Study Break

Dogs from Therapy Dogs of Georgetown came to campus the week before finals to give students a break from studying. See more photos here. (Photos by Erica Grant)

Top News


Members of Southwestern’s Class of 2013 will graduate Saturday in a ceremony that will begin at 2 p.m. in the Robertson Center.

Approximately 331 December, May and August graduates are eligible to receive degrees at the ceremony. The speaker for the ceremony will be President Jake B. Schrum, who is retiring from Southwestern at the end of June. Schrum is a 1968 graduate of Southwestern and has served as president of the university since 2000. After retiring from Southwestern, he will become president of Emory & Henry College, another Methodist-related liberal arts college in Emory, Va. 

The ceremony will be streamed live on the Internet. For details on how to watch the broadcast, go to

The complete Commencement weekend schedule is available here.


Two Southwestern University professors have been named to endowed chairs.

Dirk Early, professor of economics and associate dean of the Brown College of Arts and Sciences, has been named to the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cullen Chair in Economics. The chair was previously held by Ken Roberts, who is retiring this year.

Emily Niemeyer, professor of chemistry, will hold the Herbert and Kate Dishman Chair in Science. The chair was previously held by Frank Guziec, who is retiring this year.

Read more here.



The 2013 Georgetown Festival of the Arts will be held May 30-June 2 and will feature the work of three Russian composers: Piotr Tchaikovsky, Anton Arensky and Sergei Rachmaninov. Many of the festival events will take place at Southwestern, including four chamber music concerts and the final choral concert June 2. The free Saturday night concert in San Gabriel Park will feature members of both Georgetown High School orchestras, bands and choirs, and the Round Rock Symphony Orchestra. Music professor Kenny Sheppard will conduct the final concert June 2, which will feature music for the Russian Orthodox liturgy and will be held in Perkins Chapel.

For details and ticket information, visit

On Saturday, May 11, the Festival of the Arts is presenting a concert for childrenat 1:30 p.m. at the Georgetown Public Library. The concert will include works for piano, voice and bassoon, and will feature soprano Vicki Moffat, Bob Horick on bassoon, and Ellsworth Peterson, Sue Peterson and Theresa Ford on piano.

Media Coverage

The May issue of Georgetown View magazine has a feature story on Carl Robertson, associate professor of Chinese. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about Southwestern students teaching Chinese and Spanish to elementary school students in GISD.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about graduating senior Holly Fain.


Graduating senior Alejandra Benitez has been selected to spend the 2013-2014 academic year teaching in France through the Teaching Assistant Program in France, a cultural exchange program administered by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Benitez will be teaching at the secondary level in the Academy of Reims. She is the fifth Southwestern student to be selected for the program in the past seven years. Read more here.

An essay by graduating senior Andrea Gannon will be published in a forthcoming issue of Praxis: A Writing Center Journal. The essay is titled “The Undergraduate as Administrator: Recollections and Lessons of a Graduating Senior.” Gannon plans to attend the University of Illinois this fall for graduate work in library and information science.

Dana Hendrix, head of collection development and acquisition in the A. Frank Smith, Jr. Library Center, presented a paper titled “Emotional Intelligence and the Winds of Change in Academic Libraries” at the Association of College and Research Libraries’ biennial conference in April. The paper was published in the conference proceedings.

Students in the Environmental Studies capstone class have had a paper titled “Toward an informative and applied methodology for price comparison studies of farmers’ markets and competing retailers at the local scale” accepted for publication in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development.

The class is taught by Josh Long, assistant professor of environmental studies.

Senior Kira McEntire had two of her ceramic works selected for inclusion in the Join Our Evolution exhibition at the Art Science Gallery in Austin. The exhibition was featured on the West Austin Studio Tour April 27 to May 5.

Voice instructor Nicholas Simpson will be performing as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s masterpiece, Missa Solemnis, with the Grace & Spiritus Chorale of Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra May 31 and June 2. Later in the summer he will be teaching and singing at the Mediterranean Opera Studio in Palermo, Italy. Read more here. 

Junior English major Elizabeth Stewart won the first annual Rose Prize in Literary Criticism from the English Department for her essay “Creating Supermen and Golems: Repairing the World through Self-Storying.” Riley Webb was first runner-up for the prize. Read more here.

Dustin Tahmahkera, assistant professor of communication studies, was one of approximately 20 humanities scholars across the United States who have been invited to attend High Performance Sound Technologies in Access and Scholarship (HiPSTAS), an Institute for Advanced Technologies in the Humanities funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, at UT-Austin May 29 - June1. Tahmahkera’s project entails constructing a digital archive and index for early 20th century American Indian audio recordings currently housed at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. More information about HiPSTAS is available at