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During homecoming festivities last weekend, a faculty and staff member were recognized by alumni for their contributions to Southwestern.

Ken Roberts, professor of economics, received the Mr. Homecoming Award. This award is given to a faculty member as a token of affection and respect and symbolizes the strong personal relationships between students and faculty.

Roberts has taught at Southwestern since 1981. He was recognized for his ability to make economics more interesting by incorporating real life stories from his experiences. “He makes economics a lot more human,” says Dave Gray, senior economics major and political science minor. “He taught me that there is another side to economics where you can do good for the world.”

Monty Curtis, associate vice president for enrollment services, received the Pearl A. Neas Award. This award is given to staff members in recognition of long and faithful service to the university. Curtis was honored both for his work with prospective students and his contributions to the lacrosse team.

“It was easy to tell that if everyone at Southwestern was as nice and funny as he was, I’d be in a good place.” says Caitlyn Buckley, junior English major and Spanish minor.

Curtis helped form Southwestern’s lacrosse team in 1983 to attract prospective students from the eastern United States, and still attends almost every game.

The awards were presented Nov. 8 during a reception in the Bishops Lounge. Nominations for these awards are completed by alumni for individuals who have worked at Southwestern for 15 or more years.      


Southwestern University was a finalist for the 2008 “Best Downtown Partner” award presented by the Texas Downtown Association.

The Best Downtown Partner award recognizes excellence in a local private or civic organization that positively impacts the community and actively contributes to the revitalization efforts of the downtown or commercial district.

Southwestern was recognized for a variety of initiatives, including its Pirate Card program, its annual College Town Award, the Georgetown-Southwestern Task Force which meets regularly, its participation in the Georgetown Main Street Program, and its participation in a variety of economic development activities in Georgetown.

Finalists were recognized at the 2008 Texas Downtown Revitalization Conference held in Temple Nov. 13.

The Texas Downtown Association ( is a statewide nonprofit organization comprised of more than 400 members involved in downtown revitalization projects. Since 1998, the TDA Awards Program has recognized more than 100 projects, events and people that make a difference in Texas downtowns.                     



Trombonist Eileen Meyer Russell will give a faculty recital at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16 in Perkins Chapel. She will be joined by organist and Professor Emeritus of Music Ellsworth Peterson. The program will feature original repertoire for trombone and organ by Daniel Pinkham, Ernst Schiffman and Alfred Schnittke, as well as arrangements of compositions by J.S. Bach, Alexandre Guilmant, G. F. Handel and Benedetto Marcello. Peterson will perform one organ solo piece, “Gammal fäbodpsalm från Dalarna” (Old cattle pasture hymn from Dalarna, Sweden) by Oskar Lindberg. The concert is sponsored by the Department of Music in the Sarofim School of Fine Arts. It is free and open to the public.


Violist Peter Neubert and pianist Mark Puckettwill give a guest artist concert on Monday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The concert will feature 20th century works by Bernard Scherr, Jason Hoogerhyde, Paul Hindemith and Dmitri Shostakovich. Neubert is an adjunct instructor of violin and viola at Abilene Christian University. He has performed in solo and chamber music concerts across the United States and in Europe, and was a semifinalist at the 1998 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and a second prize winner at the chamber music competition of the Estate Musicale a Portogruaro in 1999.

The concert is sponsored by the Department of Music in the Sarofim School of Fine Arts. It is free and open to the public.


The Southwestern University Jazz Band will perform in concert on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Bishops Lounge in the McCombs Campus Center. The program will include jazz favorites by Stan Kenton, Ray Charles, Count Basie and Woody Herman. The concert is free and open to the public.


What does it really mean to be an artist? How essential are words for expressing ourselves? These themes, among many others, are explored in This Is Not A Pipe Dream, an imaginative and creative play about renowned surrealist artist Rene Magritte (1898-1967).

The Southwestern University Theatre Department will present public performances of This Is Not A Pipe Dream Nov. 21-23 as part of its Theatre For Young Audiences program.  The play will be performed Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 22-23 at 3 p.m. in the Jones Theater. Tickets for the Friday and Saturday performances are $18 for adults, $14 for seniors and $12 for youth/students. Tickets for the Sunday performance are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $8 for youth/students. Tickets are available at or by calling the Sarofim School of Fine Arts Box Office at 512-863-1378.


The Southwestern University Wind Ensemble conducted by guest artist Rodney Winther will perform in concert at 7 p.m Saturday, Nov. 22, in the Alma Thomas Theater. Winther is director of wind studies and professor of music at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. The program will feature 20th century works by Charles Gounod, Percy Grainger, John Zdechlik and John Barnes Chance. Student conductor Michelle Perrin will conduct “Trauersinfonie” by Richard Wagner.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Media Coverage

The Austin Business Journal ran a story about Southwestern’s plans to start a varsity lacrosse team. Read the story here.

A.J. Senchack, holder of the Lucy Brown Chair in international business and economics, was quoted in a story Community Impact News wrote about the state of the local economy. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun ran two articles previewing the 2008 Writer’s Voice lecture at Southwestern.

The Williamson County Sun ran several articles about Homecoming, including a feature on the Negro Fine Arts School, which was started by Southwestern students and a faculty member in 1946.

The Williamson County Sun ran an article about the upcoming environmental summit for high school students.

Community Impact News ran a story about Azar Nafisi’s visit to campus. Read the story here.


Suzanne Buchele, associate professor of computer science, served as chair of the West and Central Africa Review Committee for the 2009-2010 Fulbright Scholar Program, which met Nov. 6-7 in Washington, D.C.  This committee receives and evaluates applications and specialist reviews, and makes recommendations to U.S. Embassies in 16African countries and to the Presidentially appointed William J. Fulbright Committee as to Fulbright Scholar Fellowships for the 2009-2010 academic year.

Fay Guaracci, assistant professor of psychology, and Maha Zewail-Foote, assistant professor of chemistry, have had a paper accepted for publication in Physiology & Behavior. The paper is titled “Reproductive success and mate choice in Long-Evans rats” and reports on a study in which they combined psychology and biochemistry to investigate the adaptive significance of female mate choice on the reproductive success of different potential fathers. The research was done with former students Abby Diehl, Anastasia Benson, and Kuan H. Lee.