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 Malvin Carroll!
- What have you been up to since your time in Bluefield?
After many moves (too many to count) and five jobs, I am happily married for fifteen years and have an eight year old son.
- Where are you living now? For how long?
Currently live in Newport News, VA. I’ve been in the Hampton Roads area (the southeast part of VA) for 21 years.
- Did you pursue any education after college? If so, what degrees have you obtained?
Yes, I obtained my MBA through University of Phoenix and a Data Analytics Graduate Certificate through Indiana University. I also have several professional certifications (CDFM, PMP, CISA, and CDPSE) to weigh-down my email signature in an attempt to make me look more impressive than I really am.
- Where did you earn your first “grown-up” paycheck?
One Valley Bank
- Who is your current employer and what is your job title?
Booz Allen Hamilton – Associate/Senior Financial Analyst
- What are your hobbies? What do you end up doing in your spare time?
Aside from spending time with my family and going to Disney, I work on the production team at my church (Liberty Live) and I love to smoke. And by smoke, I mean anything that will fit on a smoker – pork, beef, poultry, cheese, etc.
- Have you done much traveling? Where have you visited?
Work has allowed to me to travel quite a bit – Washington State, California, Texas, Illinois, Florida, Louisiana, and probably several more that I am forgetting. My family likes to travel as well. We love mountains of Tennessee, Outer Banks, North Carolina (Corolla to be specific), Walt Disney World, and Washington DC.
- Are you married? If so, who is your spouse?
Indeed. For fifteen years! Katie is her name and being absolutely amazing is her game.
- How did you and your spouse meet?
We met at church. I’d seen her “around” but never met. We were in a July 4th program together where she was one of the narrators and I was in the pit orchestra. I guess one of the pianist (a mutual friend) caught me staring a little too longingly and she introduced us. Eventually after a few conversations, we went on a double date with mutual friends and well, the rest is history.
- Do you have children? What are their names/ages?
One son, Nate – age 8. He is a blessing that we never saw coming. After years of trying, a miscarriage, and pretty much resigning ourselves that we would never have a child, the Lord blessed us with a beautiful blue-eyed blonde, active little boy. The doctor was even surprised, especially after he told us we would never naturally have a child. The Lord had other plans.
- Tell us a funny story about your kids…
There are so many as he is always making us laugh. I also think each parent has a completely biased via of how funny their child is to the rest of the world so this is likely not funny at all. The one that sticks out right now (likely because it’s the most recent) happened just this week when his third grade class was performing their rendition of “The Best Worst Christmas Pageant Ever”. He was one of the kings and as he came out, he proudly sung “We Three Kings”. Somehow, he took on an accent that I cannot place but rolled the first few letters of each phrase and even sounded a bit like Pavarotti. He was loud and proud. And, I was proud of him.
- What was your favorite class at Bluefield?
My accounting classes with either Mr. Gordon or Mr. Cole.
- Which teachers influenced your life and made a lasting impression? Why?
I enjoyed all my teachers at Bluefield and appreciate their investment in me likely more now than I did then. But, the one that sticks out the most is not a teacher and the occasion was not while I was a student, rather an employee. After a significant event occurred in my life, I went to then President Dr. Dan MacMillan. He sat me down in a chair, kneeled beside me and prayed over me. I’m confident even if I was a student, he would have done the same thing. He was displaying servant leadership. It didn’t matter the person or situation – he saw a brother in need and helped me in the best way possible.
- What was your major and/or minor?
Business with concentrations in Accounting and Management
- What did you want to be when you “grew up?”
For the longest time, I wanted to be a pilot. Once I got into college, I knew I liked numbers and “playing with them”. Once I advanced in my professional career, I started gravitating towards more analytical jobs and projects. I’ve finally rested in a position where I get to tell people what’s wrong with their processes and how to fix those processes through a mixture of all the skills I’ve learned thus far. But, I’m still not a pilot… maybe one day.
