For Kimberly Kyriakidis ’92 George, Asbury is a family tradition. She studied Mass Communication and graduated with the Messenger Class in 1992, following in the footsteps of her mother (Elizabeth Butler ’65 Kyriakidis, who graduated in the Conqueror Class of 1965 with double majors in Psychology and Education). Her daughter, a third generation Asburian, Alexandria George ’19 is currently studying Accounting as an undergraduate student while also getting her master’s degree through the 4+1 MBA Program.
As a parent, there’s simply nowhere else she’d want her daughter to attend.
“There are so many reasons an Asbury education is special,” George said. “It certainly is a top-notch academic institution, but it’s so much more than that. It gives you a strong spiritual foundation, an emotional foundation. It’s a huge family and the professors and staff are definitely integrated into that community and a part of that family. They not only care about you having a solid academic foundation; they care about your spiritual and emotional foundations as well.”
Asbury’s community has translated into Alexandria’s daily life in big and small ways.
“They go way beyond the classroom,” George said. “Alexandria had a car accident where someone had hit her right at the intersection of Lexington and College. She called me very shaken. And, in a matter of 15 minutes, she had one of her Business professors there, the Vice President of Business Affairs Glenn Hamilton, Jim Owens, the head of the Communications School, and also the campus chaplain. So, all of a sudden, she had four or five faculty and staff members there with her to make sure that she was okay. You don’t find that anywhere else, where they care so deeply about you and know you so intimately.”
Alexandria has plans to become a venture capitalist who invests in businesses run according to biblical principles. As a student of the Howard and Beverly Dayton School of Business, she’s learned a lot about what she can do in that field through Dayton’s practices.
“She is particularly interested in businesses that will go into countries that are closed to the mission field, and what she knows is that they are wide open to American businesses,” George said. “So, if she can invest in businesses that are run with biblical principles who live out their testimony through their work ethic and how they treat their employees, that in and of itself is a testimony to a world that is void of the gospel. That is certainly part of what Asbury has developed in her and helped cultivate, and so I have no doubt that she’s going to impact the world for Christ through business.”
Though it is a family tradition, George took her daughter to visit 25 different campuses before she chose Asbury.
“I had to take her all over the country during high school so that she could walk and feel and be a part of 25 different university settings,” George said. “In the end, she said, ‘Mom, I just can’t find one that I feel as comfortable with as Asbury.’ And I chuckled and I said, ‘Is that what we were doing? Because I could’ve told you nothing compares.’ She just laughed and said, ‘I had to find it out for myself.’ So, she truly went into looking at every aspect, looking at everything that was offered to her and made that choice. I’m super happy that she chose Asbury and that Asbury chose her.”
George noted that she was impressed when, during her senior year of high school, School of Business Dean Michael Kane and Asbury University President (2007-19) Sandra C. Gray both took the time to meet with her one-on-one to answer her questions about the University’s vision for the School of Business. Howard Dayton, for whom the school is named, also spoke personally with Alexandria over the phone as a prospective student and again met with her in person when he was visiting campus recently.
“I don’t think there’s any other academic institution out there where you can make an appointment with the head of the department, the president of the school and then even the namesake of the business school and have them give you such individual attention and really care about your questions and make sure that [you have] answers to what [you’re] looking for. That’s pretty special,” George said.