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Judson IHSA Western Horse Show a Success

by Rebecca O’Neal

Judson Equestrians hosted the final 2019-2020 season IHSA Western Shows here on February 15. Among the teams to attend were Auburn, Mississippi State, University of Alabama, and Berry College. Our riders did a fabulous job of representing Judson. Carmen Baty Hall placed fourth and first; Hope Langkow placed first and fourth; Tessa Thompson placed fourth and second; Casey  Rodgers placed second and fourth; Sam Pearce placed third in both; Tammie Hanlon placed second and first; Kat Hunter placed fifth in both; Holli Fondren placed reserve and fifth. The following weekend our huntseat riders competed at University of Alabama. They placed as follows: Two of our team members qualified for regionals. Tessa Thompson qualified at our home show. Jordan Miner qualified at the Berry College show. Tessa received fourth place. We are very proud of how well our team members have done this year! Congratulations girls!

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Black History Month Celebration: 9th Annual African-American Read-In

by Trinity Littleton

Photo courtesy of Mary Amelia Taylor
Photo courtesy of Mary Amelia Taylor

Judson College students gathered on Tuesday, February 18, to celebrate Black History Month by taking part in the National African-American Read-In. This event took place in the Ramsay-McCrummen Chapel in Jewett Hall at 7 p.m. The Humanities and Fine Arts Division hosted this 9th annual read-in to celebrate literature and achievements by African American authors. Audri Thicklin, Lashundra Walker, Breanna Weaver and Camry Sturdivant are students who participated by reading a variety of excerpts alongside some of our campus professors. Students were able to hear pieces from Deborah Roberts, Maya Angelou, Phillis Wheatley, William Apess and many others. The Judson Singers performed two pieces directed by Dr. Spafford featuring Miriam Nicholson on percussion and piano. Bama Porter, Kenzie Parker, Marissa McNamara and Grace Abbott performed “The Creation” by James Weldon Johnson, directed by Dr. Billie Jean Young.  

Photo courtesy of Mary Amelia Taylor
Photo courtesy of Mary Amelia Taylor

Dr. Parham shared that the African-American Read-In only involved readings until 2015, when the Humanities and Fine Arts Division requested adding music and performances to celebrate other widely known African-Americans as well. This annual event provides exposure to other cultures and values; it is an amazing opportunity and Judson College cannot wait to celebrate with you next year at the 10th annual African-American Read-in! 

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A Quilter’s Dream

by Trinity Littleton

  • Photos courtesy of Mary Amelia Taylor

Thursday, February 20, Mary Ann and China Pettway came to share their stories about the unique quilts of Gee’s Bend to the students, staff and faculty of Judson College. The quilts of Gee’s Bend are quilts created by a group of women and their ancestors who live or have lived in the isolated African American hamlet of Gee’s Bend, Alabama along the Alabama River. These quilts carry forward an old and proud tradition of textiles made for home and family that represent a part of the rich body of African American quilts. The Civil Rights movement was brought to Gee’s Bend in 1965 by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. This movement provided a way for the Gee’s Bend women to boost their family incomes through the Freedom Quilting Bee and they have continued to make these original and world-renowned quilts ever since. 

Mary Ann Pettway, manager of the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective, began quilting with her mother the summer of 2005 and since then has not stopped. She has had her work displayed in museums, galleries and universities around the world. China Pettway was also taught by her mother to make quilts at the age of eleven along with her sibling. The two women from Gee’s Bend remained on campus after their presentation and a few of our students took the opportunity to sit in with them during lunch which was followed by a quilt-making demonstration. Judson College was thrilled to host Mary Ann and China Pettway on campus and appreciate them taking the time to come. 

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Judson Alum Celebrates Her 107th Birthday

by Grace Terry


Judson Alumna Iona Fontaine celebrated her one-hundred-and-seventh birthday on the sixteenth of January 2020. Students sent their well-wishes by signing a giant card in the cafeteria. This special birthday card, along with another filled with the comments and words of congratulations from other alumni made their way to Ms. Fontaine via Beth Poole. Members of news media gathered at the John Knox nursing home in Montgomery, Alabama to broadcast the special event. Judson College wishes Ms. Fontaine well and that she has had a Happy Birthday!

