Southwestern College Global RSS Feed en-us Southwestern College Global RSS Feed <![CDATA[Winfield Students Contribute in ‘The Kid Courage Project’ at Southwestern College (Theatre Arts)]]> The Southwestern College theatre department will present “The Kid Courage Project” Friday and Saturday, April 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, April 12, at 2 p.m.  All performances will be in Messenger Recital Hall in the Darbeth Fine Arts Building.  

The play is a devised play, similar to the 2010 production of Adam Sharp’s “The Pillars Stand,” which was based on historical accounts of the Richardson Auditorium fire and interviews with individuals who experienced the fire.  

As part of its Pillars Project, the college focuses each year on one of the virtues celebrated in its alma mater and represented by the Christy pillars of Knowledge, Hope, Courage, and Freedom. The 2014-15 focus on courage inspired this selection by the theatre department.

The content for “The Kid Courage Project” came from youth from the Winfield Intermediate School and Winfield Middle School.  The students had writing prompts about the theme of courage and the students wrote and contributed their stories.  Those stories were then passed on to Southwestern students in the “Devising Playwriting” class that was developed in the fall semester by Roger Moon, associate professor of theatre at speech at Southwestern.  The SC students then took that content and developed short scripts that then were incorporated into a larger play.  The length of the play is just under one hour and there will be a talkback session with the cast and crew immediately following the production.  

“(‘The Kid Courage Project’) explores what it takes to have courage,” says Allyson Moon, associate professor of theatre and speech at Southwestern College.   “What causes fear, anxiety, and terror in the lives of youth? How do they work through it in order to be able to go on and be whole and sometimes fearless and courageous and who helps them do that? There are many things that youth face. Death is a huge topic of concern, the death of parents, grandparents, death of a pet, and their own death and mortality.  And of course bullying is a huge topic of concern for them.  All of that is in the play.”

Allyson Moon says audience members will feel positive after viewing this production.

“I think people will leave feeling uplifted,” Allyson Moon says.  “I also feel like this show is instructional.  If you want to know what goes on in the collective mind of children in the intermediate and middle school age range, and the things they think about and the things they are concerned about, you will know by the time you leave.  You will also know that these kids are tough and how they plan on coming out on the other side and being stronger.  Some of this show is heartbreaking and so true to life, no matter what age you may be.  I think everyone who attends will be able to relate to the content. There are also parts that are honestly funny.”

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.  To purchase tickets, call (620) 221-7720 or email  

Fri, 27 Mar 2015 10:47:52 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Cherokee Maidens & Sycamore Swing to Perform at Southwestern College (General)]]> The Cherokee Maidens & Sycamore Swing will perform on Saturday, April 18, at 8 p.m. in the Richardson Performing Arts Center in the Christy Administration Building on the campus of Southwestern College.  The show is part of the RPAC Presents Series that was created to showcase the renovated Richardson Performing Arts Center. 

The Cherokee Maidens are a trio of songwriters made up of Bartlett Arboretum steward Robin Macy; Jennifer Pettersen, a singer whom Macy taught over a decade ago when she was a teacher at Wichita Collegiate School; and Monica Taylor, a member of the Cherokee Nation who lives in Perkins, Okla., and was featured on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” radio show.  The Maidens are accompanied by Sycamore Swing, a troupe of veteran jazz musicians led by Macy’s husband, Kentucky White.  Other members include Jimmy Campbell, dobro; Jordan Bollig, bass; and Kirk Russell, drums. Macy has described their music as a confluence of three singer-songwriters and a fabulous hillbilly jazz combo. Much of their material is vintage and western.

The event will occur during Founders Weekend at Southwestern College.  

 “The Cherokee Maidens are a regional favorite and it’s an honor to have them perform at SC,” says Jessica Falk, director of camps and conferences at Southwestern College.  “This is also a terrific opportunity to showcase the renovated Richardson Performing Arts Center to our alumni as well as our friends in the community during our Founders Day Weekend celebration.”

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for Southwestern College alumni, and $10 for students.  Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling Jessica Falk at (620) 229-6141.


Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:52:10 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Asbury Theological Seminary Professor to Present Parkhurst Lecture at Southwestern College (Philosophy & Religion)]]> Joseph Dongell, professor of Biblical studies at Asbury Theological Seminary, will present the Parkhurst Lecture at Southwestern College on Wednesday, April 1, at 7 p.m., in Wroten Hall.  There is no admission charge and the public is invited to attend.

Dongell will be speaking about the challenges and opportunities in finding a theology that unifies the Old and New Testaments.  

Dongell joined the faculty at Asbury Theological Seminary in 1989. He now serves as professor of Biblical studies, with primary responsibility in the Inductive Bible Studies Department.

He received a bachelor of arts degree from Central Wesleyan College in 1978, a master of divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1981, a master of arts degree from the University of Kentucky in 1986, and a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in 1991.

Prior to joining the faculty, he served as an instructor in various languages (Greek, Hebrew and Latin) at Asbury Seminary (1981-1983), Asbury College (1985-1986), and Union Theological Seminary (1987). His doctoral dissertation focused on the literary structure of Luke’s Gospel, a particular interest that has more recently extended into the Gospels of Mark and John. Dongell is the author of a commentary on the Gospel of John (Wesley Press).

As an ordained elder in the Wesleyan Church, Dongell has maintained an active ministry in that denomination as an associate pastor, an adult Sunday school teacher, a one-time director and frequent advisor of the Wesleyan Seminary Foundation on Asbury Seminary’s campus, an instructor in regional Wesleyan ministerial training, and a representative to the annual Graduate Student Theological Seminar. 

The Parkhurst Lecture is one of three annual endowed lectures hosted by the philosophy and religion department of the social sciences division at Southwestern College. This lecture focuses on Biblical studies. 

For more information contact Jackson Lashier, assistant professor of religion, at (620) 229-6066.

Tue, 24 Mar 2015 14:57:26 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Founders Day Weekend April 16-19 at Southwestern College (General)]]> Founders Day weekend at Southwestern College will be Thursday through Sunday, April 16-19.  Five Southwestern College halls of fame will open their doors to new inductees. The celebration will include recognition of inductees entering the Leaders in Service Hall of Fame for the Social Sciences, as well as the Fine Arts, Business, Scholars, and Educators Halls of Fame.

The festivities will begin at 3 p.m., on Thursday, April 16, with readings and a book signing by family members of Helen and Orville Strohl in Deets Library.  They will read from “Fifty Years to Shape a Dream, 1933-1983,” by Helen and Orville Strohl and copies will available to purchase for $24.99.

On Friday, April 17, at 2 p.m., Jackson Lashier, associate professor of religion, will lead a discussion on his book, “Irenaeus on the Trinity,” in Deets Library.  Lashier will analyze Irenaeus' Trinitarian conception of God and how it contributes to the development of Tinitarian thought in early Christianity.  A book signing will follow the presentation.

Hall of Fame festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday with the unveiling of plaques of those entering the Leaders in Service Hall of Fame for the Social Sciences and a dedication of the hall of fame to outgoing Southwestern president, Dick Merriman, in recognition of his outstanding 17-year tenure.  At 6 p.m. there will be a dinner in Deets Library followed by the induction ceremony at 6:45. The cost is $20, limited seating is available, and RSVP is necessary.

From 8-9 p.m. in Darbeth Fine Arts Center, there will be a reception for Madeline (Magnusson) Norland ’83.  Items from her personal art collection will be on display in the President’s Gallery throughout the weekend.

Saturday’s schedule begins at 8:30 a.m. with an open house at the President’s Gallery, for persons who were not able to attend the evening reception to view paintings from the Norland collection.  At 9 a.m. the Fine Arts Hall of Fame brunch will be held on Richardson stage (limited seating, RSVP necessary), followed immediately with the induction ceremony honoring the inductees into the Fine Arts Hall of Fame in Richardson Performing Arts Center.  

A luncheon will be held for the Business Hall of Fame in Deets Library at 12 p.m., with the induction ceremony to begin at approximately 12:45 p.m.  The cost is $15, seating is limited, and RSVP is needed.

At 3:30 p.m., in Deets Library, there will be a reception for the Educators and Scholars Hall of Fame inductees. At 4 p.m., the induction ceremony for the Educators Hall of Fame will begin followed by the induction ceremony for the Scholars Hall of Fame at approximately 4:45 p.m.  There is no charge but to insure adequate seating, RSVP is appreciated. 

Another exciting component of Founders Weekend is the President’s dinner (by invitation only) at 6 p.m. on Saturday night.  New inductees to the Heritage Society, persons who have made provisions for Southwestern College in their estate plans, will be recognized.  Heritage Society inductees for 2015 are Dr. Martha Kyle ’67, Dr. David ’60 and Grace Nichols ’80, and the Rev. Dr. Robert and Delores Eads.

At 8 p.m., the Cherokee Maidens & Sycamore Swing will perform in the Richardson Performing Arts Center.  Tickets are $20 per person, $15 for alumni, and $10 for students.  For tickets, call (620) 221-7720.

“Just like the welcome excitement of seeing the first flowers of springtime, I look forward to Founders Weekend every year at Southwestern College,” says Susan Lowe, director of alumni programs at SC.  “In addition to all the activities going on, we celebrate outstanding Moundbuilders at five halls of fame during this weekend.  Their successes validate the education provided here.”

Individuals entering the various halls of fame include:
•    Leaders in Service: F. David Froman ’68, Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez ’94, and John William “Bill” Todd ’51.
•    Fine Arts: Michael Brummett’79, Terry McGonigle ’73, and Madeline (Magnusson) Norland ’83.
•    Business: Shawn Fanshier ’83, Gregg Howell ’73, and Leo “Pete” Whalen ’51. Business Builder Award: Winfield Economic Development (board members: Rodger Steffen, Jill Long, Warren Porter, Craig Duncan, and Stan Ahlerich).
•    Educators: Gyla (Brock) Conklin ’58, Cheryl (Bernard) Schasteen ’71, and Kenneth Valentine ’70. 
•    Scholars: Dale Sims ’80, and Philip Schmidt. 

Southwestern College hall of fame displays are located in Mossman Hall, Darbeth Fine Arts Center, Beech Science Center, Deets Library, and Stewart Field House.  Electronic viewing of the halls may be found at  The Heritage Society display is located in the Christy Administration Building.
For more information about any of the events for Founders Day, contact Lowe at (620) 229-6334.

Mon, 09 Mar 2015 15:52:59 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SC to Host League of Legends Tournament March 27 (General)]]> Southwestern College eSports will host a League of Legends 5 versus 5 tournament on Friday, March 27, at 7:15 p.m., in the lower level of the Christy Administration Building. There is no entry fee required however players must supply their own computer with wifi capability.  Free pizza and drinks will be provided. 
Pre-registration is encouraged.  To register, go to or  Players may also register in person between 6 and 7 p.m., on March 27.  According to Zenas Lopez, a Southwestern College student and the co-founder and president of the club, they will be using the Riot Games Inc. tournament rules.  Riot Games Inc. will also provide prizes for the top four teams. 

Southwestern College director of admission Marla Sexson recently announced that beginning in the fall of 2015, a student may receive a $5,000 grant each year, equaling $20,000 for four years, to participate in eSports at SC. 

League of Legends has become the most popular of the eSports.  According to developer Riot Games Inc., 27 million people play the game each day.  Southwestern becomes just the third school in the United States to offer scholarships for eSports.

According to the game’s website, League of Legends is a “fast-paced, competitive online game that blends the speed and intensity of a real-time strategy game with role playing game elements.”

For more information about the March 27 tournament, contact Lopez at  

Fri, 06 Mar 2015 15:16:39 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Sebastian Junger to Deliver Docking Lecture at Southwestern College Thursday (General)]]> Award winning journalist, director, and best-selling author Sebastian Junger will present the Docking Lecture on Thursday, March 5, at 11 a.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center in the Christy Administration building on the campus of Southwestern College.  Junger became a fixture in the international media when, as a first-time author, he commanded the “New York Times” best-seller list for more than three years with “The Perfect Storm,” which became a major motion picture starring George Clooney.
Sebastian Junger
As part of its Pillars Project, the college focuses each year on one of the virtues celebrated in its alma mater and represented by the Christy pillars of Knowledge, Hope, Courage, and Freedom. The 2014-15 focus on courage inspired the choice of Sebastian Junger to give this year’s Docking Lecture.

