In 1938, Mary Agnes Harding transferred to FSCW from Florida Southern College. Little did she and her family know that she would be the first in line of Harding siblings to attend Florida State – her four sisters Winnie, Doris, Lena, and Lucy, and her brother Edward, would also attend Florida State over a 17 year period. From 1938 through 1955, there was always a Harding at Florida State.
When Mary first moved to Tallahassee, she lived in an off campus house for college students. She recalled a time in winter, when it was particularly cold out, leaving a heater near the bottom of the stairs and a fire breaking out. Because the students weren’t able to go down the stairs to exit the building, they jumped out the windows or climbed onto tree limbs. Mary remembers that she jumped into a ligustrum that was just outside her window. After the fire, FSCW found room for everyone on campus, and Mary moved into Reynolds Hall. Aside from studying for her major in home economics, Mary enjoyed going to Camp Flastacowo on the weekends, and walking to see movies at the theatre with her friends.
The Harding family tradition of attending Florida State was carried on by Winifred (or “Winnie”) who went on to be a laboratory technician; Lena, who taught business education; Lucille (or “Lucy”), who taught physical education; Doris, the sister they all called “the brain” (Mary remarked that Doris “graduated Cum Laude – the rest of us just graduated”) worked for the U.S. Geological Survey; and Edward, the last Harding sibling to graduate from FSU studied industrial arts education.
After graduating in 1940, Mary married Ken Galbreath, and they started a dairy farm in Fruitland Park, FL, and also taught for over 40 years. She continues to live on the farm they started with her family.