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The Art of Failure: The Benefits of the Arts

by Kaylee R. Hall

Our experiences affect how we view and relate to the Arts. For some, the Arts have always been a safe place where success and failure have minimal consequences. With the Arts mistakes can be painted over and beauty can emerge from failed attempts. The piano can be played poorly until it’s played beautifully; the Arts are the definition of progress. The room for error in the Arts allows room for growth in life. The Arts are the very essence of freedom for some, but for others it seems very intimidating. There is a sense that students of the Arts will fail more often than they succeed. In theory, failure should grow us as individuals and inspire us to persevere until the desired results are obtained. However, the concept of failure seems to paralyze some of its victims with fear.

I had the opportunity to interview a few professors at Judson College on the influence of the Arts. Interestingly enough, in each interview the conversation turned to the concept of failure. Professor Josh Pickens of the Art department had an inspiring take on the subject:

We’re taught that failure is bad, ‘whatever you do don’t fail,’ and that’s just not realistic. If you’re going to fail, fail spectacularly and then learn from it. Sit back and think to yourself, ‘That went horribly. That was a dumpster fire. What can I take away from it?’ The Arts are very good at making people feel bad at something. I think people are afraid of being really bad at something, like doing it and just being awful. That is a learned fear that’s ingrained in them from a very early age. Failure should grow us as a person but sometimes it just destroys people. Sometimes they get so caught up in the fact that they’ve failed, that they don’t think about how they can avoid it in the future.[1]


Perhaps it is not failure itself that causes us to shrink away in fear, it is the way we fail. So how do we learn how to fail correctly or to “fail spectacularly” as Pickens put it? If success is the product of growth, and growth comes from failure, in theory, failure should be the key to success. The Arts have the ability to teach us how to fail in a way that is not detrimental to us. Failure in the Arts is not picking up the pieces like shattered glass; it is simply readjusting the pieces of a puzzle. The Arts and life have many things in common, one of them being ambiguity. Every piece of art can be interpreted different ways depending on the person looking at it. If a painting can be interpreted a million ways, which interpretation is the correct one? Is every interpretation of a painting correct because different people see different beauty? With the art there is not really a right or wrong answer; there is technique, and what works and does not work.  Professor Stephanie Peek of the Religion Department expanded upon this in my interview with her:

[The Arts] opens us up to the fact that the world really isn’t all that black and white, no matter how much we’d like it to be. The world is much more fluid and dynamic, it is shades of gray and everything in between. Art helps us experience that in ways that are more comforting. In a world where you’re like ‘Is this right or wrong?’ and you don’t know, that shade of gray is very disquieting to the soul. [It is like walking] through a gallery and have a painting catch your eye, and you just sit and stare at for half an hour because you can’t quite figure out how you feel about it. ‘Do I love this, or do I hate it? And is that okay that I can’t tell the difference?’ Sometimes I’ll look at the same painting and I’ll love it today and hate it tomorrow, and I can’t always give you a reason why. Art has really helped me accept the ambiguity in life.[2]

Peek continued to share some of her experiences with the arts and how it has influenced her life. It was inspiring to hear how her participation in theatrical performance created a fearless attitude that carried over into her professional career. Peek is able to fearlessly lead and educate her students because of all the times she had to overcome fear on stage. The Arts develop character in a way that other fields do not. The Arts make us brave and build confidence, self-assurance, and humility.  Incredible artists are not just talented people that are immediately good at whatever they try, they are individuals that have perfected their craft over time from failed attempts and critiques from other artists. Professor Peek had a brilliant take on this concept: “Something every student could benefit from is the humility in recognizing that we’re all learners in progress.  People are going to critique our work, and it’s going to hurt because it feels like they’re critiquing us. They’re not, they’re trying to help us grow. Critique is part of growth, if no one critiques what you do, you don’t learn.”[3]

From physical to mental to emotional, studying the Arts changes people for the better. The Arts encourage sympathy, empathy, and establishes and heals connections. The Arts help us understand who we are as individuals and gives the ability to understand and relate to others in a unique way. When we engage in the Arts, we are training our brains how to think in a productive way, and how to effectively solve problems. It helps with memorization, managing time, understanding stress triggers, and how to continue being productive while under stress. The Arts are very powerful and impactful to its students. Dr. Jessica Spafford of the music department is a living testament to the impact of the Arts.

