long-time Southwestern College administrators have announced their plans
to retire at the end of the academic year. David Nichols, vice president
for academic affairs and dean of faculty, and Bill Stephens, director
of athletics, both are Southwestern College graduates with involvement
at the school spanning six decades.
Nichols, who graduated from Southwestern
in 1960, has worked in a variety of positions at the college. He had
been a faculty member in the social science and business management
areas; chairperson of the division of management from 1979 to 1985;
and vice president for development from 1985 to 1991, before assuming
his current position in 1992.
Nichols has overseen several of the major
transitions in the college's academic life, including spearheading the
successful 10-year reaccredidation by the North Central Association
of Schools and Colleges in 2001. He is known as a champion of faculty
In retirement Nichols plans to return to
work as a full-time historian, work that has resulted in publication
of Lincoln and the Indians: Civil War Policy and Politics in 2000 by
the University of Illinois Press. (He earned his doctorate in history
from the College of William and Mary.)
Nichols' latest book, tentatively titled
The Second Civil War: Eisenhower, Little Rock and Civil Rights, is intended
to be a fresh interpretation of the Eisenhower administration's record
in Civil Rights. It will be published in time for the 50th anniversary
of the Supreme Court school integration decision of 1954 (Brown vs.
Bill Stephens arrived at Southwestern as
a freshman in 1959, returning to his alma mater a decade later as assistant
basketball coach under Bob Hower. A year later Stephens was named head
basketball coach, taking on the AD position when Hower was killed in
a car accident in 1972.
Over the years he has coached basketball
(11 years), tennis, football, and golf, and despite numerous conference
championships (three in basketball and 14 in golf) the achievement of
which he is the most proud is the graduation rate of his basketball
"Every basketball player I coached who
finished out his eligibility here went on to graduate, one hundred percent
of them," he says. "Not many programs can say that."
During the three decades of his leadership,
small college athletes have seen sweeping changes, Stephens says. The
most obvious of these is the increase in women's sports, due to Title
IX legislation that mandated equal opportunities for women athletes.
The coaching staff (which numbered four
when Stephens began, all of whom taught half-time) now includes nine
coaches, plus 16 assistant coaches. Recruitment of student-athletes
has become a highly-competitive, year-round activity. Upgrade of facilities
has become almost routine.
Stephens is proud of the fact that SC
has been able to retain tradition during upgrades of playing sites,
especially in the case of Stewart Field House.
He will continue to be involved at the
college on a part-time basis as he moves toward full retirement.
you know a future Moundbuilder?
Todd Moore is sending out a call for help
to Southwestern College friends and alumni.
As director of admission, Moore has access
to the names of thousands of potential Southwestern students, but he
knows the most influential voices in a student's college decision often
come from persons outside the college.
"Our alumni, who had great experiences
here and love the college, have the potential to make a major impact
on the size of the incoming freshman class," Moore says. "In many cases,
these alumni and friends are the best link we have to new SC students."
Moore is suggesting several ways volunteers
can have an impact on Southwestern's recruitment efforts:
" Alumni can participate in a college fairs held near where the alumni
live, usually a geographic area that is out of the college's general
" United Methodist church members are encouraged to set up tables at
their home churches, using SC-provided materials.
" Receptions for prospective students can be hosted in alumni homes.
" The alumnus can work with the director of admission to draft a letter
to send to prospective students, talking about the school experience.
Moore also provides fee waiver coupons
to alumni, who can give them to prospective students for a $20 reduction
in application fees.
"As hard as our admission staff works,
we know our success depends on finding new students who feel good about
choosing Southwestern College," Moore says, "and alumni can help make
For more information on the admission
volunteer program, contact Moore at Southwestern College, 800-846-1543,
ext. 6210, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tops List for Academic Quality
The quality of Southwestern College's
academic program was affirmed in the latest version of the U.S. News
and World Report's annual fall guide to "America's Best Colleges": Southwestern
was ranked top among private colleges in Kansas in terms of academic
Evaluation and voting on the academic
reputation is done by Midwestern college presidents, academic deans,
and admission directors.
"We know the college has made significant
strides forward in the quality of its academic program - our students
are better, our faculty is stronger, we use technology well, our curriculum
is well thought out - but it was gratifying to learn that others are
noticing," said President Dick Merriman.
The college also came out on top among
Kansas colleges, and in the top 20 among Midwestern comprehensive colleges,
as a best value in private higher education. That reflects a favorable
mix of quality, cost, small classes, and the college's financial aid
efforts on behalf of students, Merriman explains.