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College of Education

Gray drawn to Christian environment, strong academics

After graduating from high school, Shea Smith-Gray was encouraged by her parents to take her basic English classes at Anderson before enrolling at another university. It took her only one semester at that other university for Shea to return to the place where she experienced the loving support that can only be found in a Christ-centered institution. Since graduating, she and her husband continue to give back to Anderson University and also are parents of a current AU student.

How did you learn about Anderson University?

I loved the family feel of Anderson and knew that’s where I wanted to be. I love to tell people where I attended college! I do so with great honor and pride! I was raised in a Christian home and attended church regularly. Anderson only grew my faith in God even more, and it was encouraging to be around like minded people who loved serving the Lord as well. The faculty and staff exuded Christian love as they do to this day.

What are some ways your Anderson University education helped you in your profession?

I am in funeral service, and I believe attending a Christian university enhanced my ability to be sympathetic and empathetic to others’ feelings. It also helped me to see the world through the eyes of others and help navigate them through difficult times in their lives based on their individual circumstances.

What are some favorite memories of your college days at Anderson?

I believe my college years were so wonderful primarily based on the institution I chose to attend. During that time and even more so today, I feel "at home" and comfortable every single time I set foot on the campus of Anderson University. My fondest memories during my time at Anderson were hanging out with my fellow education majors, attending chapel services to continually enrich my faith, and getting to know my professors on a personal level as they not only educated us academically but nourished us by showing us the love of Christ through their personal walks. I distinctly remember many conversations with my professors that made me feel valued, respected and genuinely cared for. You can only get that at a place like Anderson. It's so much more than a higher institution of learning—it is a family that encourages, uplifts, and puts Christ at the center of it all.

And you’re not the only one in your family to attend Anderson University, I understand.

I am a 1993 graduate of Anderson, and my husband graduated from Anderson in 1987 when it was a junior college. We have one daughter, and she will graduate from Anderson University in 2023! I cannot express the joy it brings us knowing Meri Liv loves Anderson as much as we did! It is such a special feeling for our child to attend the same college as we did.

Tell us about how you continue to be involved in Anderson University.

I am a member of the Alumni Board, and my husband and I are on the Parent Leadership Council as well. It has been such a blessing to reconnect on a personal level with our alma mater and to give back to the place we so dearly love. The Christ-centered environment that Anderson University provides along with the hospitality they extend makes this special place always feel like home. We pray for continued blessings on this phenomenal school! Long Live Anderson!

Gray Shea
Shea Smith-Gray
Graduated from Anderson University: 1993
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Education
Title: Office Manager, Gray Mortuary, Anderson, South Carolina