Last week a good part of the main campus student body
paraded down the 77 Steps as part of Southwestern’s 76th Moundbuilding
Ceremony. I’m sure few of the students noticed, or cared at that
moment, that The 77 looked pretty rough, but the truth is they have
deteriorated very noticeably in recent years.
The 77 Steps are the college’s front door, a main
thoroughfare for students, a prime venue for foolishness, a place for
romance, and a test for returning alumni. They are a symbol of Southwestern
and they need to look great! By the time of the 77th Moundbuilding Ceremony
next fall they are going to look fabulous, because we are embarking
this fall on a fund drive to replace the 77 Steps. Construction will
be begun and completed next summer. We’ll rededicate The 77 at
You can assist with this fund drive in several ways:
It should be great fun and a nice chance to make history
at Southwestern. I hope you’ll join in.
a wonderfully peculiar world is our academic life! We paradoxically
cling to tradition and at the same time we push knowledge forward.
For instance, Socrates introduced his
method of quizzing students until they discovered answers for themselves.
We still do that at SC but Socrates never used a Dell laptop computer
to get the job done. Similarly, when Quintilian, the ancient Roman rhetorician,
outlined his scheme for the liberal arts he probably never imagined
a course like ‘Planet Earth’ where the studies of field
biology and politics converge. Euclid gave us principles of geometry
and our own Martin Rude, along with a team of students from freshman
workday, applied those precepts in order to build a wheelchair ramp
for a disadvantaged family. Incidentally, my freshman work day crew
was a bit less noble in spirit but our water balloon attacks on the
other groups might be excused by some obscure Archimedean principle
about displacing water at a high velocity.
In any case, it is clear is that the maxim,
‘avito viret honore’ (one flourishes on the honors of one’s
ancestors) holds true at SC. We are flourishing. We know our academic
roots but we are builders. And, we are shaping new ways for students
to learn. Both the faculty and students at Southwestern College are
a talented group of scholars.
It is my pleasure to serve them and I
hope that you too will find ways to encourage them in their pursuit
J.A. (Andy) Sheppard
Interim Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty