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.
was not easy to say good-by to the people I have met at Southwestern
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Thank you for everything.
It’s not easy
to say good-bye.