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From the President
Dear friends,

Those of us who are privileged to work at Southwestern witness strange events, occasions that are beginnings and endings at the same time. These occasions prompt emotions that are wonderful and terrible; they are joyful and filled with loss. The school year is full of such events, but Commencement crystallizes a duality that is at the core of the college’s mission: the college opens its doors, and students walk in; the college opens other doors, and graduates walk out.

A case in point. At Commencement I shook the hands of five (count ’em, five) young women who are heading for medical school in Kansas City. They are wonderful people — leaders in student government, the class president, a stalwart member of the college’s Leadership Program, a leader on the basketball team, valedictorians. It is terrible to see them leave our campus. But it is wonderful that young women now have the opportunities they enjoy. But their departure takes something away from the college that feels irreplaceable. But it’s wonderful to know that somewhere out there a bunch of talented high schoolers have already set their sights on Southwestern, packed their bags (at least mentally), and are headed our way. But …

Back and forth the pendulum swings. Multiply times 400+ grads and it makes Commencement Day kind of a wild ride. But what a day of vindication, for students, their families, and the college!

Your loyalty, involvement, and support make these great days possible. Thank you for all you do for Southwestern College.

Best regards,

Dick Merriman

Senior Viewpoint

It was not easy to say good-by to the people I have met at Southwestern College.

As graduation neared and my faculty and friends asked about my summer and career plans, a strong sense of nostalgia set in. I knew I would be leaving the hill, but it was hard for me to imagine my life outside of SC. I wanted to put the books aside and spend time with friends. I found myself strolling into offices of faculty and sitting down to talk.

It was hard to believe my college years were coming to an end, but I couldn’t help but get caught up in the giddiness that comes as summer nears. And although I hummed ‘Pomp and Circumstance,’ I wasn’t ready to say good-by. I found myself becoming unexpectedly emotional in the middle of conversations.

Southwestern has become a second home to me. Some places on campus feel as familiar as my own living room, and the professors and faculty here have become my second mothers and fathers. I talk with them about everything and look to them for help in life decisions that will define my career and future.

On Commencement day it seemed as if it only took a few minutes to join the thousands of who call themselves Moundbuilder alumni. As I walked through the line of faculty before and after graduation, I was greeted with handshakes, smiles and hugs. I was surrounded by these second mothers and fathers who are proud of me and wish me the best. I knew then that I will think of them even if we aren’t in touch often, and I will never be a stranger to SC.

As the nostalgia grew, I began to appreciate SC more, including its deep history and traditions. Thank you, Southwestern, and your faculty and staff for the knowledge, hope, courage and freedom that I have received from my experiences at Southwestern. Thank you for everything.

It’s not easy to say good-bye.

Dusti Fansler ’03