- What was your funniest moment in college?
In my freshman year, second semester, my roommates and I were running to a special chapel because we were late. As we sprinted down the stairs of Cruise Hall, I jumped to clear the last few, just as Zach Roberts did. The difference was that Zach was at least a foot short than I am and while he cleared the ceiling above with ease, I did not. My head hit the ceiling and I hit the floor. My other roommate, Chris Miles, who came behind me saw what happened and told me to move my hand that was placed firmly on my head so that he could assess the damage. Seeing the blood oozing out, he promptly told me to replace it. I ended up with several stitches. While on the gurney being pushed from Cruise Hall to the ambulance parked outside of Rish Hall, I made the comment that it was “snowing up”. In my defense, it was, due to the draft.
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- What was the dumbest thing you did in college? Was it worth it?
Again, see above. Was it worth it? No, I never made it to chapel and did not get the needed credit for attendance.
- What is your most vivid memory from Bluefield College?
There are so many great and vivid memories I find it hard to narrow to one. That one that sticks out is the winter of 1996. It was just before the start of the second semester. There was a huge snow storm predicted and wanting to get back before it hit (and being an RA), I headed back. The storm hit and dumped between three and four feet (yes feet) of snow. It shut everything down for days. With so few students back, it made was fun having the whole campus to ourselves.
- Was there ever something you wanted to do during your college days but never did?
- What was your go-to during Late Night in the Shott Hall dining room?
I don’t recall there ever being dining in Cruise Hall. But, during my time at Bluefield, my late night go-to was always Short Stop where I’d get two loaded hot dogs, a soda, and chocolate no-bake.
*Editing note – When I initially sent out the questionnaire, I mistakenly asked about Cruise Hall and only later corrected the question to say Shott Hall, where the dining hall actually is.
- Did you play any sports?
- How about intramurals?
- Did you pledge with a fraternity or sorority?
Yes. At the time, it was called Phi Mu Delta.
- Were you involved in any other extracurriculars (theater, yearbook, clubs, etc.)?
Nope. But, I was an RA if that counts.
- What on-campus events did you enjoy participating in or attending?
- Did you jump into the mud pit on Mud Pig Day?
During my first year.
- Did you have a work-study job on campus?
Yes, I worked in Admissions.
- Did you have a job off campus?
During my final year, I had an unpaid internship at was then One Valley Bank.
- Which dorm did you live in? Or did you commute?
I lived in both Cruise Hall and Rish Hall.
- Tell us your craziest roommate story…
During my freshman year, second semester, we’d sometimes get up and watch cartoons. I remember The Tick being a favorite. Sometimes, we’d have cinnamon rolls baked in the toaster oven. Aside from the unauthorized toaster oven, it might be crazy, but it was special.
- Which classmate influenced you the most?
I’m not sure I can single out one individual as several had impacts for different reasons at different seasons during my college career.
- What personal experiences since college would you like to share?
The birth of my son. I never really understood the greatness and graciousness of God until my wife got pregnant. When everyone else told us it just wasn’t going to happen, when she had a miscarriage, when it just seemed that we would grow old together, He blessed us. We did nothing to deserve it or earn it. But that is the goodness of God. We can do nothing to earn His love. He gives it to us because He loves us. And, He blessed us with Nate because He loves Katie and me. He also used that time to mold and shape us a couple to weather seasons in our life that would follow. He used that time to grow us closer together as a couple to enable us to walk together through the more difficult seasons that would follow.
- What plans do you have for the next 10 years?
My wife and I have our five year plan. But, in a ten years I’d like to look back and be able to say that I accomplished what God has asked of me.
- Give us a quote to live by…
My current favorite quote is by one of my favorite authors and pastors, John Piper – God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him. It’s based on Psalm 16:11 and Piper summarizes it by saying, “… there is no conflict between your greatest exhilaration and God’s greatest glorification.”
I want to thank Malvin 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!