The public is invited to attend and there is no admission charge.

Junger is a graduate of Concord Academy in Massachusetts.   He received his bachelor of arts degree in cultural anthropology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.  

Some of Junger’s works include:
•    “Fire” is a collection of articles dealing with dangerous regions of the world,
•    “Restrepo” was his first film.  The documentary was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary and received the 2010 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. 
•    “War.” “Time” magazine named it a top 10 non-fiction book in 2010.
•     “Which Way is the Front Line From Here” is about the life and times of photographer Tim Hetherington and focusing on his documenting the humanity of people caught up in war. 

The Docking Lecture is underwritten by Union State Bank and by William and Thomas Docking.  The Docking family has played a prominent role in Kansas government and politics for over half a century.  In 1956 George Docking was elected governor of Kansas.  He served two terms, leaving office in 1961.  His son, Robert Docking, was elected governor in 1966 and served four two-year terms, more than any other Kansas governor, leaving office in 1975.  Robert Docking’s sons have continued the family’s commitment to public service.  William Docking was appointed to the Kansas Higher Education Board of Regents in 1995, and served as its chair.  Thomas Docking was lieutenant governor of Kansas from 1983 to 1987, during the governorship of John Carlin.


Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:58:35 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Southwestern College Enactus Team Offering Help for Job Fair Attendees (General)]]> The Southwestern College Enactus team is offering assistance for anyone at Southwestern College or in the community who would like assistance putting together a resume, cover letter, and interview skills in preparation for the upcoming job fairs in Winfield and Arkansas City. The job fairs are sponsored by Cowley First.

Enactus team members will work with individuals who plan to attend the job fairs to help enhance their chances of gaining employment.  Each individual who comes for help will receive a leather portfolio.

The job fairs will be Tuesday, March 3, in the Winfield High School auxiliary gym from 9 a.m. to noon, and Wednesday, March 4, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., in the Wright Room on the Cowley College campus in Arkansas City.

For more information or to set up an appointment with an Enactus team member, contact Southwestern College internship coordinator Jim McEwen at (620) 229-6346.


Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:20:12 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Unique View for Dinner Theatre Patrons Prior to ‘Spamalot’ (Theatre Arts)]]> Audiences at the Southwestern College’s spring Broadway musical “Spamalot,” lovingly ripped off from 1960s television series and the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Gail,” will have the opportunity to experience the full backstage view of the Broadway musical hit.  

“The tradition of excellence in dinner theatre productions at Southwestern is a long one,” says Roger Moon, SC theatre professor, who is also director of the production. “Since dinner theatre began in the 1960s and running though the long life of Horsefeathers and Applesauce summer dinner theatre, and on into the years of collaboration with the Marquee and the SC Summer Theatre Festival productions, the menus and style of service of SC dinner theatre has always been to coordinate the menu, décor, and style of serving with the show.  We always want to enrich the full experience of the dinner theatre patron.”

The Campus Players who are creating the dinner decided to tackle a new direction in this experience.  Instead of creating the world of King Arthur and Spamalot, audiences will go “backstage” for the full sweep of pre-show preparations.  Before and as diners are treated to a New York Jewish dinner, they will experience Broadway backstage with all the sets, props, costume, and makeup preparation for the evening’s show.  

“This is a huge technical show,” explains Allyson Moon, SC director of theatre and costume designer for “Spamalot.”  “It is very complex with hundreds of costumes on dozens of characters, and a crazy set designed by new SC technical director Lee Jones, with medieval towers, projections, and a trap door to enable the appearance of the Arthur’s ‘Lady of the Lake.’  Audiences will get to see how it all works.”

Instead of hiding the backstage magic with the show’s theme or setting as dinner theatre usually does, the SC production will immerse the attendees.  Guests will get to share the special fun with actors as they get into make-up and costume, set their props, and warm up.  
The menu includes Jewish New York garlic hummus and pita chips, stuffed chicken breast, potato latkes with grated onion, and a special herbed cabbage and beets.  Dessert is Jewish apple cake with sliced almonds.  

“We’ve never done anything like it,” explains director Moon. “After they have eaten, diners may go directly on to backstage and into the theatre.  They’ll see how the set works, how props and costumes are organized.  They may get to see some of the last minute madness that is part of keeping everything cool in the front of house.”  

Creating the full experience for diners with an excellent meal and special involvement will be great fun for audiences, though there will be a limit the number of people that can be seated, Moon adds.  

“Spamalot” performances will be on Thursday and Saturday, March 5 and 7, with dinner at 6 p.m. and the performance at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday matinee on March 8 will serve dinner at 12:30 with the performance at 2 p.m. 

Combined dinner and show tickets cost $25 for adults, $23 for senior, and $18 for children under 12 years of age.

Seating for “Spamalot” may also be reserved without dinner.  For reservations for dinner and show or just the performance, contact the Southwestern College box office at (620) 221-7720.   Information is also available on the web at performing  


Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:18:22 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[College Sustainability Council Minutes February 23, 2015 (College Sustainability Council)]]> Southwestern College Sustainability Council

February 23, 2015

Employees present: Steve Wilke, Jason Speegle, Sara Weinert, Allyson Moon, Rick Cowlishaw.

Green Team members present: Shawna Castaño, Kasie Jones, Kali  Brewer, Cata Wingfield, Jessica Gremling, Stephanie Hill, Kylie Stamper, Krista Scheuerman.


Green Team members served as a focus group to talk about possible initiatives for future sustainability efforts by the college.

Steve led a discussion on the student center. The lower floor of the union is underutilized, and there have been suggestions that we put more program headquarters on this floor. This could be a sustainability center and would give a focus for sustainability issues. The space is located in the current Moundbuilder Market area.  (Reaction to this is discussed in #2 below.)

What would be the next steps of progress? Green Team suggestions:

  1. Not using trays in the cafeteria? Sustainability will be one of the criteria companies bidding to do SC’s food service will be judged on when they make presentations next week.
  1. Steve asked about relationship between Green Team and remainder of student body. One member said most students don’t know who members of the Green Team are. More outreach is needed to get visibility. Jason’s office is not on a main traffic pattern. Signage needed? Members were enthusiastic about putting Jason’s office and Green Team activities in the lower level of the student center. This would aid visibility, convenience, and participation.
  2. Is a sustainability club or other activity needed for persons who want to be involved but not to the extent of being on the Green Team? Eco-Builder? Students say that is already the way the Green Team is organized. Everyone is welcome to join, whether on scholarship or not.  More awareness is needed by students, education on how to live sustainability. Both why and how are important, as is making it easy for people to change their behavior.
  3. Is the college changing on sustainability? Veteran members of the group see change, but slowly.
  4. Workshop on living green? People forget to do the small things that lead to sustainability (such as turning off lights.)
  5. What about the relationship with Winfield? Some things we can do as Winfield does it. (Single stream recycling, for example.) E-waste is an example of success of working with municipalities. Rick pointed out this is a service for the city. Allyson mentioned the partnership of Green Team with Grace UMC to pick up Island Park.
    1. Making spaces a great place to be?
    2. Some political work with businesses to influence retail to make different choices? How do you affect the kind of change that lets Sonic not use Styrofoam?
    3. For incoming freshmen, could we send a group to a recycling center? Or to a business that they could experience recycling?
    4. Meet with mom-and-pop shops to get them to transition to sustainability? How to incentivize this? Greenbucks that could be exchanged for a t-shirt?
    5. Recycling containers at Island Park? And all public spaces (baseball fields, tennis courts, etc.)?
  6. What is in the mind of high school students? At Stephanie’s high school, a class is taught in going green, but none of the high schools of other GT members did. It would be easier to shape attitudes and behaviors if students came already with some exposure to this issue. Even in Winfield High School there are no recycling bins.
  7. Several of the students are in the sustainability minor. How did they find out about it? Jason has been the primary promoter of the minor. To be on the Green Team a student has to be enrolled in certain sustainability classes and earning the minor is only a couple classes beyond this.
  8. How could class projects be used in other ways? Class poster project of green projects in Java Jinx was successful. Leaving it out longer would have been helpful.
  9. Steve suggested the majority of those not involved with sustainability on campus are not opposed to sustainability, but uneducated. GT members agreed. Peer education and influence could help with the issue. Rick: Sustainability is being defined by the wrong people. Instead of being promoted as a healthier and more prosperous life, it is being promoted as deprivation and hardship. We have to make sustainability cool for young people.  



Mon, 23 Feb 2015 15:47:02 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Jazz Violinist Christian Howes to Perform at Southwestern College March 13 (Music)]]> Violinist Christian Howes will perform along with his group Southern Exposure Friday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center (RPAC) on the campus of Southwestern College.  Tickets are $15 for general seating, $12 for alumni, and $8 for students and children. RPAC is located in the Christy Administration Building.

“Arguably the most intriguing young violinist in jazz,” says an article in the “Minneapolis Tribune.”

In August 2011, Howes was ranked as the #1 “Rising Star” violinist in the “Downbeat” Critics Poll and nominated for the Jazz Journalists Association’s “Violinist Of The Year.” In 2012, he was voted among the top three violinists in “JazzTimes” expanded critics poll. The same year, he received the Residency Partner Award from Chamber Music America for his educational outreach with school orchestra programs.  He now regularly tours throughout Asia, Europe, and the U.S. as a leader of his own groups and a soloist with orchestras. Howes toured Ukraine in June 2014 at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy, as a cultural ambassador, underscoring U.S. support for a free and democratic Ukraine.

Howes visited Southwestern College this past October as a guest clinician, working with student and community musicians on improvisation skills.

His most recent album release, Southern Exposure, combines traditional jazz with Latin influences.  

For more information, contact Jessica Falk at (620) 229-6141.  Patrons can also purchase tickets online at

Tue, 17 Feb 2015 15:01:25 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Founders Weekend 2015 Schedule (Alumni News)]]> Founders Weekend, April 16-19, 2015, is a great opportunity to celebrate the many things that make Southwestern unique and outstanding. We hope you will be able to attend one or more of the events.

Thursday, April 16

3 p.m.  Readings and book signing by Strohl family members of their parents' book, "Fifty Years to Shape a Dream, 1933-1983", by Helen & Orville Strohl, held in Deets Library.  Books are available for purchase, $24.99 each.

Friday, April 17

2 p.m. Book presentation, Irenaeus on the Trinity, by Jackson Lashier, associate Professor of Religion, held in Deets Library.  Dr. Lashier analyzes Irenaeus' Trinitarian conception of God and how it contributes to the development of Tinitarian thought in early Christianity.  A book signing will follow the presentation.

5:30 p.m.  Leaders in Service Hall of Fame for the Social Sciences dinner & induction ceremony, Deets Library.  Cost $20, limited seating, RSVP necessary to

F. David Froman '68
Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez '94
John William "Bill" Todd '51

Saturday, April 18

8:30 a.m.  Open House, Darbeth Lobby to view Fine Arts Hall of Fame and display in the President's Gallery
9 a.m.  Fine Arts Hall of Fame brunch & induction ceremony, stage in Richardson Performing Arts Center.  Limited seating, RSVP necessary to

Michael R. Brummett '79
Terry L. McGonigle '73
Madeline (Magnusson) Norland '83

12 noon  Business Hall of Fame lunch & induction ceremony, Deets Library.  Cost $15, limited seating, RSVP necessary to

Shawn L. Fanshier '83
Gregg A. Howell '73
Leo T. "Pete" Whalen '51

Recipient of the Business Builder Award for 2015:  Winfield Economic Development Committee (board members are Craig Duncan, Jill Long, Warren Porter and Rodger Steffen)

3:30 p.m.  Educators & Scholars Halls of Fame reception, Deets Library, followed by hall of fame ceremonies.  No charge, but to insure adequate seating, your RSVP to is appreciated.

Educators Hall of Fame Inductees:
Gyla (Brock) Conklin '58
Cheryl (Bernard) Schasteen '71
Kenneth E. Valentine '70

Scholars Hall of Fame Inductees:
Dale B. Sims '80
Philip R. Schmidt

6 p.m.  Founders Day Dinner, Roy L. Smith dining hall, by invitation only.

