The Last Word

Thank You!

A letter to President Schrum reprinted with the kind permission of Southwestern parent Pamela Vonderheide

It is with heartfelt thanks that I am writing this letter to you. My daughter, Kristen Vonderheide, is a May, 2008 graduate of Southwestern University. She received a degree in biology with a minor in psychology. Our family is so proud of all of Kristen’s accomplishments. Not only was she a member of the Paideia® Program, but she also received a Dixon Scholarship. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who gave Kristin the chance to attend Southwestern.

From the first day when Judy Hu met us up in Houston for an initial interview, I knew your school was awesome. We visited several other schools, but the moment we visited the campus of Southwestern, all of us knew this was “the one.”

After four years of learning and growing, I am honored to say that Kristen was part of the Southwestern family. The care and commitment your faculty and staff give only proves why Southwestern University has such an acclaimed reputation.

We would like to thank all of the people who awarded Kristen the Dixon Scholarship. This was an opportunity of a lifetime. My husband Stephen and I cannot thank you enough for this kind gift. Because of your generosity, Kristin will now be able to carry out her dreams of working in the field of science. She plans to continue her education and get a Doctoral Degree. I know Kristen will inspire others the way that you have inspired her to strive for lifelong success.

Thank you once again for all that you do. We wish you much success and happiness in the years to come.

The Dixon Scholarship

The Texas methodist Foundation administers a scholarship program to benefit African-American, Hispanic and native American students who choose to attend Southwestern university. A diverse student body improves educational outcomes for all students by bringing varied perspectives to class discussions, campus activities and leadership and service projects. These scholarships are given in honor of a leading advocate of higher education—the late united methodist Bishop ernest T. Dixon, Jr.

To make a gift online via secure server, please visit