When I travel
to meet with the college's alumni and friends it almost invariably happens
that one or two well-wishers will say as we are parting, "Let me know
how I can help the college." I'm writing to let you know.
1) Send us the
names of young people who are, or soon will be, looking at colleges.
On page 11 is a "What's In a Name?" form. Please fill it out with the
names of your college-bound children, or grandchildren, nieces and nephews,
or young people you know at work or at the church. If you will take
a moment to put the spotlight on a great young person, we will follow
up, make contact, and tell him or her all about the college. Not only
are you helping Southwestern, you are helping that young person learn
about a wonderful educational opportunity.
2) Make a financial
gift to the college. No one takes care of Southwestern but the people
who love the college; not the taxpayers, not the state legislature,
not our friends in Washington, D.C. See pages 6-7 for information about
the Builders of Excellence Campaign, the most important fund drive in
the college's history. Even though we launched the campaign in a very
tough economy during a time of great uncertainty, our supporters have
risen to the challenge. To keep the ball rolling, we need your support.
3) Talk up Southwestern,
you never who might be listening. According to "America's Best Colleges,"
published annually by U.S. News and World Report, Southwestern has the
best academic reputation of all the private college in Kansas, Oklahoma,
and Nebraska. We were chosen by the same publication as a "Best Value"
in private higher education in the Midwest. Our graduates leave SC with
less debt, on average, than graduates of KU, K-State, OU, and Oklahoma
State. That is value you can brag about.
high regard, and generous support are the fuel that propels Southwestern.
We thrive on your loyalty and involvement. Keep it coming!
days before Thanksgiving in 1979, late on a Tuesday night, my family
and I were taken hostage by a gunman in our own Fort Worth home. We
were held for ten terror-filled hours, as we tried to fill the gunman's
demands for cash. When he determined there wasn't enough money in the
house, he made us lie on the floor without speaking all night, the next
morning forcing us to drive at gunpoint to the bank where my son worked
as a teller. When David was able to bring him money, the gunman had
me drive to an area of town where he got out of the car and ran away.
Just a few days after our traumatic experience, a phrase
by Sydney Harris began going through my mind: "The only permanent thing that money
can buy is a happy memory." My wife, Lequita, and I began to discuss
our experience and the meaning of Harris's phrase. We decided to simplify
our lifestyle. While we have not taken any vows of poverty, we have
made some substantial changes in the way we use our money. We have limited
our material possessions. We have decided that "more" is not "better."
Although we are still saving (and using the savings in our retirement)
we are using more of our money to enjoy life now in ways that provide
us with "happy memories."
Finally, since our ordeal we have given away more money. Although giving
to our church and charitable causes has always been an important to
us, we have discovered a real joy in giving more money to causes in
which we have a deep interest.
On pages 6 and 7 of this issue of The Southwesterner, you will find
information about one of those causes. Builders of Excellence: The Campaign
for Southwestern College has become the recipient of the largest charitable
gift we've ever made. We believe in the mission of Southwestern College,
and want the school to be financially strong so it can continue to make
a positive impact in the lives of others as it did for me.
We are thrilled to be able to give back to an institution
that has given so much to us. Won't you join us? Your gift to Southwestern
provide you with "happy memories" that will last a lifetime!
Larry Eason '55
Co-chair, Builders of Excellence Campaign