From the President
Dear friends,

This month's Commencement had lots of thrills and spills. The "thrills" came from the huge and happy crowd that filled Sonner Stadium with applause, laughter, and celebration. The "spills" came when a rain shower passed over. Honorary degree recipient Leonard Laws joked afterward that his comments were so eloquent that God wept. Mercifully, God's composure returned, the showers ended, and the graduates each had a well-deserved moment in the sun.

Graduates strike interesting poses as they cross the stage to receive their diplomas. Some are pretty laid back. Some play it for laughs. Some seem almost stunned by the situation. The ones I remember best are in the grip of powerful emotions: Their handshakes are emphatic, their feelings of vindication and triumph are bursting out of them. They are grateful, excited, and fired up about their futures.

The college encouraged these students to "Come Here. Go Far." They came, the college prepared them well, and now we have the pleasure of watching them, as graduates, go far. We know these graduates will do extraordinary things, and they will discover, in surprising ways for the rest of their lives, that a Southwestern education is a gift of inestimable value.

Hail and fare well to the Class of 2001!

Best regards,

Dick Merriman

From Alumni Programs

Milestones. No matter who you are, where you are from, or what career you chose, college was probably a major milestone in your life. In this edition of the Southwesterner, as we celebrate the accomplishments of the class of 2001, it is good for us "more experienced" alumni to reflect back on the journey we traveled at Southwestern and see the impact it had on our lives.

For many of us, college was a total change of life. It introduced freedom, new responsibilities, and endless opportunities. With added knowledge came self-confidence, with college acquaintances came lifelong friends, with a degree came our road to the future. It was a milestone, indeed.

Milestones are rare in our lives. It is important to recognize these pinnacles, especially with others who have experienced them with us. If, as you read this, you find yourself reflecting on SC roommates, or college friends, I encourage you to call them. Tell them you would love to get together again. Share your campus stories, and make plans to join us at one of our regional alumni gatherings. Or come back to campus for Homecoming this Oct. 19, 20, and 21, especially if it is your reunion year (classes ending in "1" or "6") or if you were a science major.

If you have questions, please contact me via phone (620-229-6334), mail (100 College St.), or e-mail ( Celebrate the impact of your Southwestern College milestone before another year passes by. You'll be glad you did.

Susan Lowe '95
Director of Alumni Programs