Rasberry joins group of elite educators honored at Belhaven

12/16/2008

Dr. Sandra L. Rasberry and Dr. Elizabeth B. Williford have been added to the Legacy of Learning at Belhaven College. 

Rasberry is the spouse of the Rev. Henderson Rasberry, pastor at Madison United Methodist Church.

The women join the 42 other faculty members who have devoted 20 years or more of teaching service to Belhaven.  Both Rasberry and Williford have made contributions on the campus and have helped shape the lives of countless students.

Rasberry has been an integral part of the development and growth of the Belhaven School of Education throughout her two decades of service at the college.  She began in 1988 as an assistant professor of elementary education and quickly rose to chair of the department (1991-2002).  During this time, Rasberry helped the development and implementation of Belhaven’s master degree programs.

“I listened to many of our students tell me how they wished to return to Belhaven for their graduate work,” she recalled. “That makes all the work worth it, when students want to stay with you. It must mean you are doing something right.  I am very proud to have been a part of starting our graduate programs.”

In 2002, Rasberry was named dean of the School of Education. Under her guidance and leadership, the department and divisions continue to thrive.  While she may not be in the classroom these days, Rasberry continues to influence those around her.

“I have always known teaching as a ministry,” she said. “To instruct students is a great joy, but to have a spiritual influence on them has been the most inspiring aspect of my career. I count it a great privilege to have been given the freedom to do just that here at Belhaven.”

Williford arrived on campus as an undergraduate student in the fall of 1974 and graduated just three years later with a degree in Psychology.  She joined the faculty in 1988.   Williford has seen the number of majors grow from around five students to more than 60.  As department chair, she was instrumental in expanding to include coursework in social sciences. Under her leadership, the psychology department has turned out a large number of outstanding students who have become quite accomplished in their fields.