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The Prothro family of Wichita Falls, Texas, has received the President’s Philanthropy Award from Southwestern University. The award was presented March 11, the same day the university dedicated its new Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Center for Lifelong Learning.

The President’s Philanthropy Award is given to philanthropists who have transformed Southwestern through their generous gifts. The Prothro family’s relationship with Southwestern dates back 100 years when Lois Craddock Perkins attended Southwestern from 1908 to 1911. Elizabeth Prothro, daughter of Joe J. and Lois Craddock Perkins (for whom the Lois Perkins Chapel is dedicated) and her husband, Charles Prothro, funded the stained glass windows for the Lois Perkins Chapel in honor of their parents in 1952. In 1981, when the chapel was in need of renovation, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Prothro funded the entire project.

The Perkins-Prothro Foundation was among the major donors to the new Prothro Center, a three-story, 40,203 square-foot building will allow Southwestern to consolidate many student services in one location.

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Growing up in the prosperous North Texas suburb of Plano, Alex Caple was fortunate to receive a good education. Traveling the state with his high school speech team, though, he realized that there were a lot of educational disparities.

“I want children to experience what I did growing up,” Caple said. “I had a great experience in high school and I want to give back to children in communities who may not have that opportunity.”

Caple decided to do this by applying for Teach for America, a program that was started in 1990 by a Princeton undergraduate, Wendy Kopp. The program aims to end educational inequity by sending top college graduates into low-income communities to teach for two years, bypassing traditional teacher training programs. Teach for America has become one of the nation’s largest providers of teachers for low-income communities, and has been recognized for building a pipeline of leaders committed to educational equity and excellence.

In order to become a part of TFA, students must go through an application process followed by phone interviews or in-person interviews. Hundreds of students apply every year. Caple and Southwestern classmate Sarah Cromwell recently learned they were accepted into the highly competitive program.

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Media Coverage

The Williamson County Sun covered the Shilling Lecture and the dedication of the Prothro Center for Lifelong Learning.


Students Connor Hanrahan, Kimberly Griffin, Sarah Gould, Luis Reyes, Olivia Stanzer and Natalie Sanders were named the 2010 Priddy Paideia Scholars. The  recognition is given to graduating seniors in the Paideia Program who have made outstanding contributions to their Paideia group and the overall campus community and who have shown strong academic performance in all their classes. The recognition comes with a $200 award.

Students Amanda (Alex) Barnes, Rebekah Gomez, Jenna Mozingo and Gillian Ring
have been selected to receive the Hatton W. Sumners Fellowships beginning in the fall of 2010.

The fellowships, which are awarded by the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation of Dallas, are for $5,000 per semester, or a total of $10,000 per year. The fellowships are awarded in the sophomore year to students majoring in political science, history, pre-law or education and are good for the junior and senior years.

In addition to assistance with tuition, students selected to receive Sumners Fellowships have access to other programs sponsored by the foundation, including a distinguished lecture series; a variety of public policy, leadership and civic participation programs; and several educational and internship opportunities in Washington, D.C.

Romi Burks, associate professor of biology, recently had a paper titled “Pink Eggs and Snails: Field oviposition patterns of an invasive snail, Pomacea insularum, indicate a preference for an invasive macrophyte” published in the Shallow Lakes volume of the peer-reviewed journal Hydrobiologia. The paper was written with senior Matt Trawick and 2009 graduate Colin Kyle, who is now a graduate student in ecology and evolution at The University of Chicago. Burks, Kyle, Trawick and 2009 graduate James McDonough also recently finalized a paper for the Texas Journal of Science titled “Population dynamics of an established reproducing population of the invasive apple snail (Pomacea insularum) in suburban southeast Houston, Texas.”  

Professor Emeritus Walter Herbert is participating in a March 27 and 28 symposium being held in conjunction with the Dallas Opera’s world premiere of the Gene Scheer-Jake Heggie opera Moby-Dick. Herbert is speaking at a session on “Melville, the Man.” That will also include Duncan E. Osborne, Melville’s great-grandson.

Three members of Southwestern’s Circle K International chapter were honored at the recent Texas-Oklahoma District Convention in San Marcos. Juan Juarez was named the Outstanding Texas-Oklahoma CKI District Lt. Governor, Roberto Juarez received the Howard H. Hendrick Leadership Award for Outstanding Chapter President and Jenna Gaska was named Outstanding Chapter Secretary. The chapter as a whole also received the Stan Soderstrom Outstanding Chapter award.

Roger Young, director of Career Services, gave a presentation titled “Diving into the Hidden Job Market - And Learning How to Swim” to Americorps members in Denver this month. The presentation was designed to help them find jobs once they complete their service with the organization.