By Taylor Forrest

Staff reporter

Courage can mean facing an ultimate fear of heights and bungee jumping off of a cliff or simply standing up for what one believes in. Regardless, courage is an admirable trait that betters the person exercising its stamina.

This year Southwestern College has chosen Courage as its campus-wide theme. It is the third year that the school has had a campus theme, the first being Hunger and the second Hope.

Having a campus theme is unique, but maintaining a theme an entire school year is another rare task completely. This is exactly why Southwestern has events planned for the upcoming year set in place to ensure the impact of Courage on the school.

The theme of Courage first became pertinent this year at builder camp. The orientation leaders and freshman were introduced to the new theme with speeches and sessions circling around the theme. After becoming more acclimated to the builder camp experience, Courage became the platform for team skits and other events.

Although Builder Camp is an exceptional way to introduce students to the campus theme, not every student attends the camp. Luckily, Courage does not end at Builder Camp.

Dan Falk, associate vice president for student life and dean of students, shared one aspect of the theme Courage for this year. He said that Courage will be interwoven into the fall homecoming by having a Wizard of Oz theme.

The organizations in charge of homecoming hope to incorporate and draw inspiration from the courageous lion in the Kansas famous movie . There will be skits and scavenger hunts that will allow students to be creative and courageous.

Along with homecoming incorporating courage, the school will have a guest visitor during the week of October 13-17, which will speak about moral courage.

Mike Lehnert, a retired Marine Corps major general, was in active duty for 37 years and was faced with many tasks that tried his moral courage. He was the joint task group commander in Guantanamo Bay Cuba and the commander in charge of building and running detention centers for Al Qaida and Taliban terrorists after the 9/11 attack.

Ultimately, he was faced with the task of dealing with terrorists that hated America, yet giving them the due process and dignity that America offers. He will be in classes throughout the week leading discussions about facing and dealing with moral courage.  On Oct. 16 he will be giving a lecture to the entire campus at 7 p.m.

Although these particular events are being planned around courage, administration encourages students to live courageously all year.

Sara Weinert, vice president for communications, said that Courage is not required, it is just a suggested global theme. Yet, the school hopes for courage to organically grasp onto the lives of students. The events that will promote courage on campus this year are essential, but the integrating of courage into the smallest of tasks in everyday life is yet more crucial.

Dick Merriman, president of Southwestern College, said, “We all have a chance each day to do the courageous thing and treat each other in the right way here at Southwestern and beyond.”

Taylor Forrest is a freshman majoring in communications. You may email her at