One of the great
things about living and working on a college campus is that we escape,
to some extent, our modern, linear concept of time. At the college we
seem to live in cycles that all bend toward the fresh start, the next
chance. A class that goes badly is followed by a good one. An athletic
team that struggles gets better and starts winning. The seniors graduate,
but three months later the freshmen arrive. Constant renewal becomes
the norm. We can be young, at least vicariously, forever.
During these cycles,
though, it is essential to have a bedrock of stability that brings us
back to the college's mission, that reminds us why we're here. Beginning
in the mid-1960s, Southwestern's bedrock largely has been made up of
three remarkable members of the college's faculty: Judith Charlton,
Max Thompson, and Larry Wilgers. Every encounter with these folks is
a trip to the unknown. They challenge, they question, they have opinions
(do they ever!). In their presence, under their influence, students
ignite. It is amazing to watch it happen.
I know that Southwestern will find very good faculty members to fill
the vacancies being created by the retirement of Judith, Max, and Larry.
There is a cycle of faculty renewal, just as there is for students.
But it's a long cycle. We'll celebrate their service to Southwestern
and wish them well with lumps in our throats.
of the most refreshing aspects of my job is to see the recurring joy
that bursts forth each time old acquaintances meet. Regardless the age
of the individuals, the lapse of time since last they met, or even the
depth of friendship that defined their bond in earlier years, the reunion
greetings are warm and the smiles are genuine. Time and again, I hear
alumni and friends of the college say, "I can't believe I waited so
long to come to a Southwestern alumni event. If I had known how much
I would enjoy it, I would have attended years ago!"
Since last June, the SC alumni staff
(Nan Hinson and I) has set in place a new concept for alumni and friends
of Southwestern College. Our goal is to re-energize alumni experiences
for Moundbuilders everywhere. In checking the calendar in The Southwesterner,
you probably have noticed a large increase in number of alumni activities
scheduled around the country. We want to provide opportunities for alumni
and friends to gather, reminisce, and network. We've asked you to tell
us what you want and we have tried to respond accordingly. These events
range from fun activities, to family experiences, to lifetime learning
dinner seminars, to outstanding travel opportunities.
We are delighted to tell people that
we are in the business of "friend-raising." So regardless of when you
graduated (or if you did not graduate), your bond to Southwestern College,
and to the friendships made through it, can be an asset throughout your
life. Whenever possible, please make an effort to stay involved.to stay
connected with SC. You don't want to be one who says years later, "I
can't believe I waited so long to come to a Southwestern alumni event.
If someone had told me how much I would enjoy it, I would have attended
years ago!" Consider yourself told.
For more information about alumni events
and programs, please contact me by phone at 1-800-846-1543 ext. 6334,
or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan Lowe '95
Director of Alumni Programs