GRACE’s youngest students are introduced to the magic of books in the lower campus library by Susan Walker. Susan comes by her love of books partially from her great-aunt, Doris, who was a children’s author, poet, and librarian. From this side of the family, books were often given as gifts and Susan treasures the signed copies of her aunt’s works that she owns. Susan also fondly remembers her 2nd grade teacher reading a chapter of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White each day after recess and during snack time. Ironically, in high school, she didn’t do so well on her Grapes of Wrath exam and learned the starting lineup for the University of Kentucky basketball team for extra credit (her English teacher was a UK grad).
If you think that someone who is a librarian is only fond of quiet, sedate activities, a brief survey of Susan Walker’s life will expand your opinion of librarians. In high school, Susan was part of the drill team and marched in the Kentucky Derby parade. When Susan was a senior in college, she spent a year living with a Japanese family in Nagoya, Japan while attending Nanzan University. While in Japan, she shares that she climbed Mt. Fuji one night to see the sunrise. She has also ridden an ocean zodiac in Alaska (she does admit to screaming) and enjoyed white water rafting on the Ocoee River.
As Susan reflected on her favorite Bible verse, she shared that, “God truly cares about what is important to us. I have shared my dreams and desires of my heart with the LORD. He has graciously done more than I could ask or imagine.” Not surprisingly, her favorite Bible verse is Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory…”
Reflecting on her life and God’s faithfulness, Susan is able to see His provision for her and her family. Susan and her husband, Will, have been married for 24 years. Together they have three sons, Conner (age 21, a junior at NCSU), Colin (age 19, a freshman at Clemson), and Cameron (age 17, a junior at GRACE). Over the years, God has provided for the Walkers throughout all the years of their marriage and about 17 years ago, that included bringing them to GRACE. One of her first memories of GRACE is wheeling Colin and baby Cameron in the stroller as they dropped Conner off at school. Every day they made a stop to see a friend who worked in the GRACE library who let them check out books. Susan thinks it is apropos that she is now the one checking out books to students!
Susan has a great love of history and enjoys learning about different cultures. This may have started with her high school history teacher, Mr. Mayhab, who brought history to life with impersonations or when her family hosted a foreign exchange student from Japan. During her time in Japan, Susan was able to visit Seoul, Korea and recalls visiting Olympic Park where the summer Olympics were hosted in 1988. Susan and her husband have also been able to travel to many countries to visit missionary friends and they have special memories of each of these trips.
Susan and her family attend the Blue Ridge Campus of the Summit Church where Susan serves on the Hospitality Committee. In that role, she enjoys making people feel welcome. Susan is no stranger to welcoming people as she has been greeting families at GRACE during morning carpool for a number of years and serves as a tour guide for prospective families visiting GRACE. Her favorite school events have typically involved watching her boys pursue sports (mostly basketball and football) and cheering them on with the rest of the GRACE family. She also enjoys helping with the student servers each year at Grandparents’ Day and Celebrate GRACE.
Susan remembers that her first-grade teacher, Mrs. Ross, always had a smile and hug when the students came into the classroom each morning and Susan strives to provide a smile to everyone who walks through the doors of GRACE each day. As the TK-3rd grade librarian, she endeavors to pass on her own love of reading and adventure to the students. The fact that “Librarian of the Day” continues to be a favorite item in the annual Celebrate GRACE Auction humbles and amazes her. Combined with the wonderful notes & hugs she receives from students, and the prayers and encouragement from faculty and staff, serving at GRACE is a ministry Susan is thankful to be a part of.