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McMurry University honors Ruth Ann Litchfield with Cross and Flame Award

By Gary Ellison Associate Director University Relations



ABILENE, Texas – Longtime Tucumcari school teacher Ruth Ann Litchfield has been named the 2010 recipient of the Cross and Flame Award for the New Mexico Annual Conference. She will be honored in a ceremony set for Sunday, August 15, at Center Street United Methodist Church. The Cross and Flame award is given Litchfield has served Center Street United Methodist Church in Tucumcari in many capacities over the past 36 years. She has been Chairperson of the Pastor Parish Relations Committee, Chairperson and a member of the Administrative Council, a McMurry Ambassador for many years and Chairman and member of the Bea Bholsen Scholarship Committee since it was formed. As a young mother she taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School and now helps with different contributions to VBS.{{more}} “I am proud to say that Center Street United Methodist Church has helped ten young people from our church attend McMurry,” Litchfield said. McMurry is very special to Litchfield for many different reasons. “McMurry is where I met my husband, Calvin Litchfield.” Both her late husband Calvin and her late son Joe attended McMurry. Her daughter Leslie and family live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Litchfield taught school for 35 years and is now retired from teaching. She began teaching in Abilene, Texas, at Johnston Elementary in second grade. She then taught second grade at Bellaire Elementary in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district. She and her husband Calvin then moved to Tucumcari, New Mexico, where she taught for 31 years. While in Tucumcari, she taught third grade, fourth grade, Title One Reading and did Math Coaching. “Teaching was what I always wanted to do and McMurry prepared me well. It has been fun teaching the children of former students, but I was ready to dust off the chalk dust and pursue my personal interests and hobbies.” Litchfield, through her service to the Church, has influenced many young people to attend McMurry. In her nomination, McMurry alumna KC Walters Pospisil ’05, praised Ruth Ann for her dedication to McMurry. “She is the reason that I came to McMurry University. When I applied for the scholarship to the school, she helped with my application and wrote reference letters as needed. When I told her I had been accepted into the McMurry honors program and had received enough from the church scholarship and financial aid to have a full ride to McMurry—I am not sure who was more excited.” She has continued to play an intricate part in the lives of all the students who have attended McMurry over the years. KC goes on to say: “When Clifton Klaverweiden and Destiny Rigdon, both one year my junior, began looking at colleges, she was on the phone with me to coordinate a visit. As often as she could, she sent cookies and homemade bread to us at school, and she always kept up our spirits. When we traveled home on the rare occasions that college students do, she was just as thrilled as anyone to have us, and just as proud as our mothers to stand up in church during joys and concerns and announce the joy of having the McMurry Crew at home that Sunday.” “Ruth Ann is the reason that Destiny, Clifton, and I attended McMurry. We might have given McMurry only a glance at the College Days and tossed aside the pamphlets we received in the mail. However, the McMurry spirit that came alive in Ruth Ann’s eyes when she talked about McMurry made us give a second glance in the Abilene direction, and eventually secured our future at this school.” Established in 2000 by the McMurry Alumni Association, the Cross and Flame award is given to strengthen the relationship between McMurry University and the United Methodist Church by recognizing individuals for service to their churches and to the University.

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