[ Godsends ]

Higher Education

The money is running out. Finish up as soon as possible! This was the message from my Dad in 1948 as I started my Junior year at Mississippi State College for Women. I was the first person in my family to have the opportunity to go to college, and I wasn't about to risk not graduating.

What to do? I would have to make arrangements to accelerate my studies so I could graduate a semester early. But in order to graduate early at my very strict womens' college, special permission had to be granted by the Dean of Women. A student's grades had to be excellent, the need real and the student able to handle the many extra hours of classes and homework. After a long and thorough interview, she approved my request.

Summer school would now be in my future, and I enrolled at the University of Mississippi. My older brother meanwhile was working near Mississippi State College (now University), which could also provide the summer classes that I required. He convinced me to transfer there, since he could give me rides home on the weekends and be available if I needed family help. So it was off to State for me.

Some of my friends from MSCW had also been granted permission to enroll in summer school, and were attending State. We quickly made friends with several of the State College young men. This was only a few years after the end of World War II, and there were many veterans in school as well as regular male students -- but only a few women. Needless to say, we did not lack for agreeable young men to pass the time with.

There wasn't much to do in this small college town, so my friends and I met with the guys and few other girls in the college "Grille" to eat, play card games like Hearts and bridge, and just while away the time when we were not studying.

As the summer progressed, our group paired off into couples. The man who became my special friend was a senior who'd be graduating that following August, 1949. Our relationship grew through the semester, and we were "pinned" before his graduation. He returned to his hometown to work in a family business, and I returned to MSCW to finish my degree during the fall semester.

During that semester, I was student-teaching at the local high school. The accounting teacher who was supervising me was expecting a child and would not be returning after Christmas. The school officials were ready to offer me her job.

But my intended had other plans for my future! During Christmas of 1949 we became engaged, I graduated in Janurary 1950, and we were married that March. Fifty-five years, three children, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren later, we continue to praise the Lord for the touch of His hand as He worked through my Dad and Brother to bring my beloved husband and me together.

Lib B.

Starkville, MS