When students come for their first semester at UMHB, they are dubbed Crusaders for life. With this new title comes a sense of unification; people begin to form bonds that can truly last a lifetime. But some students developed these connections long ago.
“Cru Sibs,” as they refer to themselves, are students who have a sibling also attending the university. Throughout the university’s history, there have been many sets of Cru Sibs, each with their own unique stories of how the siblings came to attend the same school.
Many little Cru Sibs actually chose this university because their older Cru Sib introduced them to the campus.
“It was a trip to visit Ashleigh that made me decide to come here. She showed me everything she loved, and I loved it too,” sophomore international business major Hallie Holden said.
Holden’s older Cru Sib is senior nursing major Ashleigh Holden. Hallie spent a weekend with her sister exploring the campus and learning about college life and chose to apply the next week. The two have lived together for the last two semesters.
Ashleigh said after graduation, she will miss rooming with her sister more than anything. Though the two lived together the first 18 years of Ashleigh’s life, she explained that the dynamic was so different at college than at home.
“We didn’t have our parents telling us what to do, but rather had to rely on each other for answers to our questions and concerns,” Ashleigh said.
Next year, Ashleigh plans on moving to Waco to be a labor and delivery nurse at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center. While nervous about the change, she is glad to be less than an hour away from her sister.
Hallie admitted she will be sad to see Ashleigh go, but is thankful for the time she was able to spend with her sister. Much of Hallie’s involvement at the university has been influenced by Ashleigh’s experiences.
Freshman nursing major Cally Baucom also referred to her sister, senior social work major Mary Baucom, for advice on organizations to join, committees to participate in and other campus activities.
As a first-year student, Cally loved having a built-in source for advice and said she will miss this most of all when Mary graduates in May. Cally may have learned about college life from watching Mary, but being a Cru Sib taught Mary as well.
“I learned how to be more intentional as an older sibling, and how to really love her well,” Mary said.
Both Ashleigh and Mary said that their favorite memory as Cru Sibs was the men’s national basketball game that took place April 7.
“That was a special game for all Crusaders, but it was so special to share that with my sister. This being my senior year and her freshman year, it meant that much more,” Mary said.
It will be a bittersweet farewell, but rest assured that next fall will bring about another batch of Cru Sibs.
Ashleigh said, “I’m a Crusader and a Cru Sib for life.”