Ready to Get Started

Southwestern is welcoming a record number of new students this fall. The new students are shown here posing for a group photo following their Matriculation Convocation Aug. 17. Read more below.

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Southwestern will have its largest student body ever this fall, with more than 1,500 students on campus.

More than 500 of those students will be new first-year students. The first-year class is 53 percent women and 47 percent men, which represents a much larger percentage of men than in past years. Much of this is due to the addition of football, which attracted 90 new students this fall.

Thirty-six percent of the students in the incoming class come from underrepresented groups and 53 are the first in their family to go to college. Thirteen of the first-year students have a parent or other relative who is a graduate of Southwestern.

An additional 65 students are entering Southwestern this fall as transfer students. Nearly one-fifth of these students are veterans or dependents.

The new students were selected from a record applicant pool of 3,546 students.


Southwestern University also is welcoming a new president this fall. Edward B. Burger took over July 1 after former president Jake B. Schrum retired at the end of June.

President Burger spent the summer visiting with alumni across the state and was interviewed for stories that appeared in several local publications. He even did a Twitter chat.

President Burger will give his Opening Remarks to the university community on Thursday, Aug. 22, at 1:30 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. Later that afternoon, he will host an Opening of School Reception in the McCombs Center Ballrooms beginning at 4:30 p.m.

To learn more about President Burger, visit his web page at


Over the summer, Southwestern completed the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history – two years ahead of schedule.

The Thinking Ahead campaignwas scheduled to run through 2015, but several supporters of the universitywanted to complete the campaign early in honor of Jake B. Schrum, who served as president of Southwestern for 13 years.

The last $1 million of the campaign came from an anonymous donor who offered to give the money if Southwestern could raise $149 million by June 30. The final total raised by June 30 came out to $150,044,764.

Read more here.



Saturday, Aug. 24, is Southwestern Football Night at the Dell Diamond. The Round Rock Express are offering discount tickets to Southwestern faculty, students, staff and alumni who want to come watch the team play the Oklahoma City RedHawks on its final weekend of the season.

The game begins at 7:05 p.m. and head football coach Joe Austin will be throwing out the first pitch. Southwestern players and coaches will be holding a clinic for local Pop Warner football players before the game.

Reserved tickets are $9 and lawn tickets are $5. To purchase tickets, go here and use “pirate” for the special offer code.


Tickets are now on sale for Southwestern’s 2013-2014 theatre season. The season begins Sept. 25-29 with performances of the Emmy-nominated play, “The Laramie Project.” Other​​ shows that will be performed in the coming year include the Moliere comedy “Tartuffe,” the musical “Gypsy,” and the play “Bent,” which deals with events that happened in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Season ticket packages are available starting at $40. For more information, or to purchase tickets, go here.


Southwestern is hosting a film festival this fall that will feature five films from Spanish-speaking countries. The films will be shown in Olin 105 from 7-10 p.m. on Thursday nights beginning Sept. 5. The film to be shown Sept. 5 is a 2012 film from Spain titled “Wilaya,” which is the story of a girl who is born to a Sahrawi family in a Saharan refugee camp in Algeria and later sent to live with foster parents in Spain. After the film is shown, there will be an interview with director  Pedro Pérez Rosado via Skype.

Read more here.


The Fountainwood Observatory has announced its fall 2013 public viewing schedule. Public viewing nights will be held from 8-10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, Saturday, Oct. 12, and Saturday, Nov. 9.

The viewing nights are free, but donations are encouraged to help maintain the observatory. The observatory is located on the northeast side of campus adjacent to the Rockwell Baseball Field (see #6 on the campus map at

For weather-related updates about viewing nights, call the Fountainwood Observatory hotline at 512-863-1242.

Media Coverage

Several media outlets did stories on outgoing President Jake B. Schrum and incoming President Edward B. Burger. Stories on President Schrum included:

  • A story in Georgetown View magazine. Read the story here.
  • A story in the Williamson County Sun about President Schrum’s last day on campus.

Stories on President Burger included:

  • A story in the Williamson County Sun about President-elect Burger speaking to the Leadership Georgetown graduates.
  • A p. 1 story in the Austin American-Statesman. Read the story here.
  • A story in the Williamson County Sun about President Burger’s first Twitter chat.

Community Impact newspaper and the Williamson County Sun did stories on Southwestern’s incoming class. Read the Community Impact story here.

The August issue of Community Impact newspaper had a story on Michael Douglas and the expanding Texas Life Sciences Collaboration Center in Georgetown. Read the story here.

Georgetown View magazine ran a story about religion professor Laura Hobgood-Oster and her work fostering dogs.

Focus on Georgetown magazine ran a cover story on the return of football to Southwestern. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram did stories on how Southwestern is collaborating with SMU to digitize audio and video materials related to Sen. John Tower. Read the Star-Telegram story here.

Several media outlets covered the football team’s first day of practice. Watch the KVUE story here. Watch the Fox7 story here.

KEYE and the Williamson County Sun covered move-in day for the new students.

KEYE also did a story on the return of football. Watch the story here.

The Williamson County Sun ran stories about the following:

  • Retiring Bishop-in-Residence Joe Wilson.
  • The Texas Life Science Collaboration Center’s plans to add a new building.
  • Former athletics director Carla Lowry being honored by the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
  • 2013 graduate Rachel Thibodeau being named the SCAC Woman of the Year.
  • The STEPS program at Southwestern.
  • Desi Roybal’s Creative Dramatics class working with children at the Boys & Girls Club of Georgetown.
  • The successful completion of the Thinking Ahead campaign.
  • The Tal Lostracco Sumer Theatre Camp.
  • Southwestern’s growing athletics program.
  • Brian Sunderman, who is a medic in the Army reserves.
  • Head football coach Joe Austin’s first weekly talk show.

