By Kylie Stamper
Staff reporter

Founders Weekend brought builders back to campus April 16-18 to celebrate achievements and awards.

“Founders weekend is a special time at Southwestern to celebrate the people who started the campus and that formed the ideas of what we’re still about now. It’s as special as homecoming,” said Madeline Norland, ’83.

The event started on April 16 with a reading and book signing of “50 Years to Shape a Dream” by Helen and Orville Strohl. Two of the Strohl children presented the book and signed copies. The book was put together by the SC Academic Press class.

Jackson Lashier, associate professor of religion, also hosted a book presentation on April 17 for his book “Irenaeus on the Trinity.”

The presentation was followed by the service recognition ceremony where employees of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years were recognized.

Terah York, student accounts coordinator, received the Fassnacht Outstanding Administrator/Staff (Campus) Award, Stephen Ferguson, assistant director of faculty for Professional Studies, received the Fassnacht Outstanding Adminstrator/Staff Award for Professional Studies, and Patrick Lee, assistant professor of accounting, was presented with the Fassnacht Outstanding Faculty Award. Jacob Goodson, assistant professor of philosophy, received the United Methodist Exemplary Teacher Award.

Aiden Goodrich, president of SGA, presented student-selected honors to Pam Olney, social science and business faculty assistant, and Patrick Lee.

Dick Merriman, president, was also presented with a large, purple glass sculpture as a farewell gift from the college.

F. David Froman, ’68, Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez, ’94, and John William “Bill” Todd, ’61, were inducted into the Leaders in Service Hall of Fame for the Social Sciences. New members of Pi Gamma Mu were also inducted at this service.

April 17 concluded with a reception for Norland. Works from her personal art collection were on display in the President’s Gallery in Darbeth. Her artwork will be on display until April 27. Norland said, “I really appreciate how the community turned out to see my art show. It’s a very personal statement on my part and I’m happy to share that with the community.”

Saturday’s events included the Fine Arts Hall of Fame, Business Hall of Fame, Educators and Scholars Hall of Fame, the Founders Day Dinner, and a performance by the Cherokee Maidens & Sycamore Swing.

The Fine Arts Hall of Fame accepted Michael R. Brummett, ’79, Terry L. McGonigle, ’73, and Norland. The ceremony, including a brunch, was held on the Richardson stage to honor Norland’s involvement in the campaign to remodel Richardson Auditorium, which occurred in 2011.

Norland received her degree in Art from Southwestern in 1983 after graduating from Bethany College with an elementary education degree five years earlier. She said, “[The nomination] was totally unexpected. It’s just such a big honor because it’s something that I never anticipated. I was really blown away that they asked me and I was just really honored.”

Shawn L. Fanshier, ’83, Gregg A. Howell, ’73, and Leo T. “Pete” Whalen, ’51, were inducted into the Business Hall of Fame and The Winfield Economic Development Committee received the Business Builder Award for 2015.

Gyla (Brock) Conklin, ’58, Cheryl (Bernard) Schasteen, ’71, and Kenneth E. Valentine, ’70, were inducted into the Educators Hall of Fame and Dale B. Sims, ’80, and Phil Schmidt were welcomed into the Scholars Hall of Fame. Schmidt’s wife, Phyllis, accepted the award on his behalf. Schmidt passed away on April 4, 2014, after teaching at Southwestern for 47 years.

The Founders Day Dinner recognized new inductees to the Heritage Society and those who have made commitments for Southwestern in their estate plans. The 2015 class of inductees to the Heritage Society included Dr. Martha Kyle, ’67, Dr. David, ’60, and Grace Nichols, ’80, and the Rev. Dr. Robert and Delores Eades.

Kylie Stamper is a sophomore majoring in communication. You may email her at