The Explorer

The Explorer – Southwestern University

Disclaimer: A perk of SCOUT-ing for you is the opportunity to visit college campuses. With each tour, I go armed with the basic information you can find online or in any number of college-related guides. As such, there is no reason for me recite average test scores, admission rates, student-to-faculty ratios, or even lists of majors / minors. You can find all that through your own research. My goal is to give you a little nugget (or two) that you might find interesting … interesting enough to give the college a more in-depth look.   


Southwestern University – aerial view

I came to Southwestern University specifically because I wanted to tour one of the Colleges That Changes Lives ( The university sprawls across 700 beautiful acres just 30 minutes north of Austin. It was the first institution of higher learning in Texas, chartered by the Republic of Texas in 1840. Its founders were Methodist missionaries. In addition to its CTCL status, it receives top honors and accolades from US News & World Report, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, The Princeton Review, Forbes, and Washington Monthly. As usual, there’s a lot to like on this campus. Here are a few of my favorites:

Welcome to Southwestern University

Welcoming – It’s difficult to articulate properly, but there is just something different here. The people are so friendly. They go out of their way to be helpful. They are proud of their community and happy to share stories.

Hammocks are calling your name!

Outdoor Living – The campus grounds are gorgeous, and the weather is perfect. The entire setting just begs you to be outdoors. I feel as if hammocks or bicycles were available at every turn around campus.

SCOPE – Southwestern remains a vibrant campus throughout the summer. Through Summer Collaborative Opportunities and Experiences (SCOPE), students live on campus for eight weeks, and receive a stipend to collaborate on research projects and artistic works. The program also includes weekly social events, further enhancing the collaborative nature of this learning community.

Lois Perkins Chapel

Small does not equal limited – The university may be small, but that doesn’t mean that you miss out on the programs offered by large schools. There’s still a Greek system (both fraternities and sororities), intramural sports, study abroad opportunities, and various lecture series.

Research and Creative Works Symposium – In the true spirit of a liberal arts education, Southwestern hosts this annual event to showcase undergraduate research, innovation, and imagination. The day includes everything from posters, to talks, art exhibits, performances, and panel discussions. If you’re planning a spring campus tour, try to do it on this day!

Center for Academic Success

Center for Academic Success – I now find myself actively seeking out this center/program on the college campuses that I visit. Big or small, colleges can be difficult for even the most seasoned student to navigate. I was pleased to find the one at Southwestern so easily accessible. They have programs designed specifically for students with disabilities, first-year athletes, first-generation students, and those needing mentors and tutors.

The Power of Pre- – Southwestern is a fabulous training ground for your graduate school aspirations. With specific pathway programs designed for Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Engineering, Pre-Law, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Ministry, Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Veterinary Medicine, Southwestern has tremendous success in placing students at the graduate level.

Church Lunch

Chunch – As usual, I am saving the best for last! Chunch is also known as church lunch. And yes – it’s a thing! Every Monday, students and staff from Southwestern have the opportunity to have a free lunch, courtesy of a local church. It’s not unusual for close to 800 people to take advantage of this weekly offering. For some, it’s the homemade food. Nothing is pre-packaged! But most come knowing that the delicious meal ends with a trip to the dessert table, featuring doughnuts, cupcakes, cookies, cakes, and brownies. Too full for dessert? Just grab a baggie and take something sweet home with you!

Touring Southwestern University as my first official CTCL did not disappoint. I am really excited about the programs here! If you’re interested in exploring Southwestern or one of the other 43 Colleges that Change Lives, please let me know. I can be reached at 405-906-7044 or I’m always available to help you find and fund your ideal college experience!

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