8 p.m.  RPAC Presents, Richardson Performing Arts Center.  Show details will be announced at a later date.

Sunday, April 19

3 p.m.  Spring Choral Concert, Richardson Performing Arts Center.

For more information on Founders Weekend events, call 620-229-6279.

Fri, 13 Feb 2015 17:07:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Leaders in Service Hall of Fame for the Social Sciences on April 17, 2015 (Alumni News)]]> Plan to attend the Leaders in Service Hall of Fame for the Social Sciences to honor three outstanding Moundbuilders: F. David Froman '68, Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez '94, and John William "Bill" Todd '51.  The hall of fame event will begin at 5:30 on April 17 with the unveiling of plaques in Deets Library, followed by dinner and the induction ceremony in the same location at 6 p.m.

Cost of the meal is $20, seating is limited and RSVPs are necessary to

Fri, 13 Feb 2015 17:01:25 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Fine Arts Hall of Fame on April 18, 2015 (Alumni News)]]> For 2015, the Fine Arts Hall of Fame event will be moving to the stage in beautiful new Richardson Performing Arts Center in Christy Hall.  The event will begin at 9 a.m. on April 18 with a brunch served on the stage, followed by the induction ceremony.

Outstanding alumni that will be honored are Michael R. Brummett '79, Terry L. McGonigle '73, and Madeline (Magnusson) Norland '83.

Seating for this event is limited and RSVPs are necessary to

Fri, 13 Feb 2015 17:00:29 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Business Hall of Fame on April 18, 2015 (Alumni News)]]> The Business Hall of Fame event for 2015 will begin with an unveiling of plaques at 12 noon on April 18, 2015 in Deets Library.  Immediately following will be a luncheon and the induction ceremony in the same location.

Outstanding alumni to be recognized are Shawn L. Fanshier '83, Gregg A. Howell '73, and Leo T. "Pete" Whalen '51.  Recipient of the Business Builder Award for 2015 is the Winfield Economic Development Committee, board members are Warren Porter, Craig Duncan, Rodger Steffen, and Jill Long.

Cost of the luncheon is $15.  Seating is limited for the event and RSVPs are necessary to

Fri, 13 Feb 2015 16:58:46 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Educators and Scholars Halls of Fame on April 18, 2015 (Alumni News)]]> Southwestern College is proud to announce those who will be honored at the 2015 Educators and Scholars Halls of Fame, which will take place on Founders Weekend.  The event will begin with a reception for both halls, starting at 3:30 p.m. on April 18 in Deets Library.

At 4 p.m., the Educators Hall of Fame will begin and will recognize Gyla (Brock) Conklin '58, Cheryl (Bernard) Shasteen '71, and Kenneth E. Valentine '70.

The Scholars Hall of Fame will immediately follow in the same location and will honor Dale B. Sims '80, and beloved longtime SC professor, the late Philip R. Schmidt.  There is no cost to attend, but to insure adequate seating, your RSVP is appreciated to

Fri, 13 Feb 2015 16:56:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Award Winning War Documentary 'Restrepo' to be Shown at Southwestern College (General)]]> Southwestern College will present a free screening of Sebastian Junger’s critically acclaimed documentary “Restrepo” on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center.  The public is invited to attend.

“Restrepo” is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. The movie focuses on a remote 15-man outpost, Restrepo, named after a platoon medic who was killed in action. It was considered one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. military. This is an entirely experiential film: the cameras never leave the valley and there are no interviews with generals or diplomats. According to the “Restrepo” website, the only goal of the documentary was to make viewers feel as if they have just been through a 90-minute deployment.

Co-directed with photojournalist Tim Hetherington, “Restrepo” was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary and received the 2010 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. 

“‘Restrepo’ is an unforgettable and terrifying story—an adrenaline drip of blazing action that assaults your senses and locks your eyes to the screen,” says Steve O’Brien, CBS Radio.  “This is war as only the bravest experience it; enormously affecting.”

Junger will present the Docking Lecture on Thursday, March 5, at 11 a.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center in the Christy Administration building on the campus of Southwestern College. 

As part of its Pillars Project, the college focuses each year on one of the virtues celebrated in its alma mater and represented by the Christy pillars of Knowledge, Hope, Courage, and Freedom. The 2014-15 focus on courage inspired the choice of Sebastian Junger to give this year’s Docking Lecture.


Thu, 12 Feb 2015 10:44:49 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Cast for 'Spamalot' Finalized (Theatre Arts)]]> The Southwestern College performing arts faculty had auditions in January, and have cast and begun rehearsals for Monty Python’s “Spamalot,” which will play in Southwestern’s Richardson Performing Arts Center March 5, 7, and 8.

The cast for the Broadway hit, produced by the SC performing arts division, began advertising auditions in the fall semester. Students from the music and theatre programs at Southwestern, along with talented actors, dancers, and musicians from across the disciplines began preparations for auditions for the many roles in the Monty Python musical theatre comedy.  Prospective area high school and community college students were also contacted and invited to audition to participate in the demanding production. 

“We have been blessed with enormous musical theatre talent for generations here at Southwestern College, as well as in the Winfield community and surrounding area,” says SC theatre professor Roger Moon, who is directing the “Spamalot” production.  “When SC’s brilliant new music faculty arrived this fall, including Dr. Brian Winnie, (director of choral activities and voice), and Dr. Amber Peterson, (chair for strings education and conductor of the South Kansas Symphony), along with Stephen Butler, as instructor of music theory and pianist, we looked at the wonderful people we already work with in the community and decided to open the doors further so prospective students can get to know our faculty and have a chance to work with them.”  

“Yazmin Wood, Southwestern’s instructor of dance, is a superb choreographer, as well as dance teacher,” says Allyson Moon, Southwestern’s director of theatre and also costume designer for “Spamalot.”  “We want all of our prospective students to know of the highly personalized attention and professional training Yazmin brings to SC.”

“Auditions at the beginning of the spring semester led to callbacks and selection of a talented ensemble, who play many roles as they did in the 2005 Broadway production,” Roger Moon says. 

 According to Roger Moon, the outrageous Monty Python style consistently has challenged performers to play multiple roles from the popular 1960’s British television show to the 1975 movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and on to the 2005 Broadway production of “Spamalot.”  Tim Curry, star of television, film, and stage, who played Arthur on Broadway, was one of the only actors in that cast who did not play multiple roles.

“We decided the casting of actors in multiple roles is part of the charm of the show and have cast SC’s production in that way. Only one actor, William Wade, who is playing King Arthur, is the only actor playing one role,” Roger Moon says.  

Winfield actors include senior Mariah Warren, cast as the Lady of the Lake, and sophomore Phoebe Muldrow, who will play King Arthur’s right hand “man,” Patsy. Both actors will have the opportunity to play at least one other role, though Warren will be totally disguised, which is necessary for her role according to Roger Moon.

Other major roles in the “Spamalot” ensemble include Arkansas City’s John Rohr, appearing as Dennis Galahad; Austin Davis, Colorado Springs,  Colo., will be playing Sir Lancelot; Zoe Rea, Salina, will be playing Sir Robin; and Nikia Smith, Syracuse, will play Sir Bedevere.  
“All four actors will delight audiences in multiple other roles.  They are gifted comic actors, singers, and dancers,” says Roger Moon.
Other SC actors in the ensemble from Winfield who will play multiple roles include senior Jacob Marney, who will play Herbert’s Father among his many roles, and freshman Shelby Guffey, whose many roles will include Mrs. Galahad. 

Senior actors include Caitlin Harris, Edmond, Okla., in roles which include the Historian and Lead Minstrel; and Juliette Lowrance, Coffeyville, who will play the Finnish Mayor, and will also be props master.  

Louise Kavanagh, an international student from Ireland who has considerable professional experience, will play Not Dead Fred along with numerous other dancing and comic roles.

SC ensemble juniors in the cast include Justin Godwin, Tuscaloosa, Ala., whose roles include the Black Knight; and Leslie Pasarell, League City, Texas, who plays many roles including the French Taunter.

Sophomore SC students in the ensemble include Allie Petrovich, Colorado Springs, Colo., who performs in ten roles, along with being assistant choreographer and dance captain, and Meagan Morrow, Bartlesville, Okla., whose roles range from English Knight to Brother Maynard. 

Southwestern freshmen include Noah Meadows, Bartlesville, Okla., whose roles include the English Guard who questions Arthurs kingship because he pretends to ride a horse to the sound of clacking coconuts; and Jose Delgado-Castro, Richardson, Texas, whose roles include Sir Bors who is beheaded by the deadly “Rabbit.”

Local students selected for the production include Nate Lee of Winfield High School, as Herbert, along with countless other roles; Arkansas City High School senior Ross Ferris whose singing, dancing, and acting talents led him to be cast in ten ensemble roles; and Bella Wood of Arkansas City, who dances as the Flying Nun, a Not Yet Dead body, and French, Jewish, and English chorus.

The stage manager for “Spamalot” is Anna Rosell, Wichita, and Tori Fairbank, Garden City, is the assistant stage manager.
Lee Jones, the Southwestern College technical director and manager of the TOMARI Center, is designing sets and projections which will be a major part of the design. Co-assistant lighting designers are Eli Rodda, Winfield, and Meagan Morrow. 

Reservations for “Spamalot,” which is a dinner theatre production, will go on sale beginning Feb. 19 and may be made by calling (620) 221-7720 or by e-mailing  


Tue, 10 Feb 2015 13:09:21 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Climate Change Discussion at Southwestern College February 18 (Green Team)]]> Green Team Southwestern will host a discussion on climate change on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m., in the Beech Science Center, room 104.  The public is invited to attend and there is no admission charge.  

Two speakers will offer differing views on climate change and global warming.  

The first presenter will be Rick Cowlishaw, professor of biology at Southwestern College.  He earned his bachelor of science degree in 2002 from Oregon State University; Ph.D. from the University of Oregon and Oregon Institute of Marine Biology.  Cowlishaw’s research and teaching interests include plankton ecology, marine biology, and ecology.

The second presenter will be Neil Frank.  Frank was the director of the National Hurricane Center for 13 years before he retired from the Federal Government in 1987 to accept the position of chief meteorologist at the CBS Television station in Houston, Texas (KHOU-TV). In June 2008, Frank retired for the second time and is currently living in the Houston area.  He is a Southwestern College graduate and has published over 40 papers and written numerous articles for popular publications such as “National Geographic,” “The Wall Street Journal,” “The New York Times,” “Newsweek,” “People Magazine,” and the “Southern Living” magazine.

A question and answer session will follow the presentations.

For more information, contact Green Team Southwestern director Jason Speegle at (620) 229-6311.

Mon, 09 Feb 2015 09:54:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Kansas Private College Week is February 9-16 (General)]]> Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has issued a proclamation identifying Feb. 9-16 as Kansas Private College week in the state of Kansas. 
The governor’s proclamation brings attention to Kansas higher education, especially the role played by Southwestern College and the 17 other independent colleges and universities that form the Kansas Independent College Association.

Kansas private colleges award over $120 million in institutional grants and scholarships to students annually; 20% of the state’s bachelor’s degrees and 23% of the state’s master’s degrees are awarded to students attending private colleges.

“Kansas private colleges are efficient and effective,” says Southwestern president Dick Merriman.  “We provide significant educational opportunities for Kansas students without direct support from Kansas taxpayers and our focus on service learning and leadership means our graduates make important contributions to Kansas communities.”

“There are 18 private colleges in Kansas, enrolling 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year; and there are over 275,000 living alums—half of whom live and work in Kansas; among these alums are some of the state’s most important civic, business, and cultural leaders,” Brownback says.

Along with Southwestern College, the other 17 independent colleges and universities are Baker, Benedictine, Bethany, Bethel, Central Christian, Donnelly, Friends, Hesston, Kansas Wesleyan, McPherson, Manhattan Christian, MidAmerica Nazarene, Newman, Ottawa, Saint Mary, Sterling, and Tabor.


