Over the years, Chapel has had several celebrity guest speakers including politicians, major league baseball players and New York Times best selling authors among others. However, as varied as that sounds, Chapel was able to broaden the scope just a little more this past week with a Survivor.
Kimberly Spradlin, winner of the 24th season of the hit reality television series, Survivor, stepped back on campus last week. That’s right, stepped back on campus. Spradlin was a freshman at UMHB 11 years ago.
In a 45-minute question-and-answer session, University Chaplin Dr. George Loutherback interviewed Spradlin about her time at UMHB.
“I honestly had an incredible experience here,” Spradlin said, “This is the only place that I actually felt like I had a college experience, so I feel very fondly about Mary Hardin-Baylor. Being back on campus is really fun.”
As a freshman resident of Burt Hall in 2001, Spradlin immediately plugged in on campus. She represented the freshman class in the Miss MHB Pageant.
She had an experience here comparable to that of many of the students today; she had to eat at Hardy, she had to attend Chapel and she built relationships at UMHB.
Loutherback even had a part in pulling a prank on the future celebrity.
A trickster herself, Spradlin had played a joke on a senior football player in a class taught by Loutherback, and the athlete recruited the professor to help get her back. Loutherback called her in to ask why she cheated from the football player on a test and tell her that consequences could lead to expulsion.
On Survivor, Spradlin was able to outwit 17 other contestants, but she was no match for Loutherback’s cunning prank.
What made her a prankster as a college student made her a survivor on CBS, her ability to be social played a huge factor in the game.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Survivor host of 12 years Jeff Probst was asked to comment on Spradlin’s success, and he pointed out her social skills.
“She was great at the social game,” Probst said. “So many faces and great at reading a situation and equally good at stopping a disaster before it starts.”
Her mastery of the social facet of the game even won her the Sprint Player of the Season award which raised her winnings to $1.1 million.
The Survivor then entertained questions from the audience.
Spradlin was bombarded with questions about her game strategy, her life after the show and what she did with the prize money. After chapel, she took pictures with fans in Mabee.
The former Crusader now owns a bridal shop in San Antonio and is engaged to be wed in March.