[The Arts have] impacted me more than anything else outside of family and religious beliefs. It is by far the most impactful thing. It has made me empathetic to others. It has made me resilient; it takes extreme dedication to be in a practice room for hours just to fine tune one little thing. Being able to connect with others, making someone laugh or cry, making them feel something that maybe they didn’t feel before, making somebody understand something about themselves, that has shaped me.[4]

According to Professor Pickens, “[The Arts] can teach you everything you need in order to be good at whatever it is you do in the world. I think it has that potential to help. Even if you have no intention of becoming an artist, just taking an art class is incredibly beneficial.”[5]  The benefits of the Arts for future careers are endless.[6] Dr. Spafford shared about how after college, employers would take one look at her music major and hire her on the spot. Music is among one of the greatest disciplines of the mind and companies are fully aware of the diligence and dedication it takes just to major or minor in music. The Arts help with business, production, advertising, marketing, communications, and many other things.

The Arts train its students to be dedicated individuals in all areas of their life. The Arts are essential to human existence, and the more we ignore that, the more disconnected we become. The Arts deepens our purpose and gives us the ability to reach out to others to bring light to social issues we need to change. The Arts teach us how to be overcomers, how to fail spectacularly, and how to be fearless. Individuals that are students of the Arts are students of life. Perhaps it is true that some skills cannot be taught in a classroom, but most life skills seem to be taught in classrooms belonging to the Arts.

[1] (Pickens, 2019)

[2] (Peek, 2019)

[3] (Peek, 2019)

[4] (Spafford, 2019)

[5] (Pickens, 2019)

[6] (Zuckerman, 2014)

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Dear Anne Curt-ly: Possessed Plumbing

Dear Anne Curt-ly,

 I am currently living on campus in the WMU dorm, and I am having a major problem with my shower. I’ll be standing there just trying to shampoo my hair, and then all of a sudden my shower water will turn either SUPER hot or SUPER cold, and there’s no in-between! I’ll have to stand there and wait until my shower decides to act right again. Do you know why this is happening? Are you just messing with us?


Suds n’ Duds


Dear Anne Curt-ly

Dear Suds n’ Duds,

I must first clarify that as I am a ghost, showers are not an immediate necessity for me, so frankly, it’s been a few decades since my last one. Therefore, unfortunately, I cannot help very much with the understanding of plumbing and whatnot. However, I can assure you that although I’m flattered that I’m the first person that came to mind in your dealings with this phenomenon, the WMU dorms aren’t my favorite places to roam. I rarely go past the elevator–I prefer checking in on the freshmen. I find it pleasantly amusing to take their signs and tapestries off the wall when they aren’t looking. If you’d prefer, I could ask a few of my phantom companions if they are the culprits of the calamity. Perhaps inquiry is key to the incident.

…. Or, perhaps it would be more timely to put in a maintenance request.


Anne Curt-ly


You too can write to Anne Curt-ly for advice at any time night or day @

Please feel free to send any questions and please note that your name will be changed for anonymity’s sake. Thank you to those who have provided such stimulating questions thus far. – The Staff

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And They Lived “Unhappily Ever After”!

The Alumnae Auditorium was alive with the sounds of chatter and laughter as faculty, staff, and students alike patiently awaited the drawing of the curtain on the evening of October 5, 2019. Glittering posters, made by the seniors, cheered on the Jr-Soph class from the balcony. Big sisters sat in the wooden seats with bouquets of flowers littered in their laps and at their feet. The crowd came to an abrupt hush as the lights of the auditorium’s elegant chandelier dimmed and Head of Virtue Committee Julia Singleton took the podium onstage. Pageant 2019 had begun.

