By Daltin Brock
The sky was overcast, covered in a sheet of white-gray clouds as far as the eye could see. A precursor to the rain that wasn’t quite ready to fall. A little below a drone is first heard then spotted. Small in size, this drone seems to have a mounted camera and buzzed as it moved back and forth overhead. To the interest or unnerve of those below. As it flew it made sure to capture the band members, prominent social and school figures gathered across Kirk Drive. As well as the variety of students and others that came to attend under the open invitation. All gathered to celebrate the official dedication of Southwestern’s new gateway entrance.
The ceremony begins as Brad Andrews, President of Southwestern College, thanked everyone involved for their assistance in creating the new gateway. Including its designer, the people that constructed the gateway itself, the Winfield Chamber of Commerce, and most importantly the donors, Jack Hayward and his wife Helene, who made the construction possible.
Benjamin Hanne, the Campus Minister, rose next to lead the Invocation and prayer. Before returning the podium to President Andrew who introduced Jack and his wife to the audience.
Jack and Helene Hayward live in Texas and are known throughout the area and at college for their many generous contributions. As well as their numerous degrees achieved through attendance. Including Masters Degrees each received in their respective areas.
The Gateway, now officially known as The Hayward Gateway to Success, was paid for by Jack Hayward and his wife. With the dedication going to his parents, George and Inez Hayward.
According to Andrew, he first heard from Jack Hayward last year to discuss a project that Jack’s father, George, had discussed with former Southwestern President Dr. Orville Strohl. “In June of 2016, I received notice from Jack that his father had spoken to Dr. Strohl about a project at Southwestern,” Andrews said. Andrews then went on to say that though they searched through official records they couldn’t find any documentation of a promise between Strohl and George Hayward. As a result, Jack and Andrews decided on the Gateway to honor the intent of his father to complete a project to add to the beauty and value of Southwestern.
Following Andrew, Jack rose to speak next and first thanked everyone for the wonderful treatment everyone had given to him and Helene. “My father was an important figure in my life.” George became a full-time worker at a bank at 15 which he continued to work at for the next 15 years. He eventually would go on to accept as charter for a bank of his own in Rawlins Kansas where he established his new bank, still around today, from a former harness shop. Jack accounted how he was born during the Great Depression and saw a period where the area went through a three-year drought. The government came to the area and informed the local farmers that their land was worthless and incapable of growing anything anymore. So they offered to buy their land from them for a little bit an acre so the farmers could move to California and make their fortunes. But George urged all the farmers in the area to not give up their land to the government at such a cheap price. But to sit tight and wait for the land to recover. “In 1939, Germany invaded Poland starting WWII. But 1939 also marked the end of the drought.” Jack said. So with the land refreshed and the need and prices for grain rising the farmers recovered and prospered. Eventually leading to the expansion of Rawlins and the formation of other nearby communities. This was “A good example of his personality and how he helped people.” Jack
said. He then concluded by thanking the college and Andrew for allowing them to make the gateway.
Emily Jones, President of SGA, was next at the podium and personally thanked the Haywards for the Gateway to success on behalf of her and the entire student body. “From the Moundbuilder family to the Hayward family we say thanks.” Said Jones.
Following Jones was Scott Hecht, Chairman of the Board of trustees, also expressed his gratitude for the Gateway along with his wife.
To conclude the ceremony Matt Porter led the singing of the Southwestern Alma Mater and the official ribbon cuttings were held.
Daltin Brock is a junior majoring in English. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org