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
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.
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.
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
- 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
Dean of Faculty