Southwestern @ Georgetown
Volume 17 • Number 3
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Southwestern @ Georgetown
Walt Herbert
Southwestern @ Georgetown
Fred Hilgeman
Southwestern @ Georgetown
Sonia Riquelme
Faculty News: Retirements and Recognitions

Three long-time faculty members retired at the end of the spring semester. They are Walt Herbert, who has been a member of the English faculty since 1975 and was Southwestern’s first University Scholar; Fred Hilgeman, who has been a member of the Chemistry faculty since 1967; and Sonia Riquelme, who has taught Spanish at the University since 1985.

 Herbert’s University Scholar position has been awarded to Eric Selbin, who has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1992 and currently serves as chair of the Political Science Department.

An expert on Latin American politics and revolutions, Selbin is the author of Modern Latin American Revolutions, which has been widely used in the United States and abroad. He also is co-editor with Deborah Gerner of the University of Kansas of the New Millennium Books in International Studies series for Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.

Selbin said the University Scholar position will enable him to complete three other books he has in progress, including Decentering International Relations, which he is co-editing with Southwestern graduate Meghana Nayak ’97.

 The Herman Brown Chair, previously held by Walt Herbert, has been awarded to Thomas Howe, professor of art and art history.

Howe has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1985 and currently serves as chair of art history in the Art and Art History Department. He served as the Brown Distinguished Research Professor from 2000-2004.

Howe launched the art history major at Southwestern, as well as the minor in architecture and design. Howe’s lecture course in World Architecture: Ancient Traditions has been selected by the Teaching Company in Washington, D.C., to be developed into a 24-class packet offered to their 10 million subscribers.

He has published several books, including the most widely used illustrated translation and commentary of the Roman architect Vitruvius. He is writing a book on the development of political space in the late Roman Republic for Cambridge University Press. Howe also is coordinator general of the Restoring Ancient Stabiae Project. This U.S.-Italian cultural project will create one of the largest archaeological parks in modern Europe on the site where the ancient Roman villas of Stabiae—near Pompeii—were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

 David J. Gaines, associate professor of English and former Brown Teaching Professor, has been named director of the Paideia® Program, effective July 1. Gaines has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1984 and has been a Paideia® Professor since the program was started in 2002. He replaces Stephanie Fabritius, who has left Southwestern to become vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Centre College in Danville, Ky.

“David has demonstrated a passion for the Paideia® Program that makes him well suited for this new leadership role,” says Provost Jim Hunt.

 Suzanne Fox Buchele, associate professor of computer science, has received a Fulbright award to teach in Africa during the 2006-2007 academic year.

Buchele will teach computer science and mathematics at Ashesi University, a private liberal arts college in Ghana’s capital city of Accra. Patrick Awuah, a native of Ghana who earned an engineering degree from Swarthmore College and later became a millionaire working for Microsoft, founded the university in 1999.

Buchele also plans to study the divide in technology that exists between developed and developing countries. She hopes to identify ways developing countries such as Ghana can improve their technological and economic presence in the global market.

“The field of computer science holds great promise in developing countries since it is a practical field that can help bridge the digital divide and equip persons with the means to use modern technology to solve their problems,” Buchele says. “And, I look forward to learning as much as I can about the culture of Ghana and the place of computer technology in this country.”

Buchele has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1998 and was one of the University’s first Paideia® Professors.

 The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has selected Economics Professor Dirk Early to prepare a report that will help government agencies more accurately determine the number of people living in poverty in the United States.

The report will provide estimates of what a modest unit of rental housing such as a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment would cost in different areas. Currently, the U.S. government uses the same income thresholds to define poverty, regardless of whether families live in rural Texas or New York City.

“They don’t take into account variations in the cost of living, of which housing is a major component,” Early says.

Early has taught economics at Southwestern since 1994 and is one of the University’s Paideia® Professors. He has been studying low-income housing programs, housing markets and homelessness for more than a decade, and his work has appeared in publications such as the Journal of Urban Economics, the Journal of Housing Research, the Journal of Housing Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, and the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

“Research on housing issues is often hampered by the lack of a valid measure of the price of housing across geographic areas,” Early says. “The development of a sound cost of rental housing index will be a welcome addition to the tools available to the research community.”

 Psychology Professor Jesse Purdy received the William Carrington Finch Award at Commencement. The award is given for excellence in teaching and contributions to University governance. It includes a $5,000 cash award.

Purdy has been a member of the faculty since 1978 and holds the John J. Duncan Chair. He helped establish Southwestern’s Animal Behavior Program and is chair of that program.

Southwestern @ Georgetown
Merriman Morton
Merriman Morton Named New Chair of SU Board of Trustees

Merriman Morton ’63 has been named the new chair of Southwestern University’s Board of Trustees.

Morton has been a longtime leader in the Texas banking industry and currently serves as chairman of the Austin region for Texas Capital Bank.

A member of the Southwestern University Board of Trustees since 1987, he has served as co-vice chair of the board since 1996. Morton is one of three co-chairs for Thinking Ahead: The Southwestern Campaign, the University’s $125 million fundraising initiative. He received the Southwestern University Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996.

“I am delighted that Merriman Morton has been elected by his peers for this position,” says President Jake B. Schrum. “His thoughtful, deliberate and incisive engagement in Southwestern’s mission and advancement places him in a perfect position for trustee leadership. I know he will be as successful in this volunteer role as he has been in his notable career as a leader in Texas banking.”

Southwestern @ Georgetown
Larry Faulkner
Former UT President Addresses 2006 Graduates

Larry Faulkner, who stepped down Jan. 31 as president of The University of Texas at Austin, delivered Southwestern’s 2006 commencement address on May 13. Faulkner left UT-Austin to become president of Houston Endowment, the largest philanthropic foundation in Texas.

Faulkner encouraged the 297 graduating seniors to “stay positive,” and quoted a speech that Jesse H. Jones, founder of Houston Endowment, gave at Southwestern in 1925 when he received an honorary doctorate from the University.

“Positiveness is necessary for success. You’ll never succeed by don’ts and can’ts,” Faulkner quoted Jones as saying.

Noting that Jones was only 22 when he began to make his mark in Houston and that Thomas Jefferson was only 23 when he wrote the Declaration of Independence, Faulkner said the new graduates should not be afraid to “jump in” and make contributions to society.

Included among the 2006 graduates were the first 60 students to complete Southwestern’s new Paideia® Program (see story page 36).

Please visit to read Faulkner’s commencement address.