A college cafeteria is a hub for student interaction, Ruth Tibbott has been greeting students and helping around the kitchen at the Wartburg Mensa for five and a half years. Before Wartburg, Tibbett was a pastor and working at a deli. As a devoted Christian, Tibbott knows there is a purpose for everything.
“I knew I was going to Waverly but I didn’t know why, and I was scared,” Tibbott said.
Having never attended college, Tibbott wasn’t ready to enter this new world. In her first year at Wartburg Tibbot’s purpose became clear to her when two wrestlers came to her in need of residence for the summer. Upon spending time with these students, she had a revelation.
“I was not lonesome anymore, and I was not afraid anymore” Tibbet said.
She had found her calling at Wartburg by becoming a “mother” for many international and local students. On an average night students can be found spending time with her.
“The parts of me that were vulnerable, God filled that in,” Tibbott said.
Zach Snyder said he knew Ruth was “something special” when she had memorized his name in the first few weeks of him being a freshman. Snyder went on to say that she is very motherly because she makes him feel at home, and comfortable.
Tibbott’s love knows no bounds, when a girl from Poland tragically went blind in January during her first year at Wartburg, Tibbott rose to the occasion. She found a way to help the student by recording the assigned readings so she wouldn’t fall behind.
“I love when I study with you kids” Tibbott said.
The window of receiving a college education has passed, in spite of this she will always pursue knowledge and pass it on to whoever is willing to listen. Tibbott has a passion for the relentless proceedings of life. Seeing first-hand the effects life can have on a person Ruth provides this advice for the students of Wartburg.
“Look not at earthly things but heavenly things, this world will hold you down and you’re gonna scream out one day.” with a tone of sympathy and fear Ruth said “It’s gonna take you if you’re not ready”.
As a lunch lady that greets hundreds of students every day, she has noticed that often students can be caught up on who they are to others, in turn forgetting who they are to themselves and the world.
“You are important, but do you need to please everyone and be everything everyone wants you to be?” is a question Ruth thinks everyone should ask themselves from time to time.
Instead people should put their thoughts on other things and turn in on oneself. With a history as a pastor Tibbott said that reflection is a key component to living a fruitful life.
“Don’t just buck everything, listen sometimes and be obedient to somethings and look for good wisdom, and good teaching, don’t just follow everything that your ears just follow.”