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From the President
Dear friends,

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.

Your devotion, high regard, and generous support are the fuel that propels Southwestern. We thrive on your loyalty and involvement. Keep it coming!

Best regards,

Dick Merriman

Campaign Viewpoint

Two 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 will provide you with "happy memories" that will last a lifetime!

Larry Eason '55
Co-chair, Builders of Excellence Campaign