Fri, 06 Feb 2015 15:40:38 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Sebastian Junger to Deliver Docking Lecture at Southwestern College; ‘Restrepo’ to be Presented February 17 (General)]]> Award winning journalist, director, and best-selling author Sebastian Junger will present the Docking Lecture on Thursday, March 5, at 11 a.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center in the Christy Administration building on the campus of Southwestern College.  Junger became a fixture in the international media when, as a first-time author, he commanded the “New York Times” best-seller list for more than three years with “The Perfect Storm,” which became a major motion picture starring George Clooney.
Sebastian Junger
As part of its Pillars Project, the college focuses each year on one of the virtues celebrated in its alma mater and represented by the Christy pillars of Knowledge, Hope, Courage, and Freedom. The 2014-15 focus on courage inspired the choice of Sebastian Junger to give this year’s Docking Lecture.

Prior to his visit to the college, Southwestern will present a screening of Junger’s critically acclaimed documentary “Restrepo” on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center.  Co-directed with photojournalist Tim Hetherington, “Restrepo” was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary and received the 2010 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.  It documents the war in Afghanistan by reporting from the soldiers’ perspectives.

The public is invited to attend both events and there is no admission charge.

Junger and Hetherington worked together in Afghanistan on assignment for “Vanity Fair.” They spent a year with one platoon in the Korengal Valley, which is billed as the deadliest valley in Afghanistan. They recorded video to document their experience, and this footage went on to form the basis for “Restrepo.” The title refers to the outpost where Junger was embedded, which was named after a combat medic, Pfc. Juan Restrepo, killed in action.

The Docking Lecture is underwritten by Union State Bank and by William and Thomas Docking.  The Docking family has played a prominent role in Kansas government and politics for over half a century.  In 1956 George Docking was elected governor of Kansas.  He served two terms, leaving office in 1961.  His son, Robert Docking, was elected governor in 1966 and served four two-year terms, more than any other Kansas governor, leaving office in 1975.  Robert Docking’s sons have continued the family’s commitment to public service.  William Docking was appointed to the Kansas Higher Education Board of Regents in 1995, and served as its chair.  Thomas Docking was lieutenant governor of Kansas from 1983 to 1987, during the governorship of John Carlin.


Wed, 04 Feb 2015 15:10:33 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Patrick Ross Returns to Southwestern After Exploration Place Sabbatical (General)]]> Patrick Ross, Southwestern College professor of biology and chair of the natural science division, has returned to his teaching duties at the college after spending the  fall semester on sabbatical at Exploration Place in Wichita.  
Pat Ross Expo Place
While at Exploration Place, Ross participated in a number of activities connected with the museum’s education staff.  

“I was surprised at the degree museums are involved with education,” Ross says.  “The technical term is informal education.  You don’t have students bolted in their seats for 50 minutes.  People are coming in for a variety of reasons but the control of the visit is up to the visitor.  If you’re not doing anything interesting they will move on.  You can put up cool pictures and gobs of text but the learning experience is ultimately up to them.”  

Ross had opportunities to teach a wide range of age groups, from third and fourth graders to senior citizens.  

For example, Wichita has an event, “Senior Wednesdays,” that gives senior citizens the opportunity to visit museums and other area attractions. During the fall, Ross was the key speaker for this activity at Exploration Place, and talked about their fall exhibit on parasites.  

“That went over very well,” Ross says.  “It was a 50-minute lecture based Powerpoint presentation, a format I often use in my classes.  However, my next assignment stretched me considerably as I had to design an appropriate, hands-on activity about diseases and germs for elementary through high school kids.  This was my first really big assignment.  With the kindergarteners we used glow in the dark dust to teach proper hand washing technique and how sharing toys could lead to the spread of a disease.  With the high school students, we simulated the spread of an epidemic and talked about how vaccinations work to stop the spread of disease.”

Soon after this, one educator left their traveling education operation so Ross filled in for four weeks and was known as Professor Pat as he taught third and fourth graders.  Ross traveled to Wellington, Belle Plaine, Conway Springs, and Oxford.

“That was the most fun I had,” Ross says.  “I enjoyed all of my fall at Exploration Place, but working with those little kids was great.  They are so curious; they are not bored or jaded toward science.  One exercise we did involved watching a candy dissolve in a cup of water.  In those five minutes, that was the most fascinating thing on the planet.”

An educator was eventually hired for this position but Ross wasn’t too disappointed:  They hired a former student of his, Southwestern College graduate Victoria Mitchell.

Ross beamed as he spoke about his role during Halloween at Exploration Place.  Zombies took over the museum for a two-day event titled “Museum of the Undead.”  Adults toured the museum and witnessed Ross dissecting a zombie.  Each room had something to startle the audience.  For Ross, it was an explosion of ‘blood’ during the dissection.  

Ross’s final chore was to prepare for the next traveling exhibit.  

“They are constantly re-inventing themselves,” Ross says.  “For each new national exhibit, they want programming--new lessons, new shows, something to connect that exhibit to our area.  Wildlife Rescue is the latest exhibit.  Jan Luth (Exploration Place president) is fascinated with the lesser prairie chicken and she gave me the charge of coming up with an exhibit to tell that story.”

The exhibit’s grand opening occurred Jan. 24.

“From the day Pat arrived he just fit right in,” Luth says.  “Having him take his sabbatical with Exploration Place helped provide our staff with professional development by a Ph.D. scientist.   Several of our key projects aligned with his expertise.  Pat jumped right in and did research to make a Kansas connection for our current national traveling exhibit ‘Wildlife Rescue.’ The museum added exhibit components, is having a series of guest speakers, and is offering innovative spring break field expeditions for students thanks to his research and connections.  He opened new doors for our museum and engaged our staff in thought provoking discussions.  We will miss him.”

So as Ross begins the spring semester back at Southwestern College, he feels he has a fresh outlook thanks to his fall at Exploration Place.

“I feel re-energized,” Ross says.  “The time away showed me that this place (Southwestern College) does just fine without me.  It gave me a little distance, a little altitude.  Maybe I don’t have to sweat the small stuff quite as much.  There is a teaching model used by Exploration Place that stresses engagement.  Before you can teach students anything you have to grab their attention.  I didn’t worry much about that before.  My students have to be in class, they are captives, so to speak.  But I now realize that the learning process will work so much better if they want to come to class.  A little entertainment can help liven up any lesson, whether it be at the museum or in my lectures.  If I can find ways to get them more revved up and I am trying to do more of that, I think it will be better for my students.  I want my students to enjoy the learning process as much as I do.”

Ross is grateful for the opportunity but at the same time, he did miss his students and colleagues.  

“I am thankful for all my colleagues, but especially Michael Tessmer and Rick Cowlishaw,” Ross says.  Early in the semester when I would drop in to check on things, Michael would almost physically chase me out of the building.  He was trying to make sure I got as much of a respite from the day-to-day activities of the college as he had on his sabbatical in China, even though I was just in Wichita and coming back home each night to Winfield.   Rick took care of the division while I was gone and he made sure the big things like our alumni meeting in November and our career workshop day went off just fine, which they did.  He did great.  I have such good colleagues in the natural sciences division and I had no misgivings about their ability to run the place, I had a lot of trust and that isn’t always the case in academia.”
Sabbaticals are available for professors at Southwestern for the purpose of professional enrichment.  They may apply for these sabbaticals every seven years.


Wed, 04 Feb 2015 14:15:03 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Roses in the Rafters February 13 and 14 (Leadership)]]> Leadership Southwestern will present “Roses in the Rafters,” an evening filled with live music, dinner, and dancing, on Friday, Feb. 13, and Saturday, Feb. 14, at The Barns @ Timber Creek.  

Music will be provided by the jazz combo, The Student Loans.  The completely catered meal will include a garden salad, orange-glazed chicken over a bed of rice, steamed green beans, rolls, and either a chocolate raspberry mousse or red velvet cake. 

This event is an opportunity to help the Leadership Southwestern team raise funds for their annual service learning trip, which will head to Ireland this year.  

Reservations are $40 each or $280 for a table of eight.  Paid reservations are required and space is limited.  To make a reservation, email or call (620) 229-6367. Reservations may also be made online at  Deadline for reservations is Monday, Feb. 2.


Mon, 02 Feb 2015 11:50:59 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Southwestern College Green Team to Hold E-Waste Recycling Events in Winfield and Arkansas City (Green Team)]]> The Southwestern College Green Team is coordinating two February recycling events in Cowley County.  

On Monday, Feb. 16, The Green Team, along with the City of Arkansas City, will accept e-waste recycling from 3 to 6 p.m. at the north end of the AgriBusiness Building in Arkansas City. On Tuesday, Feb. 17, the team will collaborate with the City of Winfield and Grace United Methodist Church for an e-waste recycling event from 3 to 6 p.m. at Barn #4 at the Winfield Fairgrounds.

Last year, the Green Team held two recycling events in Winfield and at the conclusion of those two events, had collected and recycled over 22,000 pounds of electronic devices 

“The e-waste collections have been so successful in the Winfield community, and the recycling of electronics is such an important need in our communities, that I wanted to expand our efforts,” says Jason Speegle, director of Green Team Southwestern.  “I pitched the idea to Kevin Neighbors of the City of Winfield and he coordinated a meeting with Randy Jacobs of the City of Arkansas City. Randy felt like it was a need in the Ark City community. I am very excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Arkansas City to expand the collection and recycling of e-waste in our community.”

Businesses and individuals may bring items to the event. Vintage Tech LLC will collect the items and process them for recycling. Vintage Tech guarantees 100 percent security on all hard drives and customer information. They are e-Stewards, R2 and ISO 14001 certified.
Vintage Tech accepts the following electronic items:  cables, cable boxes, cash registers, cellular phones, computer peripherals and all computer parts, copiers, cords, CRT monitors, DVD players, external drives, fax machines, scanners, keyboards, laptops, LCD monitors, mouse, MP3 players, iPods, networking equipment, PDAs, printers, projectors, satellite dishes, servers, stereos, televisions, typewriters, UPS unites, VCRs, and video game consoles.

Vintage Tech also accepts the following household items:  blenders (without glass), bread machines, cameras, carpet sweepers, coffee makers (without glass), clocks, curling irons, electric knives, electric toothbrushes, fans, food sealing equipment, fryers, hair cutters, hair dryers, heaters, holiday lights, irons, land line phones, massagers, metal tools (drills, screwdrivers, small saws, sanders), microwave ovens, mixers, remotes, radios, shaving equipment, toaster ovens, and vacuum cleaners (without bag).

Vintage Tech cannot accept these items:  ballasts, capacitors, items containing Freon (air conditioners and dehumidifiers), gas cylinders, light bulbs, liquids and items containing liquids, household batteries, lithium batteries, medical equipment, VHS cassette tapes, refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, washer and dryers.

For questions about recycling, please contact Jason Speegle at (620) 229-6311 or by email at

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:38:40 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Community Music School Offering Workshops (Music)]]> The Community Music School at Southwestern College will offer a day of music education workshops on Saturday, Feb. 21, for current and future music educators in all emphasis areas K-12. Workshops will take place in Messenger Recital Hall and the rehearsal hall in the Darbeth Fine Arts Center on the Southwestern College Campus. 

Clinicians for each of the sessions will consist of Southwestern College music department professors Jeremy Kirk, percussion and bands; Brian Winnie, voice and choral singing and Amber Peterson, strings and orchestra. Two guest clinicians from the field of music education will also participate.  They are Nikki Kirk, elementary educator in Arkansas City and Karissa Shimanek, Southwestern College graduate student. 

The day will be offered as a Pre-KMEA (Kansas Music Educators Association) workshop and will last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sessions will include contemporary vocal technique, inexpensive repair of percussion instruments, the science behind the Suzuki method, musical theatre repertoire selection, national core standards in general music classrooms, and many more in each emphasis area. Pre-registration fees are $20 for current educators and $10 for SC alumni if registration is received before Sunday, Feb 1. Registration fees after Feb. 1 is $30 for current educators and $20 for SC alumni and will remain open until Monday, Feb. 16. Current students interested in attending the workshops may attend for free (lunch fee of $6). Lunch will be provided for all attendees.  For more information or to register for the event email the Community Music School at or call (620) 229-6188.  

