Belhaven College is proud to welcome Dr. Sandra L. Rasberry and Dr. Elizabeth B. Williford into the Legacy of Learning. They join the forty-two other faculty members who have devoted twenty years or more of teaching service to Belhaven. Both Dr. Rasberry and Dr. Williford have made life-changing contributions on this campus and have helped shape the lives of countless students.
Dr. Sandra L. 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, Dr. Rasberry played a pivotal role in 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, Dr. 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, Dr. Rasberry is always prepared with words of wisdom for students and those around her.
“I have always known teaching as a ministry,” she stated. “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.”
Dr. Elizabeth Bruce Williford arrived on campus as an undergraduate student in the fall of 1974 and graduated just three years later with a degree in Psychology. As is the case with most things in life, timing is everything.
“I applied for an open position at Belhaven after finishing my doctorate work,” she explained. “I didn’t get the job, but two years later Belhaven came calling. However, I was expecting my son and could not accept the offer. Finally, when it was God’s time, I was able to accept their offer in 1988 and I have been here since.”
Throughout her two decades of teaching service at her alma mater, Dr. Williford has seen the number of majors grow from around five students to more than sixty. 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.
“I absolutely love my students,” she exclaimed. “They have each exhibited such a heart for helping others and a passion for learning. I pray that I have helped them grow spiritually and in their knowledge of psychology. If part of my legacy has been helping them find purpose and direction, then it has been a good one.”