Volume 18 • Issue 1
From young, bright professor and one of Southwesterns first Brown Chair holders to faculty leader as Provost to Master Plan author to Director of Institutional Research and major architect of early computer support to Executive Vice President, few individuals can claim such extensive service to Southwestern University. No sector of University operation is without Bill Jones stamp in some important way and no long-term faculty or staff member lacks a touching story of how Jones affected him or her in a personal and professional sense.
Bill has always acted with the greatest courage, integrity, and candor while working toward the best interest of Southwestern University and everyone involved, says one former colleague. Another notes, Bill exemplifies what has always been the best about Southwesterns commitment to undergraduate education. In a 1996 alumni survey, he was identified as the Southwestern professor most revered by its graduates.
Jones came to Southwestern in 1965 to fill the Lucy King Brown Chair in History. An ordained minister with a doctorate from Vanderbilt University, he laid the foundation for the history department curriculum still followed today and also created the Universitys international studies program, a major even more popular today than when Jones conceived it.
And, theres the book. It took five years and 440,000 words, but, this year, Jones accomplished the great task of writing To Survive and Excel: The Story of Southwestern University, 1840-2000. Says Jones, This place [Southwestern] is much more than walls and floors: it is part of your existence. The book will be as much an explanation of who I am as anything else. And if I do that right, theres nothing Ive done at Southwestern that will match this.
Southwesterns thirteenth president, Roy B. Shilling, Jr. said, Conferring alumni status on William B. Jones certainly enhances the meaning and significance of this recognition for those of us who have previously been recognized by the Association of Southwestern University Alumni. Jones most certainly exemplifies and demonstrates the finest qualities sought in all Southwestern University alumni.
Young Alumna Achievement
Southwestern did two things for me, says Sara Alvis Daly 95. It taught me how to think critically about issues and how to challenge myself intellectually. These skills have served Daly well in her career as a terrorism and international policy analyst, first with the CIA and now with RAND Corporation.
Like many Southwestern alumni, Daly developed close relationships with several professors who, in turn, pushed her to succeed by making the most of her talents. She says, Two of my professors in particular, Eric Selbin and Suzanne Chamier, challenged me both intellectually and personally. These two amazing professors understood that its not just about preparing the student for success in a career, but also about preparing the student for success in life.
She continues, Dr. Selbin, especially, never gave up on me, even when I was ready to give up on myself. I was smart and curious but painfully shy in college. I was terrified to speak in class but Dr. Selbin pushed me, convincing me that I had something important to say and needed to say it. Over the next several years, I conquered my fear of speaking in public. Today, giving speeches or briefings is, I believe, one of my best professional skills.
In addition to authoring numerous publications and having two books in the works, Daly has shared her analyses on Fox News Sunday, Q&A on CNN International and in The Chicago Sun-Times and The Christian Science Monitor.
She also has provided in-depth analysis and trend assessment for the president, cabinet members, Congress and other senior U.S. government officials.
She and her husband Matt, an IT professional, live in Spring, Texas, and have a 2-year-old son, Jackson. Daly will begin teaching part-time at The George Bush School of Government at Texas A&M in spring 2007.
Young Alumna Achievement
I have always been an avid reader and as a young girl I wanted to be a writer, says Marisela Tevino Orta 99. I also wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic, a painter, a dentist and a paleontologist, among other things. But I actually did a lot of writing while growing up. I still have a manuscript I was working into a full-length novel. Thats a little ambitious for an eleven year old. But it is also great experience for the little girl who will grow up to be a playwright.
Yet, Orta had planned to be a poet, not a playwright. She says, I fell into theatre by chance. I joined El Teatro Jornalero! as their resident poet. ETJ! is a theatre company of Latino immigrants, all amateur actors. Her work with them led Orta to take a playwriting class and to submit her first play, Braided Sorrow, to the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. As it was her first effort, Orta was astonished when she was accepted to the festival, which receives more than 500 submissions annually.
Participation in the BAPF resulted in work with the Marin Theatre Company. For the past year MTC and I have been developing a relationship to begin a project to teach playwriting to Latino youth in San Rafael. Ive begun teaching this October and MTC has given me my first commission as a playwright to pen an original play inspired by my work with the students and community.
This August, Braided Sorrow was read at the Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles as part of the Latino/a Summer Play Reading Series and in October her short play, Woman On Fire, was read at Primer Paso: A Festival de Latino Plays at the Vortex Theater in Austin.
Citation of Merit
I am just using my gifts to the best of my ability, and I feel that a piece of this award should go to all those fine Southwestern grads who are following their passions successfully, says Ray D. Page 84, one of this years Citation of Merit winners. Dr. Page truly is a shining example of all this award embodies.
Page is the director of research at The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Fort Worth, Texas, and founding president of The Cancer Education and Research Foundation of Texas. At the Center, Page and his colleagues provide the most extensive community cancer care in the north Texas region, ensuring the patients journey includes integrated access to all components of the continuum of cancer care.
The Association of Southwestern University Alumni is not the only organization to honor Page. He has been named a Texas Super Doctor by Texas Monthly magazine and a Healthcare Hero by The Fort Worth Business Press, in addition to receiving a number of academic awards and honors, including the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth.
