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Many attend Alice Lloyd College to stay close and go far, but for Mark Slusher, a junior Kinesiology major, he has already been far and now wants to stay close. He says, “My family has been to many different places. I heard about ALC from family members who attended the College as well as just the fact that I always wanted to remain at home in Eastern Kentucky.”

Mark has resided in Eastern Kentucky and Maine, and although his heart is in Kentucky, he realized during his time in Maine that there are many ways for him to minister to others. Ultimately, serving and evangelizing others is what Mark loves to do. He has aspirations to be a strength coach in the future as well as a preacher. At ALC, Mark can gain skills in all areas of his future career from being a kinesiology major to running for the ALC track team and being a leader of the ALC Campus Ministry.

Being a part of Campus Ministries has helped him advance his ministry while also giving him many fond memories. “One good memory was when a group of friends from Caney Baptist Church all left campus and went on a gorgeous day out for a cookout. We finished the day with a small hike for a sunset and saw some wild horses as well. It was a great time where we all enjoyed some great fellowship,” Mark recalls. Nevertheless, some of his favorite moments come from the community service he has done on and off-campus. This summer, Mark helped at Bethel Camp with the maintenance of buildings. He says, “I just enjoy helping people in whatever capacity I can. Whether that be lending my time and ef- forts or sharing my abilities to help other people. For me, the fondest memories are just having those times where you see people light up  just  knowing  people  do  care, do love them, and do want to help each other through whatever they may be dealing with.”

Living a life of service was not prevalent in Mark’s life for a long time. He says, “I would say what influenced me as a person the most is everything I’ve gone through and ended up here. Why that’s so important is because I wasn’t the man I am today, and I wouldn’t have been without Christ working in my heart. I have, by the grace of God, come to where I am now by allowing him to change me.” Being able to help students further their walk in faith by following the Purpose Road is something ALC strives to do.

The opportunities ALC provides and the close-knit community where students can thrive are made possible because of friends of the College. Mark comments, “I think it is amazing that we have such generous donors willing to help students who may not be able to afford the opportunity. It is just something cool to witness how people from so far can affect and help grow our family and honestly become a part of it.” A diverse group of people makes up the story of Alice Lloyd College, and all can contribute to bettering Appalachia.