“The goal of the event is for current and future music educators to have an opportunity to interact with and learn from Southwestern College’s adept faculty members,” says Dylan Moore, Community Music School director.  “Each faculty member will also conduct a question and answer session throughout the day, so educators are encouraged to come with specific questions to discuss.”


Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:37:09 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Brad Elliott Stone from Loyola Marymount University to Deliver 2015 Beck Lecture (Philosophy & Religion)]]> Brad Elliott Stone, Ph.D, will deliver the Beck Lecture at Southwestern College on Monday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m., in Wroten Hall on the campus of Southwestern College.  The public is invited to attend and there is no admission charge.  

Stone is a professor of philosophy and the chair of African American studies at Loyola Marymount University.  The title of his lecture at Southwestern is “Curiositas Ex Machina: A Note on Martin Heidegger’s Philosophy of Technology.”

“Do you check your phone before going to sleep and check it again as soon as you wake up?  Do you place your trust and security in technological devices?  Are you on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter?  Do your skills of communication break down when your technological devices break down?  Can you even begin to imagine a world that is not saturated by technology and technological devices?  If you find these questions interesting and provocative, then Dr. Brad Stone's lecture is for you,” says Jacob Goodson, assistant professor of philosophy at Southwestern College. 

The main points of Heidegger's philosophy of technology are: 
•    Scientists study natural objects within the world and not objects that scientists, themselves, make -- hence technology is not an object of scientific study but an object a philosophical study. 
•    The philosophical study of technology leads to the conclusion that human beings need to maintain power over technology and not allow technology to have power over humanity.  
•    Natural scientists are needed in the modern technological world because they continually remind us of the value of natural objects, so that we do not make the improper judgment that technology has more power and value over natural objects.  

According to Stone, the lecture will explain Heidegger’s critiques of curiosity and machination as inauthentic possibilities of Dasein (Dasein is the German word for one’s presence in the world).

The Beck lectureship, funded by Paul V. Beck to explore topics relating to science and religion, is an annual event on campus and brings in theologians, scientists, and philosophers from across the nation.  

For more information about the Beck Lecture, call (620) 229-6059.

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:35:33 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Brad Griffin to Lead Southwestern College Football Team (General)]]> Southwestern College Director of Athletics Dave Denly has announced that Brad Griffin has been hired to lead the Moundbuilder football program. Griffin becomes the 28th head coach in the team’s 111-year history.
Brad Griffin
“We are excited to put our football program in Brad Griffin’s hands,” Denly said. “He came to us highly recommended, and his values and philosophies fit what we were looking for. I truly believe that his dedication and vision for success will breathe new life into our football program.”

Griffin comes to Southwestern from William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa, where he recently completed his 10th season as the defensive coordinator for the Statesmen. During his 10 years at WPU, he helped transform the program from one of the worst in college football to a contender in the Mid-States Football Association. William Penn spent 42-straight weeks as a nationally-ranked team, and finished the 2014 season ranked No. 19 in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top-25 Poll with a 7-4 record. In 2010, William Penn won its first MSFA Midwest Conference Championship since 1976. Two seasons later, the Statesmen won the 2012 MSFA Midwest Conference Championship, and advanced to the NAIA Football Championship play-off series.

Under Griffin, the William Penn defensive unit made its home in the national spotlight. His 2014 Statesmen were the 10th-best pass defense in the NAIA, allowing 160 yards per game. In 2013, Griffin’s squad was ranked No. 6 nationally, and allowed 292 total offensive yards per game. Griffin was recognized as the MSFA Midwest Co-Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011. 

“Southwestern College is getting a great young coach who has been through his share of battles,” William Penn head football coach Todd Hafner said. “One of his biggest battles was getting the William Penn program going in the right direction, and he has played a huge role in our success over the last 11 years. He is very meticulous in his weekly preparation, and his players are very well-versed on what to expect on game day. He will hold the players to a high level of discipline and accountability. Southwestern College will have one of the best young head coaches in the country!”

A Kansas native, Griffin graduated from Nickerson High School in 1996, and started his college football career at Hutchinson Community College, where he was a two-year starter and team captain. He continued his playing career at Emporia State University, where he was a two-year starter and team captain under Southwestern alumnus and current University of Minnesota head football coach Jerry Kill. Griffin started his college coaching career as a graduate assistant at Emporia State from 2001-03. During that time, the Hornets won the 2002 Mineral Water Bowl, and claimed the 2003 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championship to advance to the NCAA Div. II National Championship play-offs.

“This is a very exciting time for me and my family,” Griffin said. “Becoming a head coach has always been a career goal of mine, and I feel like Southwestern is a great place for me to get it started. I believe we can make great things happen as we move our program in the right direction. I’m happy to be close to my family, and I look forward to getting to know the community. I feel like this is a great fit for me, and I’m excited to get started.”

Griffin earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and recreation from Emporia State in 2001. He and his wife, Katie, will come to Winfield with two daughters, Brielle (6) and Bayler (2).


Wed, 21 Jan 2015 10:01:08 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Video Gamers Can Receive eSports Grants at Southwestern College (General)]]> Video games have become so popular as a competitive sport that Southwestern College is now offering activity grants for in-coming students to play for the college’s teams. 

According to Marla Sexson, vice president for enrollment management at Southwestern College, a student may receive a $5,000 grant each year, equaling $20,000 for four years to participate in eSports at SC. These students will be part of a team of gamers who compete against other teams throughout the nation.
League of Legends photo
League of Legends has become the most popular of the eSports.  According to developer Riot Games Inc., 27 million people play the game each day.  Southwestern becomes just the third school in the United States to offer scholarships for eSports.

Currently, Southwestern Colleges offers this as a club activity and according to Tom Jacobs, chair for the division of computer science and communication, around 40 participants now meet several times each week to improve their skills and scores on the computer game. 

According to the game’s website, League of Legends is a “fast-paced, competitive online game that blends the speed and intensity of a real-time strategy game with role playing game elements.”

Zenas Lopez, a Southwestern College student and the co-founder and president of the club, says that the game has brought different groups of students together.

“League of Legends has a global reach,” Lopez says.  “We have lots of international students on our campus and sometimes it’s tough to get to know them.  But I have found that this club unites everybody and with the game’s help, we seem to speak the same language.”

If parents are concerned that their students will attend Southwestern just to play video games and not study, Jacobs says not to worry.  To participate, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress.  

The club currently meets in the computer lab on the lower level of the Christy Administration Building but a gaming area is being renovated just for eSports players.

​For more information, contact Jacobs at (620) 229-6351 or Sexson at (620) 229-6364.

Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:34:42 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[McCormick to Speak at MLK Observance (General)]]>

The life of Martin Luther King Jr. will be remembered at Southwestern College Tuesday, Jan. 20, with a presentation by a prominent Wichita author and historian. Mark McCormick will speak in Mossman 101 beginning at 7 p.m.

There is no admission charge, and refreshments will be served. In addition, Deets Library books about Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X will be displayed.

Now living in Wichita, McCormick is on his second tour of duty as executive director of the Kansas African American Museum (TKAAM), but was trained as a journalist. Mark is a New York Times bestselling author and an award-winning writer and editor. Mark serves as a trustee of two journalism schools (the University of Kansas and Wichita State University) and he has been a Professional in Residence at the Gaylord School of Journalism at the University of Oklahoma.

McCormick is featured in a documentary about WSU’s efforts to acquire the collected works of trailblazing photographer, author and filmmaker Gordon Parks, who grew up in Ft. Scott.

Southwestern College is a private institution granting undergraduate and graduate degrees and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.  About 1,700 students attend classes at the main Winfield campus, at professional studies sites in Kansas and Oklahoma, or online around the world.

Thu, 15 Jan 2015 16:50:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Ephesians 3:1-12; God's Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles (Chapel)]]> Ephesians 3:1-12 (NIV)

God’s Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— Surely
you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is,
the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading
this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not
made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s
holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs
together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in
Christ Jesus. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through
the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace
was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to
everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who
created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God
should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his
eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in
him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

What is this administration of God’s grace that Paul speaks of twice? He speaks once in reference to the administration of God’s grace to him and again in reference to God’s administration of His grace through Paul to all non-Jews.

Paul refers to his transformation from a person with a deadly insistence on everything scriptural to an insistence in the person of Jesus. A transformation from a focus on the written Word to The Word became flesh. If we also are to follow and faithfully administrate the grace of God as Paul suggests, how do we become givers of our “insight into the mystery of Christ?”  

I talked with a couple writers of earlier blog entries and one expressed a feeling that her contribution maybe was not good enough and still another was uncertain of his understanding of scripture. The quality of our work matters but the main focus is the quality of our participation in relationship with Christ.  Are you in it with the person of Jesus?  Getting the words right or in the right order become secondary to the heart of the writer who is seeking to communicate his or her relationship with Jesus. Jesus says to the Pharisees, “You search the scriptures because you think they give you eternal life but the scriptures point to me” (John 5:39, NLT).

God’s grace is at work in our world. Leonard Sweet says God will not be without a witness.  The challenge for us is to put on the witness of Christ here and now in our culture.  Let us take to heart Paul’s encouragement to keep our confidence in the person of Jesus and join Paul in faithfully administrating the grace of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you Cheryl for your assistance with editing!

Martin Rude is director of outreach ministries at Southwestern College. 

Tue, 06 Jan 2015 23:06:51 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[John 1:1-18; The Word Became Flesh (Chapel)]]> John 1:1-18 (NIV)

The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him
nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of
all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to
testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was
not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to
everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world
was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which
was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to
those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will,
but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We
have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father,
full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying,
“This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me
because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place
of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came
through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is
himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. 

Alpha and Omega, beginning and end…

We often refer to God as an everlasting God, which would mean that He was there from the start and will be there to the end. But what happens in between? God reveals Himself through many places and times in scripture but hear in the gospel John He reveals the “big play” in the divine rescue plan, that being His Glory incarnate, the son of God, or as we know Him, Jesus. John testifies to the validity of the one true light that gave the right for people to believe and become children of God. The word became flesh and came so that we could see God’s glory and some day return to His presence.

From the beginning God had a divine rescue plan, we are a part of that plan. It is my encouragement that in this New Year season you embrace the word that became flesh. Be moved to make changes that reflect the light of Christ bearing witness just like John. Be encouraged that Alpha and Omega, the everlasting God has made it possible to become an heir of the one true king.

Peace and Blessings,
Jordan Romines

Jordan is a student of Southwestern College currently studying business administration.

Sun, 04 Jan 2015 08:32:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Luke 2:22-40 (Chapel)]]> Luke 2:22-40 (NIV)

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses 
Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is
written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the
Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the
Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem
called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation
of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy
Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the
Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to
do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms
and praised God, saying: 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now
dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which
you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.” 33 The child’s father and mother marveled at
what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother:
“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a
sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.
And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” 36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the
daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband
seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. 
She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.
38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the
child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. 39 When Joseph and
Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their
own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with
wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.


You can’t go through life completely avoiding preparations. You may disagree and say sometimes you improvise but it is very possible that you still prepared, only in a different form, not necessarily physical preparation but perhaps mentally. We prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas, we prepare to attend college, we prepare for exams, even the changing seasons…sometimes we prepare with the knowledge of possible outcomes but that isn’t always the case. There are certain things which we are bound to come across without an idea of how it will fit into life’s puzzle, just like Mary and Joseph, Simeon and Anna, yet, we are chosen to be responsible for it.

These people may not have known the reason for doing what they were doing, they still followed through out of obedience. Mary and Joseph were obedient parents, to God and the Jewish Torah in the upbringing of the Christ child. Simeon waited patiently on the Lord’s promise to him and Anna kept her hope in God. All of them were blessed because of their obedience and faithfulness to God in waiting and preparing. In short, sometimes it will take a few more steps down the road to reach an understanding.

Our short-sightedness as humans, sometimes leaves us frustrated and disappointed in the process, keeping us from moving on, but we mustn’t let that get to us. Like it or not, we all need to be constantly reminded that we should seize and cherish each and every second of our lives though, easier said than done since frustrations and disappointments are part of life, but even those should be cherished because of the hope and confidence we know we have in Christ.

The awareness that there is hope, something for us to look forward to, is what makes each part of life meaningful. As we enter a new year, add this to your list of resolutions: to make every second of your life count, find meaning in the mundane and don’t forget about the bigger picture.

