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From the President
Dear friends,

Last week a good part of the main campus student body paraded down the 77 Steps as part of Southwestern’s 76th Moundbuilding Ceremony. I’m sure few of the students noticed, or cared at that moment, that The 77 looked pretty rough, but the truth is they have deteriorated very noticeably in recent years.

The 77 Steps are the college’s front door, a main thoroughfare for students, a prime venue for foolishness, a place for romance, and a test for returning alumni. They are a symbol of Southwestern and they need to look great! By the time of the 77th Moundbuilding Ceremony next fall they are going to look fabulous, because we are embarking this fall on a fund drive to replace the 77 Steps. Construction will be begun and completed next summer. We’ll rededicate The 77 at Homecoming 2004!

You can assist with this fund drive in several ways:

  • You can make a gift to name a landing, each of which will feature an icon of Southwestern. Maybe your family name ought to be associated with the landing that bears the college seal, or the Cross and Flame of the United Methodist Church, or the image of Richardson Hall.
  • You can make a gift to name a step for your championship Builder team, a beloved professor, or the spouse you met at Southwestern.
  • You can help your class claim one of the top four steps of The 77. Those steps will honor classes that achieve greatness in providing support for Southwestern during the current fiscal year.

It should be great fun and a nice chance to make history at Southwestern. I hope you’ll join in.

Best regards,

Dick Merriman

The Dean's Viewpoint

What a wonderfully peculiar world is our academic life! We paradoxically cling to tradition and at the same time we push knowledge forward.

For instance, Socrates introduced his method of quizzing students until they discovered answers for themselves. We still do that at SC but Socrates never used a Dell laptop computer to get the job done. Similarly, when Quintilian, the ancient Roman rhetorician, outlined his scheme for the liberal arts he probably never imagined a course like ‘Planet Earth’ where the studies of field biology and politics converge. Euclid gave us principles of geometry and our own Martin Rude, along with a team of students from freshman workday, applied those precepts in order to build a wheelchair ramp for a disadvantaged family. Incidentally, my freshman work day crew was a bit less noble in spirit but our water balloon attacks on the other groups might be excused by some obscure Archimedean principle about displacing water at a high velocity.

In any case, it is clear is that the maxim, ‘avito viret honore’ (one flourishes on the honors of one’s ancestors) holds true at SC. We are flourishing. We know our academic roots but we are builders. And, we are shaping new ways for students to learn. Both the faculty and students at Southwestern College are a talented group of scholars.

It is my pleasure to serve them and I hope that you too will find ways to encourage them in their pursuit of wisdom.

Best wishes,

J.A. (Andy) Sheppard
Interim Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty