Welcome to Bluefield at 100! Bluefield College is celebrating 100 years and has undergone a name change! Each week, in honor of this milestone, The Confusing Middle will shine the spotlight on an individual who spent time at Bluefield University, giving them a chance to fill us all in on where they are and how they’ve been doing since the college years. I hope you’ll join us back here every week as we get reacquainted with some old friends!
This week we’re hearing from Justin Sarver!
- What have you been up to since your time in Bluefield?
After graduation (2003), I worked for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. In 2005, I obtained the position of Supervisor of Transportation for Madison County Public Schools. I worked there from 2005 to 2008 when I accepted my current position of Director of Transportation for Orange County Public Schools. More importantly, after graduation, I reconnected with a close high school friend, and we got married in July of 2005. We had our son in 2009.
- Where are you living now? For how long?
Madison, VA since 2003.
- Did you pursue any education after college? If so, what degrees have you obtained?
Yes. I completed a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management at Strayer Univerity in 2020.
- Where did you earn your first “grown-up” paycheck?
Enterprise Rent-A-Car in 2003.
- Who is your current employer and what is your job title?
Orange County Public Schools, Director of Transportation
- What are your hobbies? What do you end up doing in your spare time?
I don’t currently have a project, but I enjoy working on and driving classic cars. Right now my spare time is spent supporting my son’s interests of baseball, hockey, and R/C cars. Between practices and games, our schedules are pretty full.
- Have you done much traveling? Where have you visited?
Most of our travel has been domestic. Our families are primarily located in Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky, so we spend a lot of time traveling in the Eastern/Central US. We purchased a camper during the pandemic and have been slowly adding destinations to the list.
- Are you married? If so, who is your spouse?
Yes. Jessica (Shaver) Sarver. She graduated from Mary Washington University in 2005.
- How did you and your spouse meet?
Jessica and I were friends from high school. We were pretty close, but never dated. After I graduated from Bluefield, I started visiting her at Mary Washington, and the rest is history.
- Do you have children? What are their names/ages?
Yes. Joshua Pierce Sarver, age 12
- Tell us a funny story about your kids…
Over the summer during a trip to Gatlinburg, Josh ordered pancakes. They served them with whipped butter, but Josh thought it was whipped cream. He took his spoon and took a huge bite. We all got a good laugh out of it at his expense.
- What was your favorite class at Bluefield?
- Which teachers influenced your life and made a lasting impression? Why?
Will Gordon. Will was a family friend who I had the privilege of having as a professor near the end of his career. While some of his techniques were a bit dated, he taught the importance of being able to communicate and the value of making connections. Dee Shoemaker. Dee’s courses were rigorous, and she had very high standards. The skills and values she imparted on our classes have helped me tremendously throughout my career. There are many others.
- What was your major and/or minor?
Business Administration (Management), minor in Criminal Justice
- What did you want to be when you “grew up?”
I wanted to be a lawyer.
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
Take your pick of any of the pledge week activities while pledging for Beta Chi Delta. It’s not hard to embarrass an introvert.
- What was the dumbest thing you did in college? Was it worth it?
Too many to mention
- What is your most vivid memory from Bluefield College?
Not to bring down the vibe, but probably sharing the experience of going through the 9/11 attacks.
- What was your go-to during Late Night in the Shott Hall dining room?
I was a commuter so my Late Night experiences were few and far between.
- Did you play any sports?
- How about intramurals?
- Did you pledge with a fraternity or sorority?
Beta Chi Delta (Phi Mu Delta)
- Were you involved in any other extracurriculars (theater, yearbook, clubs, etc.)?
Student Ambassadors, SUB
- What on-campus events did you enjoy participating in or attending?
By far my favorite was Mud Pig Day. I also enjoyed most of the comedians and artists brought in by SUB.
- Did you jump into the mud pit on Mud Pig Day?
- Did you have a work-study job on campus?
- Did you have a job off campus?
No. I worked during breaks and during the summer to generate funds so I didn’t have to have a part-time job. It was an exercise in budgeting.
- Which dorm did you live in? Or did you commute?
Commuter. My family was originally from Bluefield, and when I originally decided to attend Bluefield, my grandparents offered to house me. It turned out to be some of the most memorable time I had with them and cherish every moment now that they have passed. It did not come without some drawbacks.
- Tell us your craziest roommate story…
Being that my roommates were in their 70’s, there was no shortage of stories, most of them center around aging and appreciating the perspective of someone with significantly more life experience.
- Which classmate influenced you the most?
There are many people who influenced me while at Bluefield. I watched demonstrations of faith that have helped me develop my relationship with God, as well as demonstrations of ethics who helped me see that being true to yourself does not conflict with achievement.
- What plans do you have for the next 10 years?
Support my son through his experiences and into adulthood; continue my career and hopefully be within a few years of retirement and looking for the next step.
- Give us a quote to live by…
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
I want to thank Justin for taking time to answer all these questions and for sharing with us this week! Come back next week when another Bluefield survivor takes the hot seat!
And if you spent time at Bluefield College and want to participate, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the full list of questions! Until next time, GO RAMS!