Today was our annual spring awards. It is a celebratory time to gather and recognize the gifts, talents, and hard work of our students on campus. We have so many wonderful students doing amazing things that it’s hard to identify them all, but today one very special student known on campus as “Sunshine” received the campus ministry award. She is a religious studies student, a minister in Greensboro, and has worked closely with campus ministry over the years. She is truly a spark of light on campus and we are so really proud of all she has accomplished.
To give you just a small glimpse into how special Sunshine is, I hope you will read this blog post from the Guilford College news update.
Her name is Maureen Smith ’17. But virtually everyone on the planet calls her “Sunshine.” She’s carried that nickname her whole life—since her brothers gave her the moniker when they were little kids playing church. She lives up to her name with a consistently sunny disposition and a genuine desire to be a light for others. On April 3, her bright presence saved a man’s life.
The 47-year-old Guilford College CCE student majoring in Religious Studies says that day began with her feeling a profound sense of peace. As her Quaker Spirituality class closed with its traditional three minutes of silence, Sunshine was moved to stand and share what she was sensing.
“I told the class that I felt disarmed and powerful—not disarmed and vulnerable,” she says. “In that moment I believed there was an innate armor protecting me.” She told her classmates that she loved them and gave everyone a hug as she left class.
Sunshine immediately proceeded to meet a friend at a local restaurant, even though the restaurant was not one she favored to say the least. During their conversation, she shared the importance of “being centered” and how to be “more present in the moment.”