by Bria Isaacson, News Editor
Editor’s Note: The second part of this article will appear in the March 3 edition of the Collegian.
March is Women’s History Month. Although men have often dominated world history, as well as Asbury University history, many women have made significant contributions to Asbury, either with money or time, over the years.
Mary Wallingford Hughes was the wife of John Wesley Hughes, founder of Asbury College in 1890. She strongly supported her husband’s call to education, even though he himself sometimes questioned his call, according to his 1923 autobiography. She committed to being head of the Asbury home department, which is called residence life today. “Mary Hughes was instrumental in supervising and directing the residence life experience,” Asbury’s website says. “She even designed the student residences during construction.”
John called her “the mother of Asbury” and wrote in his autobiography, “I do not hesitate to say she lived a life more divine than human, because she was guided constantly by His Holy Spirit…. If my life has been worth anything to the world, she was largely responsible for it.”
Rebecca Talbott left her estate to Asbury upon her death in 1937. Asbury received land and securities then valued at $137,000, which were used to pay off debts, according to Asbury’s website.
Former President H.C. Morrison and Vice-President Z.T. Johnson bought land in 1937 to add to the portion Talbott left. This land, about 300 acres, became Asbury Talbott Farm, and it employed students to raise animals and crops, thus providing the Asbury cafeteria with food.
Although the farm has been sold and turned into Talbott subdivision, a hotel named after Talbott still exists on the campus of Asbury Theological Seminary.
Lizzie Helen Snider (sometimes seen as Snyder) was married in 1871 to Joseph Glide, who handled cattle and controlled over 12,000 acres of land. He was not a Christian when they married, but Lizzie’s faith led him to belief. In Julian C. McPheeters’ 1936 book, Morrison wrote of an encounter with Joseph Glide, “‘Morrison, my wife is leading more sinners to Christ than all the preachers put together in this city,’ [Glide said]. ‘A preacher asked me the other day, down on the street, “Do you believe anybody can be sanctified?”’ He said, ‘I do…. My wife has that experience, and the devil will never make her give it up, I have tried and failed.’”
When her husband died in 1906, he left his fortune to Lizzie. McPheeters wrote that Lizzie was terrified of handling money, but she prayed over all of her business transactions, and so “her success in the business world has become one of the interesting chapters in the economic life of California.”
Lizzie did not horde her wealth but instead donated money to building Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, Calif., Asbury’s Glide Hall and other endeavors. Glide Hall was built in 1921 with a donation of $50,000 from Lizzie, according to a 1920 issue of the Herald. This is equivalent to over $600,000 today.
After a fire in April 1924 destroyed Glide Hall and Crawford Hall, named after its donor Mary Crawford, Glide-Crawford Hall (GC) was built and opened fall 1924. The connecting front wing is named Putnam Hall for two sisters who donated to its construction, Asbury’s website says.
Lizzie also helped countless students attend college or seminary. Morrison wrote that he believed she donated well over a million dollars in her life.
Despite this, Bishop H.M. DuBose wrote in McPheeters’ book, “But by no means is the measure of the life of this splendid woman to be taken from the sum of her gifts and benefactions. Hers has been a spiritual challenge to the faith of tens of thousands.”