Alumni News & Notes

New and Improved

The Association of Southwestern University Alumni is pleased to announce its newly redesigned Web site, The Web site offers a more comprehensive source of information and services available to alumni. Connect with alumni groups, post your own class note, register for events, volunteer your time, offer ideas, participate in lifelong learning activities and utilize the online alumni directory. If you have not already done so, register to use the redesigned Web site by Oct. 30 to enter your name in a drawing for a Southwestern ring. Visit The Association’s Web site today to see what is available for you!

Get Into the Picture at Homecoming

Homecoming and Reunion Weekend is a special time to celebrate cherished memories and friendships formed at Southwestern. This year’s Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, Nov. 6-8, marks the 100th anniversary of Southwestern’s first Homecoming held in 1909. The Association of Southwestern University Alumni is planning a number of activities and events to commemorate this historic event. All are encouraged to attend. Class reunions will be celebrated, local associations will gather for receptions, alumni connection groups will meet and a panoramic photo will be taken in honor of this historic occasion. More information can be found by visiting You may also contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at or 800-960-6363. Of course you are coming. You cannot think of missing it.

2010 Volunteer Leadership Weekend

If you have an interest in planning your class reunion, helping with a local association, forming an alumni connection group, recruiting prospective students or assisting the University with fundraising initiatives, you will not want to miss this informative and fun weekend. It will provide an opportunity for volunteers to meet one another, share ideas and get a head start on planning for the year. The 2010 Volunteer Leadership Weekend is scheduled for Jan. 29-30. Contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at or 800-960-6363 for more information.

Alumni Propose University Columbarium

Motivated by the sentiment that Southwestern played a sacred role in their lives, a committee of alumni have proposed building a columbarium next to the Lois Perkins Chapel on Southwestern’s campus. A columbarium is a structure with niches that serve as a burial vault for the containment of urns holding cremated remains. Many churches have built columbaria on their grounds. Southwestern’s architectural firm drafted some conceptual drawings so that the committee could share the idea of a columbarium with alumni and measure interest. Should they determine that there is enough interest to garner the necessary early commitments, they will ask the Board of Trustees to consider the columbarium as one of Southwestern’s building projects. Niches in the columbarium would cost $5,000, which would include the cost of construction, maintenance for perpetuity and a scholarship contribution to the University Endowment. In order to proceed, 125 initial commitments are needed. Contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at or 800-960-6363 for more information.

Life at SU Didn’t Start in ’52

An e-mail from James Melbert ’43

I just received, and read, the latest issue of Southwestern. The first class note listed was from the class of 1952. It seems to me that we older alumni have more to offer than is represented in Class Notes. Members of my class and those before had fought in WWII, returned home and started families all before the members of ’52 got sized for their mortarboards. At any rate, my wife, Catherine “LaVerne” Walden Melbert ’43 and I are celebrating our 65th wedding anniversary this year.

LaVerne and I attended Southwestern from 1939 to 1943. Old history, but she was Miss Southwestern and queen of the Golden Bowl in 1943. Those were two of Mrs. Ruth Ferguson’s (dean of women) most important achievements for the Ladies of the Laura Kuykendall Hall. (We unappreciative men always called them “the gracious and lovely girls of LK Hall.”)

We didn’t have a golf team, but LaVerne did enjoy the game as part of her physical education classes. During the war years, there were no intercollegiate sports except football, so students golfed the former 9-hole course on the Southwestern campus, as well as the three holes located in front of LK Hall. Really, it was mainly used for courting in the evenings.

I haven’t been to the SU campus since our 50th reunion in 1993. But I do remember how it was back in the “good ole days.”

College President: B. David Rowe ’87

The Centenary College Board of Trustees announced the appointment of B. David Rowe, Ph.D., as the next president of Centenary College of Louisiana, beginning August 1, 2009.

A Texas native and an ordained United Methodist minister, Rowe served for the past nine years as the Vice President for Advancement at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Ga.

“The Board of Trustees and I are excited that Dr. Rowe will be assuming leadership at Centenary College,” says William Anderson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “David brings substantial experience in institutional advancement as well as a deep passion for higher education and expanding opportunities for the college and our students. We are very fortunate to have someone with his background in college development, experience and vision to assist the College in continued success and progress.”

Rowe received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Southwestern, his Master of Divinity from Emory University and his Ph.D. in higher education from Georgia State University. Prior to assuming his position at LaGrange College, he held administrative posts at Wesleyan College (Ga.), Oxford College of Emory University and Candler School of Theology at Emory.

He and his wife, Jodi, have two sons, Carter and Philip.


Class Notes: The Original Social Network

Long before Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, Class Notes kept alumni informed about marriages, births, job promotions, cross-country moves, first marathons, books authored, Ph.D.s earned, gatherings held, fun had and more.

Tried and true, Class Notes is still a great way to share your good news, promote your business, update classmates and friends, and celebrate the lifelong Southwestern Experience.

Submit your own Class Note and read others at