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From the President
Dear friends,

The 2004-05 issue of America's Best Colleges, the annual ranking of colleges by U.S. News and World Report, hit the newsstands in August. Southwestern College was ranked as a TOP TIER Midwestern college!

All of us who work at Southwestern know that the college is extraordinary, but it feels great when others recognize it. A compliment from a stranger feels a little different from a kind (and possibly dutiful) comment by a friend or family member.

Please help us spread the word. Tell your neighbor, your co-workers, your pastor, the teachers and coaches at your local high school, and the young people you know, that you are proud to have a connection to an exceptionally good college.

As always, we need your referrals of students, your offers of internships, your advice, and your financial support. Talk up SC! The college will vindicate your support.

Best regards,

Dick Merriman


Administration Viewpoint

I wasn't around, but I know from conversations on campus that it wasn't easy for Southwestern College to make the decision to provide degree completion programs for working adults.

It wasn't easy for President Carl Martin to convince the college that providing educational opportunities to older learners would energize the college instead of diffusing its energies and resources. It wasn't easy to claim our place in the crowded Wichita educational scene. It wasn't easy to craft a program that was both academically responsible, and accessible to working adults.

But Carl, along with professional studies director Marvin Hafenstein and his staff, persisted.

We've just celebrated the end of professional studies' first decade, and the rate of evolution is astounding. What started with 19 learners in a downtown Winfield classroom in 1994 now involves 675 learners, more than 300 of whom are completing their degrees online. (See page 7 for a full story on professional studies.)

Now we're ready for the next step of our evolution. We're exploring expansion into Oklahoma. This is happening because we still believe we have a responsibility to provide educational opportunities to those who otherwise would be unable to earn a college degree.

The staggering growth in professional studies has come about because we've looked for opportunities, and worked hard to make these opportunities pay off.

Easy? No. But exciting? Absolutely.

Karen L. Pedersen
Vice President for Professional Studies