Deborah Martin is from Penang, Malaysia. She is a junior studying music and business administration.

Wed, 31 Dec 2014 12:27:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Galatians 4:4-7 (Chapel)]]> Galatians 4:4-7 (NIV)

4 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman,
born under law, 5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the
full rights of sons. 6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son
into our hearts the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no
longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also
an heir.

When I first read this scripture, the first thing that popped into my head was “GOD USED TO SEE HUMANS AS SLAVES?? WHAT!?! THAT’S WHAT VERSE 7 SAYS AND WHAT!?!?”

Then, well, I thought about it.

What does the Bible refer us to being slaves to time and time again? Answer: Sin. We are…were slaves to sin. But then God sent his son to save us from being slaves to sin. See, now THAT makes a lot more sense than my first understanding of this verse.

But I think that there is more to be said than just realizing that God sees us as his children than as slaves. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is A LOT of truth and power in that statement! God sees us as his own creation and his own children, and that just shows a fraction of how much he truly and unconditionally loves us. But there is another message in this scripture, too. If all of us have the same spiritual Father, then we are all spiritually brothers and sisters. We all have a connection, and it is because God sent his one son so we could all be his children.

There is a certain beauty in this scripture that is infinite and can never be fully captured in words or thoughts. This scripture proves that we are all connected. We all have the Spirit of the Son in our hearts. Because of Jesus’s sacrifice, we may realize that even though we are different people living different lives, we all come back to having the same beginning. We all come back to having the same Father. We all come back to being brothers and sisters.

Carlene Dick is a sophomore majoring in elementary education at Southwestern College. 

Sat, 27 Dec 2014 23:58:17 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Isaiah 9:2-7 (Chapel)]]> Isaiah 9:2-7 (NIV)

2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice
before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when
dividing the plunder. 4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have
shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor. 5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and
every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel
for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government
will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his
government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and
over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

From the beginning, we have struggled to be an obediently loving people. We have turned away from God and toward our own selfish desires and ambitions. Perhaps you have experienced this feeling of conviction for yourself as your eyes are opened to the unfaithfulness of our people. Perhaps then this conviction turned to guilt or despair as your faith in yourself began to break down. It is far too easy to fixate on our shortcomings. When we do this, we run the risk of mishearing what heaven is saying back at us. Instead of listening to words of truth, we listen to false words of condemnation. When all we can see is our failure and shame, and guilt is burdening us we often fail to hear what God has been speaking all along.

Tonight we remember God’s response to our unfaithfulness: a baby boy, sent to be our redeemer.

Let us rejoice together with shouts of praise, for our God has initiated redemption by sending his son into the world to deliver us!

Daniel Reffner is a sophomore at Southwestern College majoring in Religion and Philosophy

Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:22:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Open Auditions for Upcoming Production of 'Spamalot' (Theatre Arts)]]> Auditions and technical theatre work for the Southwestern College production of Monty Python’s “Spamalot” have been opened up to area high school and community college students, announces Tim Shook, chair of SC’s performing arts division. 

The musical, which will be performed March 5, 7, and 8, has been chosen as a major project by the theatre, music, and dance faculty.   

A reading of “Spamalot” will be held at 6:30 on Monday, Jan. 12, in the Helen Graham Little Theatre for those who want to know the show as well as more about auditions and technical opportunities.    Auditions will follow in Southwestern’s Richardson Performing Arts Center on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 13 and 14, at 6:30 p.m.  Recall auditions will be Jan. 15 at the same time.

Rehearsals will begin Jan. 16, and continue thru March 4, with rehearsals Monday through Thursdays from 6:30-10 and on Fridays from 3:30 to 7 p.m.  Technical work on the production will be done during the afternoons, evenings, and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Spamalot” became a major Broadway hit in 2005 when it received 14 Tony award nominations and three awards including Best Musical. It is adapted from the 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”  Though the stage musical differs in many ways from the film, it is true to Monty Python’s highly irreverent parody of the Arthurian legend.

“The musical, which pursues ‘the holy grail,’ is a new step for us in collaboration and quality,” said director of theatre, Allyson Moon, “and is a significant step as we pursue our quest to create the highest quality education for our students in musical theatre studies.  We are thrilled to be working with Southwestern’s outstanding new music faculty, who have great talent, skill, and passion for collaboration and musical theatre.  We hope working and performing in ‘Spamalot’ will be an opportunity for area community and high school students to experience the great prospects possible for educational futures here at SC.”

“Area students who have an interest in studying and/or working in musical theatre,” continues Moon, “will have a chance to work with our excellent music faculty, including Dr. Brian Winnie, director of choral activities and vocal; Dr. Amber Peterson, professor of music for strings education and conductor of the South Kansas Symphony; and Stephen Butler, instructor of music theory, pianist, and accompanist for the production, along with seasoned theatre professor Roger Moon, director of the production, and Yazmin Wood, Southwestern’s instructor of dance, who will be choreographing the production.  They are a force of talent that we want area high school and community college students to have an opportunity to work with before they make their college decision.”

“It is not uncommon that area students who want to study theatre, music, or other academic areas think that they need to go ‘away’ to find high quality education in these areas.  We want to give them a chance to get a taste of working with SC’s faculty and students before they decide,” Moon added.

In addition to performance opportunities, technical students from area high schools and community colleges will have the opportunity to work with Lee Jones, Southwestern’s new technical director who will be designing sets for the production, and theatre professor Allyson Moon, who will be designing costumes and leading their construction.

To prepare for auditions director Roger Moon, musical director Brian Winnie, and choreographer Yazmin Wood invite those who would like to audition to prepare in the following way:

Those auditioning for major roles and/or building audition skills should prepare to both sing and perform a short monologue or scene.  They are asked to sing 16-20 bars of two musical theatre songs, one up-tempo and one ballad, that are not from the musical “Spamalot.” Those auditioning should bring a copy of their music to the auditions.       

“Spamalot” is contemporary musical theatre, featuring a mash-up of musical styles and genres throughout the cast and musical numbers. The songs are a relatively easily accessible musical theatre style, so Sondheim, Jason Robert Brown, or a rock musical would not necessarily fit this show. If actors have in mind a specific role that is of interest (for instance King Arthur or the Lady of the Lake) audition selections should showcase appropriate vocal quality and agility. If actors are not interested in a particular role, those auditioning should still choose songs that best fit the style, range, and character roles in “Spamalot,” as well as their own.

In preparation for auditions actors should prepare a monologue of 1/1½ minutes in length from a musical theatre comedy, or a 2-3 minute scene with another person who is auditioning.  A musical comedy monologue or scene is most appropriate, and again, these scenes and monologues should not be from “Spamalot.”  If actors are not interested in a particular role, they should still choose material that is appropriate in age, character, and style of characters from this production.

Dance auditions will be led by choreographer Yazmin Wood who will teach a short dance to give an opportunity for all show dance skills and experience.  No preparation is necessary.

Those who are auditioning for chorus and small non-speaking roles may audition by coming to auditions where they will learn a short dance and section of a song from “Spamalot.”  They may also read for a small speaking role from a scene provided at the auditions. 

“While we are seeking the best cast for the production,” says Roger Moon, “we also want to have a good time.  Auditions may be the scariest part of the theatre process, and Dr. Winnie and I both want our students, as well as high school and community college students, to be at ease so that they can do their best, while they continue to grow and learn.”

Those who are not familiar with the musical may find both the film and songs from the stage musical available for viewing and listening through various mediums. 

Those who have questions may contact Roger Moon at or (620) 262-7700, or e-mail Brian Winnie at

Mon, 22 Dec 2014 14:27:25 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[God's Promises: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16 (Chapel)]]> 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16 (NIV)


After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”

Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”

But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:

“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’

“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.

“‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you:

16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”


God’s Promises

In this passage, we have Nathan, a prophet, who has an encounter with God during a dream one night. During this dream, God tells Nathan to relay the information he gets to David, a servant of God. The message that Nathan receives is one of a promise to David. This promise includes God’s presence with him all of his days and wherever he may roam, and that David will have an everlasting kingdom that will endure forever through God.

Later on throughout scripture, we see this promise to David become complete when Jesus, son of God, heir of David, is born in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph. Jesus grows up and saves creation through his sacrifice to allow everyone to have a relationship with God.

As we go on through our daily lives, God’s promise to David is still true for us—that He is with us all the time and will never leave us. Sometimes when life gets tough, we feel lost, lonely, and like we are just going through our daily routine until something new comes along to bring joy to our lives again. During these times, we must try to remember that God is with us 24/7/365 and He is going nowhere! God also brings joy to our lives in many moments throughout every single day, and it’s up to us to recognize them and give the glory back to Him.

Throughout this advent season, let us remember as the body of Christ that we are never alone and that God never takes back His promises. Jesus, son of God, is our promise to have a relationship with the Creator and security in our future, and we can all experience the love of God and promises He has for each of us every day that we live.

Brandi Young is a junior at SC majoring in Religion/Philosophy and Business Administration and minoring in Music/Worship and Discipleship. Brandi is the Student Administrator for Worship Outreach and the Mission Chair and Kingdom Committee leader for Discipleship.

Sun, 21 Dec 2014 14:31:51 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Psalm 126 (Chapel)]]>  
Psalm 126 (NLT)
1 When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem,
it was like a dream! 2 We were filled with laughter,
    and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
“What amazing things the Lord has done for them.
3 Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy!
4 Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renew the desert.
5 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.
6 They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.
Today, President Obama gave a speech that signaled the beginning of improved diplomatic relations and trading with the country of Cuba. This end to 50+ years of Cuban sanctions is said to bring a lot of criticism from congress and the American people in the coming months. It has almost become part of our worldly American culture to dislike Cuba or any other country with dictator governments. We forget that these are still God's people and we are called to love them. 
What we should remember is that God wants all of His people to prosper together. In order to do that, we need to learn to forgive each other and love endlessly. This is hard for many of us, because we hold grudges or we lack trust or faith in humanity - in today's world, it's not an uncommon practice. We must plant seeds that are pleasing to God. We have to believe in new beginnings and forgiveness of transgressions done against us. In this time of preparation, ask yourself how you are planting good seeds in your life. When the time for harvest comes, will you be singing with joy? On our way in from the fields, will we be able to say that we did everything we could to love one another and to love God? 
Quenton Todd is a senior music education major at Southwestern College.
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:33:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Merriman to Leave SC for Ohio School (General)]]> Dick Merriman, who has been president of Southwestern College since 1998, will leave Winfield at the end of this academic year to become president of the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio.  Merriman’s appointment as president of Mount Union, a United Methodist institution with enrollment of about 2,200 students, was announced this morning.
“President Merriman has given us many good years,” said Dr. David Smith, chair of Southwestern’s Board of Trustees. “Personally, I hate to see him go but this is a terrific opportunity for him as well as a wonderful opportunity for another college. His impact on the college has been profound: He came here during a difficult economic climate and led the college with great vision. He will be leaving Southwestern College in a position of strength.” 
During his service at Southwestern, Merriman has guided the college through years of unprecedented growth in scope and mission.  
“I’m proud that Southwestern has become a strong comprehensive institution, serving both traditional-age students and adults, offering a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees, and providing instruction in a range of formats that meet the needs of a many kinds of students,” Merriman said.  “Our outreach to low-income, minority, and first-generation college students, our growing enrollment of international students, and our service to adult learners have helped make Southwestern a lively and diverse school while increasing the relevance and impact of the college in our region.”
Merriman encouraged growth in Professional Studies programs (which are aimed at working adults) and oversaw a transition to online offerings that allow nearly half of the college’s total enrollment to study from around the world via computer. This has been especially attractive to military learners; during Merriman’s presidency SC has been consistently recognized on lists of military-friendly colleges. 
The college’s first doctoral degree—a Doctor of Education—was approved by SC’s regional accrediting agency, and now enrolls more than 60 students each semester. In addition, other graduate programs (both on ground and online) have been expanded to make advanced degrees accessible to persons whose geographic or economic conditions would have prevented this in earlier years.
President Merriman led two capital campaigns and several project-specific fund drives that raised more than $50 million for college projects. This led to a number of campus improvements—construction of Cole Hall and Richard L. Jantz Stadium; creation of Richardson Performing Arts Center and the TOMARI technical theatre center; significant renovations of Mossman Hall and Deets Library; and the rebuilding of the college’s landmark Mound and 77 Steps. 

