$doctitle = "Southwestern University's Five-Year Program (1937)" ; // -- put this file's name here ... $thisfile = "5year.htm" ; include '_0log.php' ; ?>
JOHN WILLIAM BERGIN, PH.B., D.D.
President, Southwestern University
|In gratitude to God and to the pioneers of Methodism... in gratitude to
many of you for your sacrificial generosity ... in honor of Mrs. William Wiess
for her magnificent benefaction which made this occasion possible ... we meet
this morning in our Victory Service, celebrating the liquidation of more than
four hundred twenty thousand dollars of debt and the addition of more than
two hundred thousand dollars to our endowment.
The first college founded in the Republic of Texas was a Christian college built by sturdy pioneers at Rutersville. It was conceived in 1836. It opened its doors for students in 1840. Thirty-two years later it was merged into Southwestern University and located at Georgetown. Thus, Southwestern will be one hundred years old in 1940; so in 1940 we will observe the centennial of Southwestern University and of Christian education in Texas.
I accepted the presidency of Southwestern University seventeen months ago on a five-point, five-year program. This morning, thank God, Mrs. Wiess, and other generous friends, we see our first objective accomplished; that is, the liquidation of all debt.
The second and third objectives are interchangeable in sequence, building a gymnasium and building a library. By Government aid almost every crossroad school has a gymnasium. A gymnasium is indispensable to physical education and Southwestern's need for a gymnasium is most imperative, and the acquisition would aid tremendously in attracting and holding worthwhile students.
The third objective is a library building. The present quarters in the Administration Building are entirely inadequate and our work is hampered. To do the best quality of work Southwestern must have a new building.
The fourth objective to be accomplished by 1940 is the acquisition of seven hundred students. On coming into the presidency I found an enrollment of two hundred sixty-seven students. Today, we have four hundred twenty. We do not literally mean seven hundred students, but such an approximation or excess of that number with which a Christian college can do the best work at the most reasonable cost.
President Coolidge stated that four leaders in America out of five came from the small denominational college. Graduate schools may be large; colleges never. To accomplish the best possible work, a college should never be so large that the students can not know each other. The faculty should know each individual student in friendly contacts and be helpful to him in self-discovery, individual culture, the development of personality, and the building of character.
Southwestern University is and ever has been committed to this philosophy of education, and is, consequently, known as the college of leadership and the school of personality. Three of the ten bishops in our church today are graduates of Southwestern; that is, Bishops Sam R. Hay, H. A. Boaz, and our most beloved Bishop A. Frank Smith.
Two of our three members of the Supreme Court of Texas are graduates of Southwestern; that is, Richard Critz and John H. Sharp.
Our fifth objective to be accomplished by 1940 is an endowment of one million dollars. Until recently we had but three hundred thousand dollars. Today, by the grace of God and the generosity of Mrs. Wiess and other friends, we have more than five hundred thousand. With the accomplishment of our five-year program Southwestern University will enter upon her second century of service with a faculty as good as that of any other college in the state, with a limited student body coming from the very best homes in Texas and other states, and an income commensurate with modest needs to do increasingly a better work in educating young people not only in arts and science or in general culture, but also in initiative, industry, thrift, self-reliance, responsibility; the principles that made our commonwealth and our nation great.
We shall meet here again in June, 1940 with an accomplished program to project Southwestern upon her second century of service, a greater Southwestern in a more crucial age.
The Influence of the Gift
of Mrs. Wiess
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