Historical Alumni Database: 1844 - 1920
The Southwestern Historical Root Institution Alumni Directory lists students who attended Southwestern as well as her "root" institutions - the colleges whose charters Southwestern inherited. Students who attended schools officially affiliated with Southwestern are also recorded. The earliest students listed are the 1844 graduates of Rutersville College, and the directory concludes with the names of students who attended Southwestern in the 1919-1920 academic year. The institutions included are:
- Rutersville College
- Weslyn College
- McKenzie College
- Soule University
- Bastrop Military Institute
- Chapel Hill Femail College
Southwestern University (in addition to regular undergraduates)
- Southwestern Medical School
- Fitting or Preparatory School
- Summer school sessions for teachers and theology students
- Fine Arts School
- SATC: Student Army Training Corp
- Commercial School
- Correspondence Department
Early copies of the Southwestern University Catalogue as well as catalogues from Rutersville, McKenzie, and Wesleyan Colleges and Soule University were the most significant sources. Until the turn of the century, Southwestern University divided most catalogues into two editions, one for the men school and another for the Ladies' Annex. Both of these sources were consulted. Additional names were gleaned from various literary magazines, such as the Soule Stylus, and registrar documents recovered from the Bastrop Military Institute and Chapel Hill Female College.
Organization and Format
The online directory was originally created and organized in date order for each successive school year beginning with students at Rutersville College during the 1846-1845 school year. This online version can be searched by surname, keyword, or date. One copy of this chronological arrangement was printed, then the document was sorted alphabetically by student surname, and all successive copies were printed with this organization. The directory includes all available information about a student for each specific school term or year. Also included for each alumnus is the name of the institution that the person attended, student classification, and the source or catalogue where the information was found. With this information the document can be cross referenced to the original source.
Several student classifications are found throughout the document. In almost every year there are listings for undergraduates, graduates, and special students. Until the early 1900s, there are listings for the Fitting School, which was also called the Preparatory Department. The change in the name of this classification as well as others reflects the usage of the particular source used. Also, an individual may be listed more than once in a year because the student had multiple statuses. For example, a student could be classified as both an undergraduate and a student of the Fine Arts Department.
During the early years of the school, records were not always formally kept. Some years have relatively small listings or none at all due to irregularities in the catalogues. In addition, documentation systems varied, registrars changed, and records for affiliated schools were lost. This database, however, has used all currently available and known sources to provide a directory that is as complete as possible.
For further information, please contact Kathryn Stallard, Head of Special Collections