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From the President
Dear friends,

Recently I, along with a throng of fellow sidewalk superintendents, watched the 77 Steps disappear. Two diggers and three trucks tore them up and carted them off in less than eight hours. It was a little sad to watch; a lot of human labor was undone in less than a day.

Wrecking is fast. Building is slow. It will take three months for the 77 Steps to reappear. It took over 12 months to raise the money for the project. The Builders of Excellence Campaign, of which the 77 Steps fund drive is a part, will take five years to complete. The college’s strategic plan references goals to be achieved in 2014.

To be a builder requires vision and commitment and sacrifice. Those virtues are in short supply in many parts of the world. Not here. Not on this hill. Southwestern has created a remarkable tradition of building and growth and regeneration. Your commitment to the college fuels this tradition. Thanks for all you do for Southwestern.

Best regards,

Dick Merriman

Administration Viewpoint

Three cheers for Walter de Merton!

He flourished during the 13th century, well before the establishment of Southwestern College. But, Walter was a builder. In fact, there is a sense in which he invented the annual fund. Walter resolved to devote his savings to the maintenance of scholars. His program of making yearly provisions for others was so successful that it became the standard financial mechanism for later university benefactors to follow. And that device is still in place today.

The annual fund provides Southwestern College faculty members with the necessary means for educating another generation of scholars. Money donated to the annual fund helps to pay for big things like research trips, library databases, and science equipment. It also helps to cover the costs of the little things such as markers for the whiteboards. More specifically, the annual fund helps to cover the costs associated with things such as:

  • Journalism professor Tod Megredy’s digital cameras
  • Chemistry lab supplies for Dr. Terry Barnett
  • The DVD collection that Dr. Stephen Woodburn uses to teach Russian history.

In short, without an army of people devoted to the annual fund, few of us would have access to the tools that make education possible. Every year since Southwestern College opened its doors, generous donors have followed in the spirit of Walter de Merton. They have given to the annual fund and made sure that the educational project stands solid.

If you have not already made a gift to the annual fund, I hope you will consider doing so. Both the faculty and the students at Southwestern will benefit from your support.


Andy Sheppard
Dean of Faculty