Ruth Clendenin

My hometown when I was a student was

Sylvania, OH

I graduated in


I studied

Major: French

Minors: English and Secondary Education

I currently live in

Littlefield, TX

I am now

a Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Littlefield, Texas and Stated Clerk of Palo Duro Presbytery, Lubbock, Texas.

My Alma education

has provided some special foundations for my life today:

  1. Friendships: Some of my best friends are people that I met while on my journey at Alma. These friends are the first ones I call when something new happens—a celebration or a crisis. These relationships are solid. With the advent of social media, lost acquaintances have been reconnected and continue to be a joy for me.
  2. Euchre: There was always a game of euchre happening. The fun and silliness around a game of cards helped bring balance to the importance of studies, relationships, recreation and fun. I always enjoyed the competition and laughter.
  3. Resourcing: My Alma education did not supply me with all of the answers to life’s questions. My Alma education did teach me how to research, think, organize, strategize and prioritize in order to accomplish the task at hand.
  4. The International Studies opportunities available at Alma provided a unique exposure to different cultures through studying abroad. Having spent a semester studying in Paris, France as part of the requirement to fulfill my major, I learned how to get around in a part of the world that was new and different. I learned how to look at the world from different perspectives. I gained courage to embark on other adventures later in life (like a year in seminary in the south of France!).

My favorite place(s) on campus included

the library and Joe’s.

My favorite professors(s) included

Reverend Dr. Joe Walser; Chaplain, Reverend Jesse Perry; Dr. Julie Arnold; Stella Behar and Dr. Will Nichols.

My most vivid/best memory of my time at Alma is

  1. Alma College is where I learned how to change a tire: Chaplain Jesse Perry made a “house call” to the parking lot of Gelston and showed me how to change a tire. He walked me through it step by step, went with me to get the tire repaired and then observed and encouraged me as I went about the process of putting my tire back on and stowing the spare. This skill has come in handy many times over the years. Thank you, Jesse!
  2. Alma College Choirs—anything to do with the Alma Choirs is a vivid memory. I was in the first group to go on tour in 1991. The experiences with the choirs bring an immense amount of joy whenever I reflect on my time at Alma.

My off-campus study experience(s) included

a semester in Paris, France. Of particular note regarding the coursework is this: it was so worth it! I was able to earn two diplomas from the Alliance Française (Diplôme de Langue and Diplôme de Langue Supérieur en Culture) for grammar/language proficiency and cultural understanding. I was also able to take art history courses that had us in a classroom lecture two days a week and visiting museums on two other days each week. A third course on theater had us reading and discussing three plays throughout the semester and then attending them at a theater in Paris. The coursework was amazing—and quite sufficient. But the program also included a field trip to the Loire Valley to see chateaus and visit wineries; and there were other cultural outings that took us to Versailles Palace and to the theater (“Les Misérables” kicked off its 10th anniversary year when I was there!). We were also treated to dinner in one of the restaurants in the Eiffel Tower. The opportunities presented through the International Studies program were amazing. I recommend it for any student!