This year’s Jr-Soph Pageant was based on the play “Unhappily Ever After,” the story of a counselor who holds a counseling session for a hodgepodge of fairy-tale characters to see how they are getting along. Little does the counselor know, their “happily ever after” isn’t very happy at all!

In keeping with Judson College tradition, the play was “Judson-ized” for the enjoyment of the Jr-Sophs’ big sister class, as well as other Judson faculty, staff, and alumnae. The Jr-Soph class had the opportunity to represent their beloved families with hilarious jokes, silly songs, and exceptional dance moves!

Elaina Johnson, this year’s Pageant director, describes her experience with leading her class in this exciting tradition: “Leading my class was hard, stressful, and scary, because I had never done anything like it before,” she explained. “In the end, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Not because I was able to be ‘in charge,’ but because I got to know my class in a different way, and they also got to know me differently. I’m forever grateful and honored for the experience they gave me.”

Immediately following the show, the audience had the opportunity to meet with the cast and crew and show their praise and appreciation. Refreshments were served in the foyer and parlors of Jewett Hall.


For more information on Pageant and other traditions, see a previous article.

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Student LifeThe Triangle

Writing Center Upgrades in Comfort

by Grace Terry

Judson’s Writing Center has returned with a fully updated room and new staff. Its new homey appearance, complete with a decorative rug, wall tapestry, and corner desk, invites students to enter and discuss their works with members of the Writing Center team.

Chasely Matmanivong now works as the head of the student staff, training new employees in order to maintain performance. This team of members includes seniors Kassidy Giles and Grace Terry, and Jr-Sophs Lela Ball and Madilyn Peters, who have begun journeying with other students through the editorial process for various papers.

Employees now can work in a space designed to bring more comfort to not only themselves, but also visiting students who seek peer feedback on papers. The goal of the 2019-2020 Writing Center is to provide a welcoming atmosphere and to maintain its performance.

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Rose Sunday Turns 104

“The ivy chain on Rose Sunday bound us together, In love’s sweet devotion for aye.” These lyrics from the senior song “A Spray of Laughter” sum up the true meaning of Rose Sunday. Rose Sunday is a tradition that has been around since 1915. It symbolizes the bond we share not only with the current classes, but with the sister classes who came before us. Each year the freshmen weave the ivy with the help of their soon-to-be big sister class. As both classes hold up the chain, the senior class comes through the two lines dressed in their academic regalia. Then after the classes sing short prayer songs, the president, faculty, and students walk down the street to Siloam Baptist Church, where the president delivers a message.

In the year 1915, Judson College held its first Rose Sunday, in honor of when Milo P. Jewett, the first president of Judson College, would invite the students to walk with him to Siloam Baptist Church. Siloam has been home to many of Judson’s presidents and students. Some of Siloam’s members founded Judson as well as Samford University.

As we come to celebrate Judson’s 104th celebration of Rose Sunday, we welcome Dr. Mark Tew back to our Judson family for his first Rose Sunday as president of the college.

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The Fresh Face of Judson

by Lela Ball

Over the course of a mere summer, vast improvements have been made across campus. Julia Barron Hall has received a majority of the renovations: bathroom outlets were moved to more reachable and convenient locations, the bathroom walls were repainted, light fixtures were replaced, and new tiles were installed in the bathroom floors.

In Jewett, the dining hall received renovations as well. The back received a fresh coat of paint as well as new cabinets. The old tile was pulled up in the main dining hall, and the floor leading into Archibald also received an upgrade. New equipment is also now being used.

As for the J, major changes have been made. The entire second floor has been renovated, each room now lively and busy. Some painting was also done in this building. The replacement of the HVAC on the second floor is another dramatic change. Possibly the most exciting renovation is the moving of The Vault (now simply the bookstore) back into the J, which has greatly pleased the student body. Finally, the Judson Eagles’ soccer field as received a new scoreboard.

Please take note that several offices have moved around due to the exciting changes in the J. Courtney Tindale is now in the office next to the mail room, and Ms. Sulynn Creswell is just down the hall. Amy Butler, Sarah Fowler and Coach Cynthia White have all moved to the second floor, as has the location of the SGA boardroom.

The Triangle will continue to update you on any more developments.

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