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Southwestern University

Southwestern University is a private, four-year, undergraduate, liberal arts college located in Georgetown, Texas, USA. Founded in 1840, Southwestern is the oldest university in Texas


1001 University Ave
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Religious Affiliation
United Methodist Church
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Black Gold
Southern Collegiate

College History


Prior to assuming the university's current form, charters had been granted by the Texas Legislature (Texas Congress 1836�1845) to establish four educational institutions: Rutersville College of Rutersville, Texas, Wesleyan College of San Augustine, Texas, McKenzie College of Clarksville, Texas, and Soule University of Chappell Hill, Texas. The Roy and Lillie Cullen Building shortly after completion In 1873, the union of these four institutions opened in Georgetown as Texas University. Wishing to reserve that name for a proposed state university in Austin, the University of Texas, the Texas Legislature instead granted a charter in 1875 under the name Southwestern University as a continuation of the charters for Rutersville, Wesleyan, McKenzie, and Soule. The university's founding date is 1840 when Rutersville College opened. Southwestern is the oldest university in Texas and the second oldest coeducational liberal arts college west of the Mississippi. Baylor University, chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas, holds the designation of being the state's oldest university continuously operating under its original charter. Students in front of Mood-Bridwell Hall in 1910 Southwestern was a charter member of the Southwest Conference in 1915. Southern Methodist University was Southwestern's main rival for several decades in remembrance of an unsuccessful attempt to relocate Southwestern to Dallas which instead resulted in the establishment of SMU. When SMU's student population became much larger, students at Southwestern began considering Trinity University and Austin College to be the school's main rivals. After World War II, Southwestern transformed itself into a small liberal arts institution, discontinuing its post-graduate degrees, disbanding the football team, and rebuilding much of the campus with a massive capital campaign. The endowment rose substantially. Southwestern has a history of drawing prolific lecturers to campus, including William Jennings Bryan, Helen Keller, Bell hooks, and alumnus J. Frank Dobie. Orators traveling by train often stopped off on their way to or from Austin, giving their lectures and catching the next train. Speakers at the annual Brown Symposium have included author Isaac Asimov (through a video conference) in the early 1980s and Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz in 2002. Since it began, the Shilling Lecture series has brought a variety of prominent figures, including presidential advisor Karen Hughes (2003), Archbishop Desmond Tutu (2004), former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (2005), former Governor of New Jersey Thomas Kean (2006), former Secretary of State James Baker (2007), former U.S. senator Bill Bradley (2008), Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai (2009), senior fellow in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program William Foege (2010), founder of TOMs Shoes Blake Mycoskie (2011), and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman (2012). In 2002, The Writer's Voice series presented Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Chabon. The Writer's Voice has also welcomed such authors as Joyce Carol Oates (2000), Margaret Atwood (2003), Amy Tan (2007), and Azar Nafisi (2008). In 1998, Southwestern faculty, students, alumni, staff and trustees identified the university�s core purpose and core values. The core purpose was identified as "Fostering a liberal arts community whose values and actions encourage contributions toward the well-being of humanity." The core values were "Promoting lifelong learning and a passion for intellectual and personal growth; fostering diverse perspectives; being true to one's self and others; respecting the worth and dignity of persons; and encouraging activism in the pursuit of justice and the common good." A sixth core value, cultivating academic excellence, was added in 2008. In January 2010, to further its goal to become carbon neutral, Southwestern signed an agreement with the City of Georgetown to get all of its electricity for the next 18 years exclusively from wind power. This deal makes Southwestern the first university in Texas to get all its power from renewable sources.

College Specialty


Student Life promotes the mission of Southwestern University by implementing programs and delivering services that provide values-centered education of the whole person. These programs and services facilitate students� development of social competencies and reflect a shared responsibility for student learning within an undergraduate liberal arts community. Student Life fosters a challenging, secure environment in which the uniqueness of each individual is respected and celebrated.



Harry Ables � Major League Baseball pitcher Jessie Daniel Ames � Civil rights activist William Hawley Atwell � U.S. District Court judge Solon Barnett � Offensive tackle and guard for the Chicago Cardinals and Green Bay Packers (1945�1946) Hiram Abiff Boaz � Methodist Bishop and former president of SMU Joan Bray � State senator in Missouri Pete Cawthon � Head football coach and athletic director of the Texas Tech Red Raiders J. Frank Dobie � Author Bill Engvall � Stand-up comedian Abbie Graham � Author Stanley Hauerwas � Theologian and ethicist Jerry Hardin � Actor Robert L. Henry � U.S. Congressman from Texas (1897�1917), Chairman of the House Rules Committee J. Marvin Jones � U.S. Congressman from Texas (1917�1940), U.S. Court of Claims Chief Judge Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker � Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Carlton Massey � Defensive lineman and pro bowler for the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers (1954�1958) Earle Bradford Mayfield � U.S. Senator from Texas (1923�1929) John Murrell � Canadian playwright and a member of the Order of Canada Carl Reynolds � Major League Baseball player and member of Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Played for 5 teams over 12 years Pete Sessions � Current U.S. Congressman from Texas, Chairman of the House Rules Committee Robert Simpson � Meteorologist, former director of the National Hurricane Center, and co-developer of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale William Angie Smith � Methodist Bishop Joseph Tyree Sneed, III � U.S. Court of Appeals judge Mike Timlin � Major League Baseball pitcher R. Ewing Thomason � U.S. Congressman from Texas (1931�1947), Mayor of El Paso John Tower � U.S. Senator from Texas (1961�1988) James Marion West Jr. - Texas oil, timber, and ranching tycoon Mike Anderson- Major League Baseball Pitcher and current Pro Scout with the Texas Rangers