Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives:
Honoring Teaching at Southwestern

Spanning the generations, nearly every graduate will tell you: teaching is one of the most important parts of the Southwestern Experience. For last year’s Homecoming, Alumni & Parent Relations surveyed alumni on their favorite faculty members and received some truly inspiring letters. A handful of these letters are to the right, shared with the kind permission of the writers.

If you would like to thank a Southwestern faculty member who transformed your life (or maybe just made it a little more challenging!), please feel free to mail your letter in the envelope provided in this issue. If you would like to make a gift to the Fund for Faculty in honor of a specific faculty member, please complete the “For Faculty” portion of the envelope, and that faculty member will be notified that you made a gift in his or her honor.

Why Support teaching at Southwestern?

An important objective of Thinking Ahead: The Southwestern Campaign is to generate new resources for faculty. To date, we have received $3,954,908 towards a $21 million-dollar goal for this campaign initiative. Your gift in honor of a faculty member can be designated to: foster faculty scholarship, provide for additional scholars, chairs and professorships or support teaching within the Paideia® Program. To make a gift online via secure server, please visit www.southwestern.edu/giving/annual-giving-form.php.


Martha M. Allen

History
Tenure 1960–1971

Martha brought history to life. She was a storyteller and beyond her subject matter expertise, helped her students to learn how to think critically. Martha coordinated an “Oral History” project that allowed me to meet Tommie Jefferson, a senior citizen in the Georgetown community at the time. This experience was transformational. Through Mrs. Jefferson, I learned a great deal about her life and experiences as an African-American woman living in Georgetown. It was powerful and something I will never forget.

Mike Lade ’88

Weldon S. Crowley

History
Tenure 1976–1997

I was a transfer student and he was just wonderful in terms of making me feel welcomed and a part of the SU community. He helped me in so many ways, but what I recall him doing more than anything was to always challenge me to think critically regardless of the topic or lesson at hand. I remember sitting in the bleachers watching the games and talking about life’s challenges; [Dr. Crowley’s] sponsorship, so to speak, and counsel has remained with me throughout the years.

Lucy Miller ’86

P.S. I had lunch with him recently—first time in 23 years and it was like we had just talked to each other yesterday. Quite a treat!

Frederick E. Gaupp

History and Government
Tenure 1946–1968

When I got my first high school teaching job, Dr. Gaupp wrote a note of good wishes and included a teaching tip: always remind my students that young people played a key role in most major movements to improve the world. His delightful German accent could be a bit puzzling at times as when he lectured about the “Great Mass-ACK-er” with emphasis on the second syllable. It took the freshman American history class a few minutes to realize he was talking about the Boston Massacre.

Jane Ann Wendt Craig ’68

Eric A. Selbin

Political Science
Tenure 1992–present

I was terrified to speak in class and share my views with my fellow students for fear they would think I wasn’t smart. Eric pulled me aside after class one day and told me that I needed to speak; that he knew I had important contributions to make. While difficult to hear, his directness jolted me out of my shell and I began speaking in class for the first time. I now consider public speaking to be one of my best professional traits. I wouldn’t have achieved this without his direct intervention and belief that I had something to say.

Sara Alvis Daly ’95

Jesse E. Purdy

Psychology
Tenure 1978–present

Dr. Purdy asked me to help him run his fish lab. I was able to collaborate on research that led to a presentation at the Southwestern Psychological Association and a publication in the Journal of Comparative Psychology. Because of Purdy’s investment in me, I went on to pursue a PhD in Experimental Psychology. There isn’t a “lab assistant’s day,” so Dr. Purdy gave me a gift for what is now called “administrative professional’s day.” He presented me with a newt! The newt escaped down the “newt hole” (aka drainage hole) after a few weeks. We’re pretty sure there’s a very large creature living under Mood-Bridwell.

Jennifer Peel ’86

Vincente Villa

Biology
Tenure 1985–2003

Dr. Villa brought an incredible energy and enthusiasm to all of his lectures, and taught me many things (like always drink plenty of water!) that have stuck with me even though I am not pursuing a career in biology.

Dr. Villa helped put together a wonderful information “teach-in” session for students, faculty and staff about anthrax after the September 11th attacks. He always shared knowledge with compassion and enthusiasm in a way that made even fearful or confusing subjects approachable for his students.

Beth Moore Cage ’04