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!
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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