For siblings Caroline and James Hambleton, Christendom College has been a part of their lives since before they were born. The children of alumni Bob (’81) and Amy Hambleton (’83), Caroline and James watched many of their fifteen other siblings attend Christendom over the years. As each one returned, bringing along with them a liberal arts background, a deeper love of the Catholic Faith and strong friendships, the younger siblings grew in their desires for these things as well — ultimately resulting in both now attending Christendom, the tenth and eleventh members of their family to do so.
“Christendom has meant a lot to my family,” says Caroline. “It has been a part of my whole life, with my parents going and most of my siblings above me. It has shaped my family into a great and wonderful family and my siblings still talk about all the amazing moments they had at Christendom. Being the eleventh member of my family to attend Christendom College just shows you how wonderful of a place it is.”
Raised in Northern Virginia, Caroline and James grew used to hearing about Christendom and its effect on their family — stretching from their siblings and parents to uncles, aunts, and cousins as well. Back in the 1970s, their father, Bob Hambleton, was part of the college’s first class in 1977, while their mother, Amy, began attending Christendom during its first year on its Front Royal, Virginia, campus in 1979.
After marrying and settling in the Diocese of Arlington, Bob and Amy watched Christendom grow over the years, with the vibrant community of faith they fell in love with as students beginning to grow larger and stronger as well. 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,” says Bob Hambleton. “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.”
Today, James is now in his fourth semester at Christendom while Caroline is in her second. Both are heavily involved not only in their studies but in the life of the college, taking advantage of all that it has to offer. Caroline played varsity soccer for the college last fall and is trying out for softball for the first time this spring, in addition to forming a “stronghold” with friends where they encourage each other in growing in the Faith. James, just like Caroline, played on the college’s soccer team last fall, turning now to the college’s rugby team this spring.
Throughout the years, Caroline and James heard their siblings — and parents — emphasize the community of Faith at Christendom most of all. Now that they are in the midst of it themselves, they agree that the college has been a tremendous blessing that will impact them for the rest of their lives.
“I’m so blessed to have been able to spend the past three semesters immersed in this atmosphere with the amazing people of Christendom,” says James. “The lifelong friendships that I have developed, the dedication of the professors and the overall experience at Christendom has been the greatest blessing of my life.”
Many parents hope that their children will follow in their footsteps and attend their alma mater for college. For the Hambleton family, that story has been more unique than most, with Caroline and James marking the tenth and eleventh children to follow in their parents’ footsteps. This legacy is one they carry with them proudly, through their studies, their accomplishments on the athletic fields, and in their interactions with students and professors. Together, they are achieving what they hoped for growing up: a deepening of their Faith, all within a community enabling them to go out and “restore all things in Christ.”