Building on Memories
In celebration of the 175th anniversary of Southwestern’s original charter, alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends are etching their way into University history with engraved bricks to be placed in the 175th Anniversary Brick Garden. Each gift made toward the brick campaign leaves its mark on campus not only in physical form, but also in support of students, faculty and programs.
Each brick represents an individual’s personal Southwestern Experience and his or her decision to make an impact on the University. Following are three of those stories.
Click Here to reserve your brick now. Look for phase one bricks in the ground at Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, October 16-18, and plan to attend the 175th Anniversary Brick Garden dedication ceremony on Charter Day, February 5, 2016.
Tom Swift ’73 and his son, Will, Southwestern class of 2016, believe that momentous events deserve lasting memories. “Reserving a brick for the Anniversary Garden lets us commemorate both the 1840 founding of Southwestern and our 175th anniversary at once,” says Tom.
Will is the third generation Swift to “swim in the Southwestern waters.” His grandfather, the Rev. William D. Swift, was Dean of Students from 1965 – 1987, and both his dad and uncle, Jim Swift ’70, are alumni.
A theatre major, Will is following in the footsteps of Tom, who is a product of the SU Theatre Department. Asked by Tom, “What are you doing? You’re not supposed to be following my path; you’re supposed to be rebelling,” Will answers, “I am rebelling; you don’t want me to do this!”
Reserving a brick for the Anniversary Garden lets us commemorate both the 1840 founding of Southwestern and our 175th anniversary at once.
Tom believes that just as previous generations made it possible for his family to have their time in the “SUn,” they can make it possible for others to follow for years to come. He says, “Student scholarships are essential in order to put the extraordinary Southwestern Experience within reach of all families.”
The Loyal Pirate
Throughout her years at Southwestern Glada Munt, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics, has endeavored to support all areas of the University in addition to Athletics. She says, “The 175th Anniversary Garden offered me the opportunity to pay tribute to our rich athletic history while also supporting President Burger’s 175th initiative.”
Munt says she has always felt fortunate to work with outstanding student-athletes, coaches, staff members and administrators. “This brick is my way of saying, ‘thank you’ to all of them for such a great experience!”
This brick is my way of saying, ‘thank you’ to all of them for such a great experience!
Having been in higher education her whole professional career, Munt knows the importance of giving back to an institution to help it continue to grow and thrive. She says, “Our University has evolved so much since I started here in 1975 and I want to keep helping us move forward.” Specifically, Munt is drawn to support the “degree value” because she believes it represents the whole Southwestern Experience. “When someone receives a degree from Southwestern, they know it represents academic rigor combined with a quality student life experience,” she says.
The Love Story
Ray and Megan Browning Altman, both ’05, purchased a brick in honor of their 7th wedding anniversary. “We received an email about the brick campaign the week of our anniversary and it seemed like the perfect way to celebrate seven years of marriage.”
The inscription on their brick is meaningful because they met during freshman orientation but didn’t start dating until almost two years later. “Southwestern helped nurture our relationship and created a strong, healthy foundation for it to grow,” the Altmans explain. “We now have two wonderfully rambunctious boys, a spoiled dog, professions we find meaningful, and a faith that keeps us rooted.”
“It seemed like the perfect way to celebrate seven years of marriage.”
While they say their relationship has been a journey of love, laughter, compromise, compassion and engagement in their community, the Altmans add that the friendships they made at Southwestern, along with the critical learning environment helped them to “understand the meaning of a deep love that is willing to make sacrifices and seek after something greater than ourselves.”
The Altmans believe in financially supporting the place that they say, “helped mold us into who we are today.” They have chosen to designate their gift to the Matthew Boeer Memorial Scholarship Fund, which allows them to “honor and remember the life of a friend who shaped our Southwestern Experience and who inspired us to not only laugh but also to engage civically in the world around us. We want future students to have the opportunities to learn, laugh and find love like we did.”
Story by Kristina Moore