Commemorative Book Part of AU's 125th Anniversary Celebration

history book commemorates au’s 125th anniversary
Visit Asbury's 125th Anniversary Web page, featuring information on “A Purpose Rare," a recording of the “Asbury College March” and an interactive Asbury history timeline:

WILMORE, Ky. — Next week, Asbury University’s 125th Anniversary celebration will kick off at Reunion 2015: Legacy Lives On (June 25-28). As part of the celebration, Asbury’s commemorative history book, “A Purpose Rare,” will be available for early purchase by Reunion guests.

Written by Dr. Ed McKinley, a former history professor, and edited by Provost Jon Kulaga, “A Purpose Rare” features 250-plus pages of Asbury history accompanied by hundreds of photos, including many that have never been previously published. For Reunion guests, the book will be offered at the discounted price of $30.

Suzanne Gehring, head of Archives and Special Collections at Asbury’s Kinlaw Library, has been involved in many aspects of producing “A Purpose Rare,” from facilitating research and gathering materials to fact checking and proofreading the manuscript.

For Gehring, “A Purpose Rare” offers a glimpse into the rich legacy of Asbury that, until now, might have been difficult to encounter outside Archives — especially the stories of individual people who have served Asbury throughout its history.

“When it comes down to it, even though we appreciate dates, statistics, events and things like that, we all connect with individual people and their stories,” Gehring said. “Each person who has been a part of Asbury’s history has contributed a richness to who we are as an institution, and ‘A Purpose Rare’ really captures that.”

In addition to offering “A Purpose Rare” at Reunion, Asbury has launched a 125th Anniversary Web page, featuring more information on the book, a recording of the 1916 “Asbury College March” and an extensive Asbury history timeline. Incorporating more than 150 photos and stories in a 3-D presentation, the timeline offers an interactive, visual representation of key moments in Asbury’s history, allowing users to browse events by chronology, decade or category. You can visit the new page and view the timeline at

For Gehring, “A Purpose Rare” and the 125th Anniversary Web page are two ways to engage the wider Asbury community in the institutional legacy she already treasures.

“I find that people who come to Archives get pulled into the story of Asbury and the memories that are contained here,” Gehring said. "'A Purpose Rare' extends that story to a wider audience, offering so many beautiful explanations about our past, our beliefs and our interactions within the community. Most importantly, it tells the story of our dependence on the grace of God, and that is our real testimony."

In his foreward to "A Purpose Rare," Kulaga affirms the centrality of history to the continuing mission of Asbury University.

"The mission, theological perspective and core values of the insitution have remained firmly in place — and are celebrated," Kulaga writes. "[...] We invite the friends of the University to once again enjoy the story of Asbury. Think of it as going home, again, for the first time."


For more information on Asbury's 125th Anniversary Celebration at Reunion 2015, visit:

Bookmark and Share