. Jim Owens.
For the Fulghum family, Asbury is a special place for so many reasons, but the number one reason is the strong spiritual environment felt on campus.
“My son, who will be an incoming freshman, said that he wanted to be surrounded by people who knew who they were and whose faith was important to them,” Fulghum said. “He got a sense of that just from visiting.”
Asbury was truly a starting point for Mary Holland that gave her the tools to impact the world for Christ in her daily life.
“I think it gave her a Christian worldview because of the teachings she experienced and the students from all over the world that she met,” Fulghum said. “It gave her an introduction to some daily practices that I think are life-long. It gave her something to strive for. The focus on excellence in all that you do is so much at the core of the Asbury way, the teaching, the living set up, the community.”
The combination of academic excellence, spiritual vitality and Asbury’s cross-cultural experience (CCE) requirement challenges students to develop their whole person, something that makes an Asbury education quite unique.
“From when you start as a freshman until you graduate, you have so many opportunities to develop healthy practices,” Fulghum said. “I think that developing her whole person has been something that she might not have gotten somewhere else. The first step to being successful and being a world-changer is being a healthy, whole person to start with.”
It was the campus community, though, that ultimately encouraged Mary Holland to pursue her college education at Asbury.
“That’s what got her — the sense of community,” Fulghum said. “And the very first night, she met a couple of friends. She met Abby Hamilton and Rachel Jarrard, and they ended up at the same table. I went to school with their parents and so we kind of continued the conversation. From there, she didn’t leave knowing she was going to go there but she left with that seed planted. So, I was not at all surprised when she decided, ‘Okay, I’m going to Asbury.’”
What would Fulghum say to a prospective student considering Asbury?
“I’ve never regretted my time at Asbury,” Fulghum said. “My daughter hasn’t regretted her time at Asbury. My mom surely hasn’t regretted her time at Asbury. The connections that Asbury builds combined with the holistic approach to education has served me and my family well.”