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In Focus: 11/06/2009

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Top News

SOUTHWESTERN CELEBRATES THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF ITS FIRST HOMECOMING

In 1909, the United States was in a “golden age” before the start of World War I. Alumni and faculty members from Southwestern University, which was founded in Georgetown in 1873, decided it would be a good time for the school to hold its first homecoming. Some 1,000 former students made plans to attend the event and special Pullman trains were added to get them to Georgetown. Residents all over town opened their homes to accommodate the visitors.

This weekend, Southwestern will celebrate the 100th anniversary of that first homecoming. Organizers expect 1,500 people to attend this year’s event – the most ever.

Read the rest of the story here.

NEW BOOK RECALLS LIFE AT SOUTHWESTERN IN THE EARLY 1900s

As Southwestern University prepares to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its first homecoming in 1909, a new book offers a glimpse into what life was like for students who attended the university at that time.

The Ties That Bind: A Georgetown Texas Memoir 1904-1909 is based on more than 500 letters to Early Price, who attended Southwestern from 1901 to 1908, both as a student in the Fitting School and as a music student at the University.

Louise Walsh, a granddaughter of Early Price, started the book project two years ago as a gift to her mother, Early Fleming Cook.

Read the rest of the story here.

THE PRICE FAMILY AND SOUTHWESTERN: A STORY THAT CONTINUES TO THIS DAY

The story of the Price family, which is detailed in a new book titled The Ties That Bind: A Georgetown Texas Memoir 1904-1909 is not just confined to a history book. The Price family’s association with Southwestern University – which started in the late 1800s – continues to this day.

There were six children in the family of Mattie Mann and Richard Henry Price, all of whom attended Southwestern at some point. Many of their children attended Southwestern, as did some of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A current Southwestern student, Morgan Allen Smith, is the great-grandson of Lily Price (Young), who was Early’s older sister. His great-great grandfather, Ryland Young Sr., was one of the original five professors at Southwestern.

Read the rest of the story here.

NEW MODEL UN TEAM MAKES ITS DEBUT

For the past month, nine Southwestern students have spent hours researching and collaboratively writing about the politics and culture of Colombia. While this is not unusual for college students, these students are not working for a grade or credit hours.

The students are members of Model United Nations (Model UN), an international organization that educates high school and college students about intergovernmental politics, including diplomacy, civics, communication and globalization.

Sophomore Alexis Kropf revived Southwestern’s Model UN team last semester after it had been dormant for several years.

The new team will make its formal debut Nov. 5-7 by participating in a Model Organization of the American States (MOAS) conference hosted by St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. At this conference, multiple colleges will represent specific North and South American countries in a mock-UN gathering. Southwestern’s team will represent Columbia, and will work with other teams to develop solutions to a variety of problems facing the two continents.

Read the rest of the story here.

Events

OPERA THEATRE ENSEMBLE TO PERFORM TWO SHORT OPERAS NOV. 13-14

The Southwestern Opera Theatre Ensemble will present a double billing of two short operas by American composer Gian Carlo Menotti on Nov. 13 and 14 at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater.

The first opera, “The Telephone,” is the story of a man’s attempt to propose marriage to a woman, if he could only get her to hang up the phone.

The second opera is the tender yet tragic story of “The Medium.” In a squalid flat on the outskirts of a great city, Madame Flora’s would-be séance intrigues audiences in 1940s film noir style.

The performances are free and open to the public. All scenes will be in English.

Media Coverage

Laura Hobgood-Oster, professor of religion, was quoted in an AP story about the growing trend of churches including animals in worship services. The story has been picked up by more than 60 newspapers, radio stations and television stations across the country. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun ran a long article and sidebar on the 100th anniversary of Southwestern’s first homecoming.

The Williamson County Sun ran an article on faculty members who received the 2009-10 Sam Taylor Fellowship awards.

Notables

Three teams from Southwestern will be participating in the world’s most prestigious computer programming competition Nov. 6-7. The International Collegiate Programming Contest is sponsored by IBM and is run by the Association for Computing Machinery.

The Southwestern teams will participate in a regional competition to be held at Texas A&M University. The SU Root team includes Daniel Bauer, Lane Hill and Michael Party. The SU Equipo team includes Darren Allen, Adam Scully and Erick Bauman. The SU Pirata team includes Aaron Kinsman, Nicholas Ashford, Alan Lowry and reserve Jason Catron. The teams are coached by Richard Denman, associate professor of math and computer science, and Barbara Anthony, assistant professor of math and computer science. Read more about the competition here.

Lynn Guziec, assistant professor of chemistry, and Frank Guziec, professor of chemistry, recently published a paper in The Analyst titled “Interactions of sulfur-containing acridine ligands with DNA by ESI-MS.” The paper was co-authored by Jennifer Brodbelt, professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, and 2001 Southwestern graduate Suncerae Smith.

Professor emeritus Walter Herbert has published a new book titled Faith-Based War: From 9/11 to Catastrophic Success in Iraq.

Senior art major Paloma Mayorga created a portrait of composer Aaron Copeland that is being used on the poster and brochures publicizing the 2010 Festival of the Arts in Georgetown, which is focusing on the music of Copeland.