Thank You Dear Contributors,

As I enter my fourth year as president and professor at Southwestern, I enjoy a unique vantage point from which to witness, engage in, and be inspired by the daily life of our beloved University. As president, I work closely with the entire Southwestern community to ensure that every decision and every investment enhances the experience of our students, makes them stronger intellectual leaders both today and into the future, and thus, implicitly increases the distinctive value of a Southwestern degree for all who have earned one. As a member of the Southwestern University faculty, I treasure the opportunity to advance learning in the classroom and beyond—And, this past year introduced a new course to the curriculum called “Effective Thinking and Creative Puzzle-Solving” that examines how we think about and connect ideas, and create answers to complex questions.

It was through a combination of those two roles, and drawing upon my interactions with many students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends, that our new vision for Southwestern was first crafted. In short, our commitment is to provide every member of the community with abundant and uplifting opportunities to think, create, and connect…to make meaning and to make a difference.

As a fellow donor to Southwestern, I am confident that you choose to give to the University for many of the same meaningful and joyful reasons as I, such as enhancing the intellectual, academic, and co-curricular experience for our students and faculty and ensuring that the University remains vibrant while further increasing our ability to transform lives. I am pleased to share that your generous support this past year is indeed making the impact for which we strive. This year’s entering class of 387 first-year students is the largest in four years and it has an average SAT that is 30 points higher than last year with more students hailing from the top 10% and top 25% of their high school classes. The University’s faculty produced nearly 60 books and articles and over 25 creative works last year alone, and over this past summer more than 60 students and 30 members of the faculty participated in collaborative and original research.

Thanks to your support this year and to a record number of donors throughout our community, Southwestern reached a new milestone of over 25% alumni participation. When I arrived at the University, the percentage of alumni who contributed to Southwestern was at 19% and had been on the decline for several years. This year’s third consecutive increase in alumni participation places Southwestern in an elite group of less than 5% of all colleges and universities nation-wide that have experienced increases in alumni participation.

Thank you for supporting Southwestern University. I am profoundly grateful for the potential we all share in making a real difference and being a part of our noble mission. You have truly made a difference in improving the hearts, minds, and lives of our students and enhancing the academic quality that sustains our status as the best liberal arts college in Texas and positions us for further and even greater success in the years to come. I look forward to thanking you in person soon, and until then, thank you again for supporting Southwestern University—Texas’ first university.

Looking forward,


Edward Burger