Alumni Success Story: Sue Murray
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Alumni Success Story: Sue Murray

Bachelor of Arts (History & Sociology)
Class of 2012

Sue Murray“My Crandall experience was, I think, somewhat different than other students. In September 2008 – at the age of 58 – I enrolled in several courses, just to try it out. I did not have the opportunity to attend university when I was younger, and it had long been a dream of mine to obtain a degree, even though I had held several interesting and fulfilling jobs throughout my career.  I was working three days a week in 2008, but thought part-time might be something I could manage.  I fell in love with studying and in January 2009 became a full-time student, planning a B.A. with a double major in History and English, while still working.

“I felt welcome at Crandall from the beginning, and used to say that I was older than all the students and most of the faculty and staff.  One of the first things I learned was how everyone at Crandall lived their faith – simply, completely, every day.  I grew up Catholic and was used to a more formal liturgy and ritual, so it was a lovely experience to begin each class with a brief prayer – which could include a word of comfort to a student with a problem, or a prayer that God might help the soccer team achieve a win that afternoon.  In the years since I left Crandall, I have visited Hillside Baptist a number of times with my former and present French teacher-now-friend Carol Thorne, and I have enjoyed reconnecting with that sense of faith and family.

“At Crandall, I was fortunate to have experienced some wonderful professors – and to have made some friends among the students whose lives I still keep up with all these years later.  Dr. Dan Goodwin was a favourite History prof – although I used to remind him that some of what we discussed wasn’t really history to me – I had been around for it.  And when I decided after about 18 months to switch from History/English to History/Sociology, I met Drs. Cathy Rogers, Sam Reimer and Gary LeBlanc who challenged me and taught me a great deal.  Religious Studies were new to me, but both Drs. Keith Bodner and Stephen Dempster brought the Bible to life.  An online Physical Geography course through Athabaska University led me to write two papers – one on forest fires and one on earthquake readiness – which I would otherwise likely never in my life have undertaken.  Such a great learning experience!

“In January 2011, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy. I was determined that I would still keep up my studies, and graduate in 2012 with my classmates as planned.  The entire Crandall family was incredibly supportive – professors offered me more time to turn in papers, and fellow students stopped to inquire how I was doing. I will especially remember the kindness of Sam Reimer during this period – he called me every week just to check in and offer his prayers and support.  I have certainly come to believe that God meant for me to be at Crandall during that difficult time in my life.

“I graduated in 2012 with my class, and was proud that I had achieved all A’s throughout my four years. Now in 2020, I am still working at a job I love – although only two days a week.  I look back on my time at Crandall with great affection and gratitude – for what I learned and especially for the people whose lives touched mine. I have made a bequest to Crandall in my will – I just turned 70 last week – and I would encourage other alumni who shared the Crandall experience to do the same.”

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