The Williamson County Sun also ran an op-ed piece on Martin Luther King, Jr. written by Ron Swain, senior advisor to the president, and O.L. Davis, a professor emeritus from UT-Austin.


Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, participated in the Tenth Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment May 28-June 1 at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Berroth collaborated with colleagues across disciplines in a workshop titled “Teaching a Tree.” For a panel on “Eco-Ethics and the Moving Image,” she presented a research paper connected to her larger project on transnational identity narratives. Her presentation “Marica Bodrožić’s Documentary of post-war Croatia: The Self in Time and Place” provides a critical analysis of Bodrožić’s visual essay on tracing and connecting identities and belongings in a return from Germany to places of her childhood in Croatia. At the conference, Berroth also participated in discussion on the Environmental Humanities, Digital Humanities, and on models of innovative pedagogy integrating  Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures with Environmental Studies. On June 4, Berroth participated in the NITLE Seminar on “Intercampus Teaching/Networked Teaching,” which explored how the German program could benefit from networked classes through shared assignments and blogs, videoconferencing, and team-taught courses.

A video on the geometry of hockey starring President Edward B. Burger won a 2013 Silver Telly Award in the category of online video. Watch the video here.

Melissa Byrnes, assistant professor of history, attended the Society for the Study of French History’s Annual Conference in Cardiff, UK, in July. She chaired two panels and presented her work, “A Cosmopolitan Approach to Community Policies: North African Migrants in the Suburbs of Paris and Lyon.”

2011 graduate Victoria Dominguez won the 2013 outstanding master’s thesis award in Women’s and Gender Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. Dominguez graduated from UT in May and is now working at the Austin Learning Center.

Terri Johnson, assistant dean for student multicultural affairs, has been selected to serve on the 2013-2015 National Advisory Council for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE).

Edward L. Kain, professor of sociology and University Scholar, gave presentations at two sessions that were part of the annual meetings of the American Sociological Association held in New York City Aug. 9-13. Kain led two roundtables for department chairs at the chair’s pre-conference. These focused on changes in the 2015 MCAT® exam, and how sociology departments can best serve pre-med students preparing for the new social and behavioral science section of the exam. He also was a panel member for an invited session titled “Teaching the CORE of Sociology − or not! What should Introductory students know?” In addition to these sessions, he was part of a roundtable on “Developing Assessments of Sociology Information Literacy/Critical Research Learning Outcomes” and he led a training session for consultants in the Department Resources Group on the topic “MCAT® Changes and Department Opportunity.”

Shannon Mariotti, associate professor of political science, has a contract with the University Press of Kentucky to edit a book of essays about the politically significant themes in Marilynne Robinson’s fiction and essays. The book will be called A Political Companion to Marilynne Robinson.

Kate Nelson, studio arts technician, has had a piece accepted for the 4th annual Visions In Clay Exhibition, which will be on display Aug. 29-Sept. 19 at the LH Horton Jr Gallery at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Calif. Visions In Clay is one of the largest ceramic exhibitions in Northern California.

Brenda Sendejo, assistant professor of anthropology, published an article titled “The Cultural Production of Spiritual Activisms: Gender, Social Justice, and the Remaking of Religion in the Borderlands” in the spring 2013 issue of Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social.

Michael Saenger, associate professor of English, was invited for a special performance of “Hamlet,” directed by Igor Kazakov at Mogilev’s Regional Puppet Theater in Belarus July 24-25. After the performance Saenger was interviewed by Seda Kasparova, representing Mogilev 1 television station, about the performance and its context. Saenger also had an article and a review published recently. His article titled “Interlinguicity and The Alchemist” appeared in the most recent issue of English Text Construction. The essay discusses how languages come together to form a sense of identity. English Text Construction is an internationally refereed journal of English Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and Literary Studies based in the Netherlands and Belgium. His review titled “Souls with Longing: Representations of Honor and Love in Shakespeare” appeared in the most recent issue of Sixteenth Century Journal. His review addresses the gap between some venues of Shakespearean pedagogy and scholarship.

Former President Jake B. Schrum received the 2013 Frank L. Ashmore Award for Service to CASE and the Advancement Profession given by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). CASE is an international organization that supports the field of educational advancement, which includes alumni relations, fundraising, communications and marketing. The Frank L. Ashmore Award is the highest honor for individuals who have served CASE and the field of institutional advancement in higher education. Schrum received the award July 15 in conjunction with the CASE Summit for Leaders in Advancement in San Francisco. Watch the video that was made for the award ceremony here.

Ron Swain, senior advisor to the president for strategic planning and assessment, led and moderated a panel discussion at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, which was held May 28-June 1 in New Orleans. The panel was titled “Diversity in a Box: Diversity Officers Speak Out about Doing Diversity Work at Small, Selective, Private Colleges in the South” and was composed of faculty and staff members from the Associated Colleges of the South who discussed the challenges they face at their respective institutions. They discussed the unprecedented demographic changes taking place in their student bodies and how effectively, or ineffectively, their institutions have been in addressing these changes in strategic planning, building faculty and staff diversity capital, curricular and co-curricular programming development and bias-prevention and response plans. Panel members were Erica Brown from Birmingham Southern College, Tae-Sun Kim from Davidson College, Idella Glenn from Furman University and Kelly Weeks from Centenary College. 


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