An Alumni Family’s Love for their Alma Mater
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Many parents hope that their children will follow in their footsteps and attend their alma mater for college. For Amy and Bob Hambleton, both alumni of Christendom who live in the Diocese of Arlington, that hope has become a reality, with most of their children attending the college over the years. In their case, the story is more unique than most — they have seventeen children, eight of whom have attended Christendom so far. In an area packed with colleges and universities, the Hambletons have encouraged each of their children to attend Christendom, seeing the college as the best means for preparing their children for this world and the next.
The Hambletons’ love for Christendom goes back to the very beginnings of the college. Bob’s father discovered an ad for Christendom in The Wanderer in 1976, and he, along with his brother Joe, joined Christendom’s first class in 1977. In Amy’s case, her father knew Christendom founder Dr. Warren Carroll, and she began attending Christendom during its first year on its Front Royal, Va., campus in 1979.
For both of them, attending Christendom in those early years was akin to an adventure. The Front Royal campus consisted of only two buildings at first, including the “quad” — the original residence hall, which Bob himself helped renovate. The smallness of Christendom resulted in an intimate and joyful feel that Bob and Amy quickly fell in love with as students and continued to love as alumni.
After marrying and settling in the Diocese of Arlington, Bob and Amy watched their beloved alma mater grow larger over the years, both in class size and physical plant. As the college grew, the vibrant community of faith they fell in love with as students began to grow larger and strong as well, and both determined that the college would be the ideal location to send their children when the time came.
“Our children are gifts that were given to us by God, and we want to do the right thing by these gifts. We feel that Christendom is the best gift to give to them — that’s due to the liberal arts education, taught by faculty who truly make the Faith come alive, and due to the life-long friendships that form at the college as well,” says Bob.
After living in the Diocese of Arlington for thirty-two years, the Hambletons have seen eight of their seventeen children attend the college so far, with each of them choosing to remain in the Diocese of Arlington as well after graduation. Furthermore, six of the eight who have attended Christendom found their spouses at the college — another tremendous blessing for the Hambleton family.
The Hambletons believe that Christendom best prepares their children for their success in their various business ventures due to the liberal arts education it provides its students.
“Christendom’s liberal arts curriculum trains your mind to do more, and as a result, you can be thrown into just about any career field that’s out there and find success in it, while bringing your Faith to that field at the same time,” says Bob.
Christendom does even more than just prepare their children for career success — it is the best means for preparing them to defend their Faith and evangelize others after college as well, thanks to the education provided by the faculty and the joyful spirit that infuses the campus.
“At Christendom, our children are able to live their Faith with others who think and feel the same way they do, and they are surrounded by joyful people who love God and want to learn their faith and practice it,” says Amy.
“Starting from when we attended Christendom until the present, the faculty has played a large part in this, having dedicated and sacrificed their lives to teaching our children the Faith,” Bob says. “Because of them, and the college as a whole, everyone who attends Christendom becomes part of the family of Faith that is growing and spreading throughout the Diocese of Arlington and beyond. Each person lifts up and helps the other as the early Christians did, encouraging each other to persevere in the Faith.”
The Hambletons still have seven children left at their home in Fairfax, all being homeschooled by Amy. When asked if they would encourage their last few children to attend Christendom, Bob and Amy did not even hesitate in their reply: “Absolutely, without a doubt. They are all eager to attend Christendom some day.”