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Abstract provided by interviewer Makenzie Morrison.

Kim Stambaugh attended Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas from the fall of 1993 to the spring of 1997 as Kim Sneed. She graduated with a degree in elementary education and continues to work as an elementary educator. In her time at A.C.U.—a Church of Christ affiliated school that prides itself on preparing students for life as productive Christian members of society—Mrs. Stambaugh was a member of the social club Tri Kappa Gamma, an on-campus sorority. Throughout her time on campus, she witnessed many relationships begin and develop into engagements and marriages, noting the “ring by spring” mentality that encouraged engagement by the spring of a student’s senior year. Remaining single, she expresses how she faced both internal and external pressures of searching for potential romantic partners, especially as she watched her fellow Kappas (members of her sorority) participate in ceremonies that celebrated engagements and encouraged other members to pursue such relationships. Mrs. Stambaugh shared her experience witnessing a close friend get married and have children while she was still a student, and how the campus viewed the situation. While discouraged when it came to her relationship status, Mrs. Stambaugh describes how she also found empowerment in a Bible course that discussed women’s roles in the church and in ministry. Through this course, she was encouraged that women belong in roles of church leadership, marking a shift in thinking of traditional Churches of Christ that believed women are not allowed to teach. Mrs. Stambaugh also discusses her experience with dorm life, the school dress code, and how those differed for men and women. She also discusses the social clubs on campus, including pledging and hazing. She shared some examples of the perspectives on sex and the lack of the university’s open conversation on sexual assault and harassment.

This interview is a primary source that provides information on the gender roles of students at A.C.U. in the mid-1990s and the ways social clubs and the Christian environment influenced these roles and the expectations to date and marry.


The ACC/ACU Gender and Sexuality Project preserves firsthand accounts of alumni of Abilene Christian College (later Abilene Christian University), with particular attention to how students, faculty, and staff have experienced issues of gender and sexuality during their time at the institution. The collection began in Fall 2019 as a class project in HIST 340, Historical Perspectives on Gender and Sexualities.