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Delmar Seevers, 1938

Marcia Hubenett, 1938

Ask a current student what’s special about Southwestern College, and certain words appear over and over again.

“It has excellent faculty.”

“It really has helped me develop confidence and independence.”

“The school spirit is amazing.”

And if you ask Marcia (Hubenett) Seevers ’40 the exact same question, the exact same words are in her answer. What’s special about Southwestern for Marcia Seevers? The faculty, and the confidence and independence she developed, and the school spirit.

“The opportunity was tremendous,” she says. “Some of the closest friends I have still are the ones I met at Southwestern, and Dr. Chalcea White, the dean of women when I was in school, became a very close personal friend although we were separated by a good many miles.”

Her achievements are chronicled in the Moundbuilders from the years she was at Southwestern: Masterbuilder, Who’s Who, Popular Underclassman designation, and page after page of involvement and honors.

“It speaks to the opportunities that Southwestern offered,” she explains her time here. “It was a nurturing environment, and clearly, still is.”

Southwestern had a similar effect on the man who would become Marcia’s husband. Delmar White, who grew up in the tiny Kansas town of St. John, was immersed in math and physics through the guidance of SC faculty members William Plum and Penrose Albright. After two years at SC he transferred to Duke University to finish school, but before he could finish his graduate degree World War II was declared and Del soon was in Panama working on research to develop anti-magnetic mine programs.

“During that period he was sent back to the States for more schooling, so he cabled me and proposed, and I met him in Washington, and we were married in a Methodist church, as our parents had requested,” Marcia recalls.

Following the war Del returned to finish his graduate degree at Duke. He left the university with a new degree, a new job, and a new son, Marcia laughs, when he accepted a position in the Los Angeles area with the Chevron Oil Company research laboratories. The family would stay with the company for Del’s entire career.

“He loved it,” Marcia says. “It was exactly the right post for him, because he was able to continue his interest in academic things through an exchange program through the corporation and universities there, working with the students and doing research at Chevron.”

The couple returned to Durham, N.C., in retirement 10 years ago when Del’s health began to fail. He died in 1996.

Del and Marcia had two sons. The younger died in infancy, and the older, Gordon, was a “fine, strapping fellow in his junior year of high school” when, during a trip to Newfoundland, his difficulties with balance led to the discovery of a brain tumor. Initially the family believed the tumor had been cured through surgery, but a year later it recurred and Gordon died five years later.

Now Marcia’s enduring love for Southwestern and her desire to honor her husband and son have prompted her to become a donor to the Builders of Excellence campaign. Her gift of $50,000 will be used toward scholarships for science students; the scholarships will be described as being established by Delmar and Marcia Hubenett Seevers in honor of their son, Gordon.

“I decided to sign away any further benefits from a charitable remainder trust that my husband and I set up nearly 20 years ago,” Marcia explains. “Over the years there have been other gifts we’ve made, but in some ways, I feel as if this is a gift we’re making as a couple because we decided on the charitable remainder trust as a couple.

“I’m hoping my gift might cause other donors to say, ‘Look, maybe the college could use that amount right now more than I need the income from it,” she adds.

The Builders of Excellence campaign was publicly announced in October 2002 and is about halfway toward its goal of $24 million. While the main focus of the campaign is on growth of the endowment (with $4.5 million earmarked to be used for student scholarships and financial aid) opportunities for support include program support, facilities and technology, and operating support.

For more information on the campaign, contact Paul Bean, vice president for institutional advancement, at (620) 229-6298, or e-mail him at pbean@sckans.edu.

“Southwestern and the friends of the college and alumni supported it in 1936 and invested in my potential, so this is a good time for me to make a similar investment,” Marcia Seevers concludes.