In addition, Merriman worked to foster cooperative relationships between the college and the Winfield community, including partnerships for community use of the college swimming pool, joint college and school district funding and use of Jantz Stadium, recent expansion of tennis facilities, and the creation the SC Learning Center for young children in downtown Winfield.  

“All of us at Southwestern are very grateful for the support of the Winfield community and the warm welcome it provides our students,” Merriman said. 
The search for a new Southwestern College president is expected to begin after the Christmas break. 


Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:18:15 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 (Chapel)]]> Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 (NIV)

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,

3and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

8 “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”

10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which means coming. Take a moment and look at how this passage starts. “…[T]he Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.” What Good News is he talking about? The news of our Lord’s coming. My favorite aspect about these verses is that they focus on the people who are hurting: the brokenhearted, the captives, the prisoners, those who mourn, etc., giving hope to people who are hurting the most.

Verse eleven is the perfect end to the reading for today. This is what God is promising us. He will come and make all of His nations, or people, righteous. We have so much to look forward to, and Advent gives us this time to explore these verses and think about Jesus’ second coming, or adventus. The Lord is coming back to save us all. When will that be? That’s a good question, a question that only God knows the answer to. Although we don’t know when that will happen, the hope that we can have because of, not only this passage, but many others, is a huge blessing. Going back to the first verse, God has anointed us to proclaim the Good News. Take time, not only to think about the coming of our Lord, but to share the hope that we have to those around you during this Advent and Christmas season.

Abby Warnke is a sophomore majoring in Business Administration at Southwestern College.

Sun, 14 Dec 2014 13:51:57 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Newly Formed Southwestern College Choral Union Looking for Members (Music)]]> Brian Winnie, director of choral activities and voice at Southwestern College, is looking for individuals to join the newly created Southwestern College Choral Union (SCCU).  The community based choir is looking for various talent levels.
Brian Winnie
“Whether you are a seasoned veteran singer, need brushing up on your skills, or have never sung before, we invite you to join us this January for the start of our inaugural spring season production of ‘America the Beautiful!’” Winnie says.  “This program is a true celebration of America and all we hold dear, featuring American patriotic songs and modern classics by well-known American composers.”

There aren’t auditions to be a part of the SCCU however there will be placement screenings on Jan. 6-7.  This will be an opportunity for members to get to know Winnie and to sing for him.  He will then be able to place participants with others members with similar skill and talent.  

Beginning in January, rehearsals will be held every Tuesday from 7-9 p.m., in the Darbeth rehearsal hall in the Darbeth Fine Arts building. 
The SCCU will perform twice in the spring of 2015.  On April 19, the SCCU will have a collaborative concert with the Southwestern College choirs.  The SCCU will have its own concert in Richardson Performing Arts Center on Saturday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m.  

There will be a fee to participate in the SCCU.  According to Winnie, for this organization to pay its bills, which includes music, printing and mailing costs, licensing royalties, and its staff, the dues process is structured at a nominal rate of $80 per concert season for adults; $30 for SC or high school students.  In the future Winnie hopes to be able to offer scholarships to interested participants and is hoping some local people or businesses might sponsor the organization.  

“We hope you community members and students will join us here as we reawaken community choral singing in Winfield,” Winnie says.  “If a business is interested in a presenting sponsorship, providing scholarships, or other contributions or donations, I hope they will contact Charles McKinzie (development officer at Southwestern College) or myself.”

If you have any questions regarding this opportunity or would like more information about the SCCU, please contact Winnie or McKinzie at (620) 229-6302 or (620) 229-6288.    


Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:21:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[2 Peter 3:8-15 (Chapel)]]> 2 Peter 3:8-15 (NIV)

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.[a]

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.[b] That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.

Time is something that does not constrict the Lord. Human beings are placed into this world with one way forward. God chooses to love even through the times when we don’t choose love. The Advent season is a time of waiting for Christ’s second coming. No one knows the time Christ will come again, but we can have peace in knowing He will.

God has called us as the church to bring the Kingdom to Earth. We are broken and fallen and the Kingdom will never be fully on Earth until Christ comes again. Know that until Christ comes again it is our job to show glimpses of Christ on Earth. Selfless acts of love show people just a small glimpse of God’s love and that is what is needed this Christmas season.

Lindsey Graber is a junior at Southwestern College majoring in Religion and Philosophy.

Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:03:43 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Adoptable Dogs Relieve Stress for Southwestern College Students (General)]]> K9-3Maggie Collett, graduate fellow for student life and Leadership at Southwestern, is hoping to relieve the stress and anxiety that goes along with finals for students at Southwestern College.  Collett has teamed up with the Cowley County Humane Society to bring dogs on campus.

“I really like dogs and supporting the humane society plus studies show that spending time with animals lowers blood pressure and stress so I thought finals week was a perfect time to make it a collaborative effort,” Collett says.

Suzanne Nally from the Cowley County Humane Society, brought four dogs to the Southwestern College student center on Tuesday, Dec. 9, and Wednesday, Dec. 10, for four hours each day.  Students, along with faculty and staff, could come to the student center and pet, play, and walk the dogs.  

K9-2“This is great for the dogs too,” Nally says. “They get to play and socialize and socialization is good for them.  They get to play with the students along with the other dogs.  The students have so much energy; it is good for the dogs to be around them.”

Nally says that all of the dogs that were brought to Southwestern are ready to be adopted.

Collett first came up with the idea when she was a student at Southwestern.  It was her senior Leadership project.

“When I first came up with the idea I talked to Teresa Harden at the humane society.  I was worried that she wouldn’t like the idea but it turned out that she was even more excited about it than I was which was really cool,” Collett says. 

This is the third time that Collett has been able to schedule the dogs to come onto the Southwestern College campus and she says the feedback has been 99% positive.

“I have done surveys and all the students think it’s great,” she says.

Senior Lauren Strain says that she really enjoys this event.
“I think this is such a cool event, it’s fun to see students who don’t know that this is going on and when they come by and see dogs in the window, they automatically come in,” Strain says.  “I wish I could adopt all of these dogs and put them in my dorm room but I think that is against the rules.”


Wed, 10 Dec 2014 09:53:37 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Isaiah 40:1-11 (Chapel)]]> Isaiah 40:1 - 11 (NLT)

“Comfort, comfort My people,” says your God. 2 “Speak kind words to Jerusalem. Call out to her that her time of war has ended, that her sin has been taken away, and that she has received from the Lord’s hand twice as much for all her sins.”

3 A voice is calling, “Make the way ready for the Lord in the desert. Make the road in the desert straight for our God. 4 Every valley will be lifted up and every mountain and hill will be brought down. The turns in the road will be made straight and the bad places will be made smooth. 5 Then the shining-greatness of the Lord will be seen. All flesh together will see it, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 6 A voice says,

“Cry.” And he said, “What should I cry?” All flesh is grass. All its beauty is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass dries up and the flower loses its color when the breath of the Lord blows upon it. For sure the people are grass. 8 The grass dries up. The flower loses its color. But the Word of our God stands forever.

9 O Zion, you who bring good news, go up on the high mountain! Lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, you who bring good news. Lift it up, do not be afraid. Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” 10 See, the Lord God will come with power, and His arm will rule for Him. See, He is bringing the reward He will give to everyone for what he has done. 11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd. He will gather the lambs in His arms and carry them close to His heart. He will be gentle in leading those that are with young.” 

As Advent is this time for preparation, I hope to focus on two key ways to prepare yourself for the Lord.

Let’s look to the scripture (Is. 40:1). What’s God telling the people? What is our first responsibility? Many of you, including myself are mixed up in this business called life. We live in a world with deadlines, bills, classes, finals and NETFLIX (and all the people said Amen). How can we prepare for God if we are always so boggled down by these ultimately meaningless (Ecc. 3!) things? God says it pretty plainly here, and so I’ll say it now. “Chill out!” Take a deep breath. Sit down. The economy will not collapse if you so choose to breathe for a couple of seconds.

Humans do this thing where we compartmentalize our life in categories: God, family, school, friends, finances and the like. So we commit to every club on the planet while taking thirty-seven credit hours, with a job to pay the bills, and go to church on Sundays and call it good. What would happen if we saw our values as God in my family; God in my school; God in my friends, etc.? Perhaps we might see that we have had no time for the response God calls us to give. We need to prepare a response to God every day. Just like in verses 3 - 9, we need to proclaim what God has done, is doing and will do. God is the only stability we can seek. The Lord is the only lasting thing that will continually care for us. As we continue our time in Advent, I challenge you to take five to ten minutes every day or every week to 1) calm down and quiet your mind to hear God’s call. And 2) respond to His call. Peace be upon you.

Kaitlin Kendel is a junior studying Philosophy & Religion. She is also the music director of Keynotes and a very adept Netflix watcher.

Sun, 07 Dec 2014 01:11:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Community Music School Recitals (Music)]]> The Community Music School at Southwestern College will present its fall recitals on Thursday, Dec. 11, in the Darbeth Fine Arts Center. There is no admission charge to attend and light refreshments will be served following the recitals.

The recitals will feature students in the areas of piano, voice, violin, cello, and percussion. Recital A will feature beginning students to the school at 6 p.m. in the rehearsal hall. Recital B will feature intermediate and advanced students at 7:30 p.m. in Messenger Recital Hall. Those interested in potentially joining the school are invited to come and meet fellow students and teachers and may also enroll in spring lessons.

For more information about the Community Music School, contact Dylan Moore at 229-6188.

Fri, 05 Dec 2014 15:46:42 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Southwestern College Assistant Professor Amber Peterson Published in 'Arts Education Policy Review' (Music)]]> Amber PetersonAmber Peterson, assistant professor of music and the Mazie Barnett Kilmer Chair for Strings Education, has been published in the latest edition of “Arts Education Policy Review.”  The article title is “A View of Current Evaluative Practices in Instrumental Music Teacher Education.”

The quarterly publication used a portion of Peterson’s dissertation which was titled, “Expectations of Automaticity in Beginning Instrumental Music Educators.”

“This has been basically a two-year process,” Peterson says.  “I was quite thrilled to be published.”

According to Peterson, the purpose of the study was to examine how instrumental music educator skills are being evaluated in current undergraduate programs.  


Thu, 04 Dec 2014 10:29:52 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Isaiah 64:1-9 (Chapel)]]> Isaiah 64:1-9 (NIV)

1 Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
    that the mountains would tremble before you!
As when fire sets twigs ablaze
    and causes water to boil,
come down to make your name known to your enemies
    and cause the nations to quake before you!
For when you did awesome things that we did not expect,
    you came down, and the mountains trembled before you.
Since ancient times no one has heard,
    no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
    who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
You come to the help of those who gladly do right,
    who remember your ways.
But when we continued to sin against them,
    you were angry.
    How then can we be saved?
All of us have become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
    and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
No one calls on your name
    or strives to lay hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us
    and have given us over to our sins.

Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
    We are the clay, you are the potter;
    we are all the work of your hand.
Do not be angry beyond measure, Lord;
    do not remember our sins forever.
Oh, look on us, we pray,
    for we are all your people.


In this season of Holy anticipation, we are graced with the Holy Scriptures. The prophets give us great insight on how we are to anticipate the coming of Christ, with a twist. The twist is that the prophets are prophesying for the first coming of a Messiah. Because we have the revelation of the scriptures, we know that Christ did come, we know that he died and resurrected on the third day, and we know that he will one day come again. This is the Second Advent. We remember this promise during these four weeks and as I said, reading the prophets can get us in a spirit of holy anticipation in quite a hurry.