One colleague comments, He is an outstanding individual who has much compassion for his patients and is an excellent role model for our students.
Dr. Harley Reginald Reg McDaniel 58, an alumnus and fellow scientist, influenced Pages decision to attend Southwestern. Page recalls, In high school, I was doing a research project on the effects of smoking in mice and I needed a pathologist to help me. Dr. McDaniel was quite excited about helping. He talked to me about Southwestern with great pride and told me it was a fantastic school for doing premedical coursework and that I needed to go see the campus. His daughter, Paige McDaniel 83, was performing in a play at Southwestern and he invited me to go to campus with him. He arranged for me to stay in the dorms with a student and showed me the campus. The feel of that visit pretty much sold me on Southwestern.
Pearl A. Neas Service Award
Sally Teinert has exhibited unabashed dedication to her work at Southwestern for 40 years. In that time, colleagues have referred to her as The Rock because she can always be counted on, not only to do her job, but also to step in for others whenever needed. As her son Ernest notes, Whenever she was called upon, she was always willing to go into the University. She simply wanted to help out and support Southwestern.
As a Southwestern operator, she has come to be known to many as the voice of Southwestern and the University switchboard continues to get calls from alumni who are just checking in to see how Sally is doing.
Sally served as a confidant for many a student in McCullough-Sneed, a residence hall that sat just west of Brown-Cody, says Bob Paver, associate vice president for information technology services. The switchboard office was located in the lobby of the residence hall and the operators were responsible for letting the students into the dorm at night. Students entered through Cowbell Door, so-called because it had a cowbell attached to it so the operators would know if someone came in or out of the residence hall.
In her decades of service, Teinert has worked as a custodian, a switchboard operator, a switchboard supervisor and, now, part-time as an operator once again. She has worked through the Fleming, the Shilling and, now, the Schrum administrations. She has seen the Southwestern student body grow from less than 800 students in 1966 to nearly 1,300. Some of the buildings in which she worked dont even exist today. To many, she remains a constant in a sea of change.
I am so proud of everyone here at Southwestern. Everyone has been so wonderful, says Teinert. I feel like Southwestern is my home away from home.
Citation of Merit
John C. Schmidt 61 comes from an extended family of Southwestern alumni. I had always planned to go to Southwestern and never considered any other college, says Schmidt. My parents and sister were SU folk, as were a number of uncles, aunts, cousins, great-aunts and uncles, etc.my grandmother even went to Southwestern for a semester, but couldnt take the rigid discipline imposed on female students of that era!
Ruth Scmidt Dyar 59, Schmidts older sister, helped ease the transition into college life. The strong support of a variety of campus groups also helped Schmidt grow personally to meet the challenges of university life. Schmidt explains, When I arrived at Southwestern, I was shy, quiet and lacking confidence. I was fortunate in becoming associated with several excellent support groupsthe Kappa Sigma fraternity, the A Cappella Choir (all four years), and my music major peersthat helped me grow and mature as an individual.
A professor of music, Schmidt has been a member of the Texas State music faculty since 1976, realizing his professional dream. By the time I got to Southwestern, I had decided on college teaching and church music as my career goals, he says. My organ study at Southwestern, along with my academic work in music theory and literature, provided an excellent foundation for professional work and for future graduate study.
And Schmidt has built a very succesful professional career on that foundation. Most recently, for example, he received the highest classification bestowed by the American Guild of organists and was recognized at the Guilds national convention for his high marks in all three areas of the examination process.
Im proud and humbled to be receiving the Citation of Merit, Schmidt says. Southwestern has always been a special place for me. I always feel that Im coming home when I approach the campus. I hope that I can add to the record of success for the University.
It should surprise few who know him that David Gaines, associate professor of English and head of the Paideia® program, describes his parents as the town liberals in Grand Prairie, Texas, his childhood home. The eldest child of a small-town doctor and registered nurse stay-at-home mom, Gaines says his father was one of two members of the Great Books Club, a physician for socialized medicine and much more of a missionary than a business man.
Gaines, himself the prototypical liberal professorin the best sense of the term, is equally adept at turning students on to the deep personal complexities of Melvilles prose and the powerful social insights of Dylans lyrics. In fact, it was, to quote Dylan, a simple twist of fate that brought Gaines to Southwestern. He explains, I was teaching as a postdoctoral adjunct at UT-Austin and freelancing for a variety of magazines and newspapers at the time I saw a job opportunity at Southwestern. My regular Dr. Pepper machine was empty and the job notice was posted above the machine of second choice. Gaines continues, I interviewed with Drs. Carwell, Herbert, Harris and Parker. I liked them and they were amused, but not displeased with me. The next thing you know I was teaching part-time and loving how this liberal arts college emphasized teaching and research rather than, as I had seen at Stanford and UT, research and research.
After more than two decades at the University, Southwestern continues to inspire Gaines. Im particularly proud of our involvement in the Paideia® Program and Upward Bound because I believe those are examples of Southwestern doing better what it does best, Gaines says. That is, in those programs we are emphasizing the connections between academics and social change.
He adds, After more than 20 years at Southwestern and hundreds of terrific students and friends, I am still happiest after a great class, a good evening meal at our house with students or a graduation ceremony where I watch our students walk across the stage.