Interesting person: Vi Estelle

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What is your position at California Baptist University?

I am the archivist for California Baptist University, as well as the California Southern Baptist Convention, and have been since 2004. My job is to collect and preserve important documents and items for the university and the convention. By preserving all of the documents, it makes them useful for research and history.

 

What years did you attend CBU? What was your experience like? 

I graduated in the spring of 1964, with a bachelor of arts in English and a minor in music. My college years were the happiest time of my life. When I attended CBU, it was called California Baptist College, and there were less than 100 people in my graduating class. It was like one big family — everyone knew everyone. You knew the president as well as all of the custodial workers and each of their wives. As a result of the campus size, the classes were small and intimate, and I felt as if the professors were accessible for all of their students.

 

What are some of the ways you have personally seen CBU change?

Of course, the acquisition and construction have been some of the biggest changes. When I attended CBU, the only buildings were the W.E. James Building and the Annie Gabriel Library. The campus has grown so much, and I do not believe that our founding fathers ever pictured the campus growing this much. Everyday when I arrive at campus, I cannot get over how beautiful CBU has become. The rules are also very different. When I attended, girls were not allowed to wear pants to class and could only wear shorts in the girl dorms. Girls also had an 8 p.m. curfew. They could only be in their rooms or studying in the library. It’s funny, the curfew rules were only for females. I think they thought that if they locked up the girls, the boys would have no reason to get into trouble.

 

What are some of the ways you have seen CBU stay the same? 

Back then, our school motto was, “A Campus of Christian Culture.” When a school begins to grow, as much as ours continues to, it becomes difficult to remain Christ-centered. I am very pleased that our core value is to provide excellence in ethics as well as Christian education.

What were some of the ways you were involved on campus when you attended? 

I was very much involved when I attended CBU. I worked for the Baptist Student Union, which is the equivalent of the Office of Spiritual Life. I was also the editor in chief of the Angelos yearbook, and I also participated in summer missions, which is now the equivalent to International Service Projects. I was also voted Ms. CBC.

 

What is your favorite thing about working at CBU? 

I would definitely say the interaction with the amazing faculty, staff and students. I love seeing all of the students and faculty are all working for a common goal
of excellence.

 

What is your favorite Bible verse? 

My favorite Bible verse is James 1:2-4. This verse is such a good reminder that God gives us hard situations not to hurt us, but rather to help us and shape us into the people we are meant to be. It has gotten me through my roughest days.

 

What are some of your hobbies? 

Besides my job here, I am also the director of adult ministries at Magnolia Avenue Baptist Church across the street. As director, I plan fun events year-round for the seniors. We all have so much fun together. This coming April we will be traveling to Hawaii as a choir, and getting the chance to sing at Pearl Harbor.

 

What about today’s generation of CBU students makes you excited about the future? 

I’m so incredibly encouraged by the spiritual quality of the students I meet. They have an incredible work ethic and are so determined to make their goals a reality.

 

What advice would you give to current students? 

Never give up, and know that God has a special individual purpose.

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