In this passage we see Isaiah describing the Israelites as a broken nation, taken captive by sin. There is so much vivid imagery in the text that you can really get a feel for where the Israelites are at this moment in history. They have heard prophesies of a Savior to come, and I can bet they are starting to wonder if he will in fact ever come. Do we ever wonder that? I can admit for one to losing sight of the promise of the return of Jesus Christ. Sometimes I get so caught up in the present moment that I fail to live into that eternal promise, and I miss out on the joy that comes with knowing that one day Christ will come and make all things new. I know I’m not alone with this, if you are in any way connected to Southwestern College you know what it’s like to be stretched too thin. I encourage you to take time to remember in this season of Advent that we can take heart against whatever it is that you’re going through, help is on the way! Also know that you’re not doing this alone, there is a faith community at Southwestern that is actively journeying through Advent together.

“Advent reverses the tired cliché of Christmas, “The Reason for the Season,” by offering us a “Season for the Reason.” –J.D Walt

Just the other day on Sunday night, I was filling in at a worship service in Wichita where we called an audible and decided to play “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” since it was the first day of Advent. This wasn’t a huge deal except that I hadn’t played this song since last Christmas (shocking huh?) and we did a transposition on the fly. Anyway this song provided me with a moment to step back, remember, and rejoice in knowing that the Son of God is coming! I played it on repeat all the way back to Winfield.

Matt Maher does a great arrangement of this hymn, listen to it and rejoice!

Greg Reffner is a sophomore at Southwestern College majoring in Religion and Philosophy. 

Wed, 03 Dec 2014 12:34:50 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Southwestern College Williams String Quartet to Perform this Week in Winfield (Music)]]> The Southwestern College Williams String Quartet will be playing holiday music at three different locations this week. 

The quartet will perform at Cumbernauld Village on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 5 p.m.  On Friday, Dec. 5, they will perform in the Winfield RCB Bank lobby at 11:30 a.m. and in the Winfield Cornerbank lobby at 2:30 p.m.  Each performance will last approximately 30 minutes. 

The Williams String Quartet consists of Eva Farid, Ashton Humbert, and Brandon Pew, Winfield, and Troy Fort, Stillwater, Okla.

For more information about the quartet or to schedule them for an event, contact Amber Peterson by email at or call (620) 229-6113.


Tue, 02 Dec 2014 15:54:22 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Dawn Pleas-Bailey Receives Good Apple Award (General)]]> Dawn Pleas Bailey 2014Dawn Pleas-Bailey, vice president for student life and special assistant to the president for community engagement at Southwestern College, received the Wichita Public Schools Good Apple award on Monday, Dec. 1, at a board of education ceremony.

The award was given to recognize the tireless work that Pleas-Bailey and Southwestern College have done with Jardine Middle School in Wichita.

Her nomination read: “Dawn is a special friend to Jardine. Her desire to give each student an opportunity to think college has helped to build a partnership that has included mentoring, special activities, visits on campus and a summer STEM camp. She brings lots of love and a passion for learning to every experience.”

Pleas-Bailey was humbled by the award but quick to point out that it was a team effort.

“This award is about the work of the college, not just me,” Pleas-Bailey says.   “It represents lots of people at the college that helped with this work and my boss (Southwestern College President Dick Merriman) who allows me to spread the joy of SC.”

Among several activities the college does with Jardine Middle School is “Builder Bound” camp.  This year, 35 Jardine students attended the camp.  Many of these students are from economically disadvantaged families and would be first generation college attenders. Part of the mission of this camp is to expose these kids to the college experience and let them know that college is an option for them.  For six years, Southwestern has collaborated with USD 259 to provide a similar camp for students at Stuckey Middle School, Truesdell Middle School, and Jardine Middle School.  


Tue, 02 Dec 2014 10:00:39 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Southwestern College Christmas Classic ‘Eagerheart’ Returns (Theatre Arts)]]> The Southwestern College theatre department and Campus Players’ 82nd annual production of “Eagerheart” will be return this week as the SC Christmas chapel, and will be presented in Winfield and Arkansas City.  The annual Christmas chapel on the SC campus will be performed in Messenger Recital Hall in the Darbeth Fine Arts Center at 11 a.m., on Wednesday, Dec. 3. Free community performances will be at Winfield’s Grace United Methodist Church at 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, Dec. 4, and in Arkansas City’s First United Methodist Church on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 10:30 a.m. 

Produced on the SC campus for the chapel service annually since 1932, the Campus Players began touring the Christmas mystery play in 2009 after the 75th annual production in 2007, when the group was invited to perform in England where “Eagerheart” was written and first produced.  

“Eagerheart,” by early 20th century English playwright A.M. Buckton, celebrates the legend that Christ and the Holy Family travel the earth each year, blessing one deserving home where they rest on Christmas Eve.   Eager Heart and sisters Eager Fame and Eager Sense, along with shepherds and kings of Power, Wisdom, and Love, reveal their understanding of Christ and His teachings.  The search for the Holy Family is tested by beggars seeking food and shelter.  The play challenges and inspires audiences to live with charity throughout the year.  
Roger and Allyson Moon have led the production of “Eagerheart” from 1988 to the present.

“Tradition is important to many of us at Christmas time,” says Roger Moon, this year’s director, “and it obviously is to Allyson and me, as well as the Campus Players.  That is why we do ‘Eagerheart’ each year.   People want to celebrate the Christmas holiday in a way that reminds them of a time when we perceive there was a simpler joy and life at this time of year.  We like to believe that charity and thinking about others and their needs were more important, and to go back to that time.  ‘Eagerheart’ reminds us that charity is the real heart of the Christmas tradition, but also reflects that it is a constant human struggle for us.”

Staging and costumes changed, through the years, but so has the casting.  In the late 20th century the Moons began casting non-traditionally, with the Kings and Shepherds played periodically by women as well as men.  

This year for the first time the role of Eager Heart will be played with a male actor.  Senior theatre major Shane Clark Schrag will play the role.

“Gender is not inherent to lives of the rich or poor, or to the roles of power, wisdom, love, fame or the senses, nor to a life of simplicity, grace or faith,” says Roger Moon.  “Shane asked to be considered for the lead role. He brings great talent and sensibilities to the role, and all of the senior women wanted to play other roles.  We believe audiences who see the play for the first time will not find anything unusual in the casting, and those who have seen the play as part of their Christmas tradition will find a new spark in the way Shane portrays to the role of Eager Heart.  The message of the play is fresh and filled with hope each year.  As Shane is from Arkansas City and a graduate of ACHS, it is especially fun to take the production on tour to Ark City.”

Also in the cast are seniors Mariah Warren, Winfield, in the role of Eager Fame and Juliette Lowrance, Coffeyville, as Eager Sense.  

The Beggar Man will be played by Quenton Todd, Topeka.  The kings will be played by senior Jacob Marney, Winfield, as King of Power; senior Nathan Bales, Mulvane, as King of Wisdom; and sophomore William Wade, Bartlesville, Okla., as King of Love.

Continuing a tradition of inviting a Campus Player alumni or guest artist to play a role, Dan E. Campbell, Wichita, will play the role of the Old Shepherd. Other shepherds will be played by juniors Austin Davis, Colorado Springs, Colo., Anna Rosell, Wichita, and Emily Tilton, Douglass. 

The Prologue will be given by senior Caitlin Harris, Edmond, Okla., and angels will be played by sophomores Eli Rodda, Winfield, and Allie Petrovich, Colorado Springs, Colo., and juniors John Rohr, Arkansas City, and Justin Godwin, Grove Hill, Ala.  

For decades the Campus Players have chosen a female student, faculty or staff member to play the role of the beggar woman who later becomes recognized as one the Holy Family, and also have used infants of the community as the beggars’ child taken in by Eager Heart.   A chosen senior student will play the role at the chapel performance and a selected faculty or staff will play the Beggar Woman at the community performance.  First United Methodist Church of Arkansas City will be invited to choose a woman and young infant for those roles, bringing to life the importance of the values of “Eagerheart” in their community. 

Audiences are welcome at all three “Eagerheart” performances without charge.  Audiences at the campus chapel and community performances are encouraged to bring canned food for the Winfield Food Pantry.  

For more information about area “Eagerheart” performances, contact the Southwestern College performing arts office at (620) 229-6272.  


Mon, 01 Dec 2014 15:16:52 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SC Students to Present “Never Forget: the Courage to Remember” (General)]]> On Tuesday, Dec. 2, six Southwestern College students will share stories they have collected from individuals whose families have been directly affected by the Holocaust either as victims or as war veterans, and from people who fought to liberate the victims who are living with the trauma of the Holocaust.  The presentation, “Never Forget: the Courage to Remember,” will begin at 4 p.m., in the Deets Library on the campus of Southwestern College. There is no admission charge and the public is invited to attend.

The students presenting the information are Cierra Ross, Wichita; Dalton Carver, Ozawkie; Ryan Crowell, Conway Springs; Margaret Dunning, El Paso, Texas; Alex Elisaesser, Hugoton; and Brenna Truhe, Salina.  Teaching the students this semester has been Tracy Frederick, professor of communication, and Alice Bendinelli, assistant professor of English.

The students in the Holocaust Narratives class have spent this semester studying the historic events, the rhetoric of the perpetrators that created and led this genocide, and the narratives of the victims who survived the trauma in both historical documents and in their fictional representations. The students have also conducted interviews with both first- and second-generation survivors who are still affected by the Holocaust due to its trans-historical traumatic effects. Using what they have learned this semester, the students will reflect on the repercussions of this historical “wound” with members of the SC and Winfield community.

Frederick says that the students have developed sensitivity to the horrors and trauma that others have endured. 

“They (the students) have mentioned that the most shocking information has come from the personal testimonies that they have witnessed and read, but primarily they have been shocked by the fact that so many, including the United States,  knew what was happening and refused to help or aid the Jews who were trying to escape this genocide,” Frederick says.  “The students have been horrified by the unwillingness of other nations to offer a safe place for them to go, but instead were only concerned with maintaining their comforts. They have been moved by the information that expresses the horror and the lack of help from others. They also expressed that they were also startled to learn that it wasn’t just Jews who were condemned or exterminated, but also gypsies, homosexuals, assemblies of God, the handicapped, and several other groups.”

“This project would not have been possible if it had not been for the generous time offered by the interviewed volunteers who were willing to share their stories, as well as the efforts and support provided by members both within and outside the SC community, including Shoshana Wernick and Margot Kelman,” Bendinelli says. 

Margaret Dunning, one of the student presenters, says that the class has taught her plenty about the Holocaust. 

“This class has taught me that the Holocaust should never be forgotten because the victims of this horrific event in history should never be forgotten,” Dunning says.  “Their pain and plight was real and it still is real for so many people today. I hope on Dec. 2, I will be able to share someone’s story on their involvement in the Holocaust and that it will inspire others to take action against injustice and hatred in the world, because if people don’t take action it is no longer evil’s fault for thriving, it is the fault of those who stood back and watched it happen.”


Mon, 01 Dec 2014 10:39:20 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Get Ready! (Chapel)]]> Mark 13:24-37 (NIV)

24 “But in those days, following that distress,

“‘the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”

Get ready. Watch. Be prepared.

I grew up on the Gulf Coast where we were required in eighth grade to sit through several sessions on hurricane preparedness. Honestly, it was boring; but the teachers put the fear of God in us to make sure we had extra batteries, non-perishable foods, and drinking water on hand. The message was clear: a hurricane will come some day and you need to be ready.

Most of us have done some form of preparation for a natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado, but how much time do we spend preparing for the return of Christ—something Christians believe will actually happen someday. Jesus’ words are too often glossed over—“keep watch…be alert!”—yet this is what Advent is all about. Christians believe that we know the way the Story ends: one day Jesus the Christ will return in glory to do away with evil, once and for all, and make all things new.

There have been a lot of speculative books and movies about this final chapter in the Story of God. I worry sometimes if they can actually do damage by portraying the return of Christ as one more action adventure story that provides us passive amusement. Yet the biblical witness is clear that this is the final act in the Story of stories. It’s the climatic destiny toward which time marches. And it’s the closing chapter that gives ultimate meaning to our past, present and future.

As we begin this season of Advent, I invite you to join me in preparing for a God who is coming again, who will set all things right and will make all things new.

Amen! Come quickly Lord Jesus!

One of the traditional hymns for this first Sunday in Advent is Charles Wesley’s “Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending.” You can listen to a modern arrangement here:

Matt Sigler is the interim campus minister at Southwestern.

Sun, 30 Nov 2014 11:54:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)