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From the President
Dear friends,

With the death of Orville Strohl in February Southwestern College lost one of its great treasures. Southwestern will never have a truer friend or more ardent champion than Orville. We will all miss him a lot.

At the memorial service to honor Orville his friends, former college presidents Bruce Blake and Carl Martin, and Southwestern alumni all spoke of his energy and vision. In remarks at the service professor of biology Charles Hunter spoke of a particularly good example of the continuing impact of Orville's leadership on Southwestern College. Last year the college received a sizable gift of farm property from the estate of Floyd and Edna V. Moore. The college's Board of Trustees designated a significant portion of that property, which is just north of Winfield, for use by the college as a biology field station. The property provides great opportunities for field work on prairie ecology by students and faculty.

Orville Strohl asked for and finalized plans for that gift over 30 years ago. As Charlie noted, Orville planted seeds decades ago that are still bearing fruit for Southwestern.

All of us who love Southwestern need to think big and dream big about what the college can be and about how we can help it grow and prosper. Orville's example can inspire us all.

Best regards,

Dick Merriman

From Academic Affairs

Fellow alumni,

The results of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) summarized on the following page are something special for Southwestern College. That is because education at Southwestern is something special.

The NSSE is based on the thoroughly researched "Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education." Those principles include (1) encouraging contact between students and faculty, (2) cooperation among students, (3) active learning techniques, (4) prompt feedback to students, (5) adequate time on task, (6) high expectations, and (7) respect for diverse talents and ways of learning.

We placed the Seven Principles at the center of academic life several years ago. Mature faculty employ them and new faculty are expected to absorb them. Some principles represent methods that great Southwestern professors have always employed. Now, as an institution, we are ALL trying to be faithful to them.

The key is "engagement." Decades ago, we thought that good teaching revolved around clever lecturing, taking notes, and regurgitating facts on exams. We now know that students learn best when they work together, engage in hands-on activities, get quick feedback, and stretch to meet the expectations of faculty they know personally. The NSSE results show that we are doing all of that particularly well in the freshman year. Next year, having 100% of our students equipped with laptops will make even more effective implementation of the Seven Principles possible.

Good things are happening at Southwestern College. Now we have valid evidence to prove that.

David Nichols '60
Dean of Faculty