A Message from the President
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you and your student to what we hope will prove to be some of the most remarkable years of your student’s life.
I was inaugurated as Southwestern’s 14th president April 4, 2001—33 years after graduating from Southwestern with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. As you can imagine, Southwestern is a special place to me. It’s where I met my wife, Jane. It’s also the institution that has nurtured the educational journeys of our daughters, Libby and Katie. Indeed, our family’s appreciation for and commitment to Southwestern is a shared value among us all. Over the next four years, I hope you and your student will develop that same sense of appreciation and commitment to Southwestern, a place the late author Loren Pope, former education editor for The New York Times, recognized in his book, Colleges That Change Lives, for its astounding impact on students who enroll and graduate.
At Southwestern, our purpose is clear: to foster a liberal arts community whose values and actions encourage contributions toward the well-being of humanity. Your student will encounter an unwavering commitment to academic and artistic freedom. A liberal arts education is more appropriately characterized by efforts aimed at synthesis, integration and meaningful generalizations. It exposes the student-poet to physics and technology and the young accountant to the history of art. It takes advantage of each student’s potential for posing value questions and for displaying problems, facts, ideas, events and situations in their full contexts. At its best, it produces generalists who can think critically and creatively, exercise judgment, sort through complexities, tolerate ambiguity, communicate effectively and adapt to change. Concurrently, a liberal arts education is an excellent foundation for careers and graduate study. It teaches communication skills, sharpens decision-making abilities and develops analytical proficiency. Most importantly, a liberal arts education encourages the habits and aptitude for lifelong learning.
Jane and I warmly welcome you and your student into the Southwestern family and trust that the many experiences before you will be enriching and enlightening. We are grateful that you have chosen Southwestern and stand ready to assist you in any way that we possibly can.
Jake B. Schrum ’68