The crowd for a ThunderChickens rugby match can vary based on weather, what’s new on Netflix or perhaps just general busyness. However, even before the rugby team’s rise to stardom in winning the national championship last season, there has always been one spot taken in the bleachers by the ThunderChickens’ biggest fan. She can be spotted sporting a ThunderChicken national champions T-shirt, sitting on her blanket, next to her son. Hailing from Jerseyville, her name is Sarah Foster, a beloved Principia housekeeper.
January marks Foster’s 20th year working at Principia. Sarah started working at Prin during her summer breaks in high school because her dad had worked here her whole life. After three years with the flex crew, she graduated high school, got engaged, and started planning her wedding. In all its beauty and sentimental value, she knew Principia was the perfect fit for her wedding. She was granted permission by the then-president of Principia to get married in the living room of Clara McNabb House and to hold the purple-themed reception in the recreation room. On that beautiful summer day, she stood overlooking the Mississippi River through the glass doors with her sister by her side to say her vows. With those words, Foster became the first and only non-Christian Scientist to get married at Prin.
When Foster is not working, attending her son’s football games or cheering on the rugby team at their home games, she is sewing or baking cakes. She isn’t just your average cake baker, though. Foster builds and decorates cakes for weddings, baby showers and birthdays with her mother. Right now, Foster is in the middle of baking and decorating a five-foot-tall cake for her cousin. She is such a good baker that some call her the Cake Boss, Jerseyville-Style.
For three years now, Foster has attended almost all of the home rugby games, missing only a few because of her own son’s games. She started coming because she loves sports, was interested in learning about rugby and wanted to bring her son so that he could watch. Although what has truly kept her around is her love of supporting Prin students.
Besides two other non-residential buildings, Lowrey is the only house lucky enough to have Foster as their housekeeper. She is always cheery, caring and loves to just chat with “her boys” about life. While she loves all of the Lowrey men, the ThunderChickens of Lowrey are especially cared for. She was able to name them all – Brannon Curtis-Wittenberg, Kevin Eldridge, Peter Nabiswa, Charlie Petch, Scott Ruble, Falukh Sentongo, Jaime Serna and Kendall Shoemake – and even tell a few stories! Foster makes sure they stay in line by calling them out if she sees them late to class, or demands for them to be more careful if she sees they are injured. On a softer note, she is known to bake them rice krispy treats for after their games.
Shoemake was introduced to Foster when she walked up and recognized him by name and as a ThunderChicken. Shoemake explained that Foster acts as a motherly figure for the boys on the rugby team and is appreciated for her consistent support, selflessness and eagerness to talk and listen.
When asked her favorite part about working for Principia, she firmly responded, “You guys. You all and getting to know so many different students… becoming very good friends with y’all. It’s a special thing.”