‘The Southwest Story’

This past week I had the pleasure of spending time with some dear friends and supporters of Southwest Minnesota State University looking back on the exciting fall and reminiscing of the many wonderful highlights of the year. The celebrations and reunions surrounding SMSU’s 50th anniversary have brought countless stories home telling of the impact that the people and place, SMSU, has had on their lives. We were truly amazed as we talked of the collective power of the stories that have shaped our history over time. It gave me pause to stop and wonder, “What other Southwest stories are out there that need to be shared?”

The marketing and communications staff unveiled a wonderful new book this month titled, “The Southwest Story” that captures our history through the eyes of our alumni and friends. It is a remarkable reflection of personal experiences and memories. There are dozens of stories of people who made this place what it is today, those who established a caring and student-centered culture. A resilient culture that encourages our students to step out of their comfort zone and become involved. There is a thread of generosity and loyalty that has grown over time and it is woven throughout the stories that are told.

All of these individual stories and wonderful photos that have been gathered come together in a seamless fashion, capturing the essence of an SMSU experience. Whether it be a charter faculty member, former president, recent alum or long-time community member, the qualities that we are proud of today are strikingly similar to those over our last 50 years. We share a strong sense of community, a humble and determined work ethic, and a commitment to our students that does not waver. Years may have passed, but the quality of the people who are committed to SMSU and our students has not wavered. The Southwest stories we share capture that dedication.

During this holiday season, I want to thank the countless alumni and friends that have so graciously supported SMSU over the years. These wonderful stories would not be possible without the continued generosity of those around us. The support has come in so many ways. Whether it be your financial support, your attendance at a game or concert, the hiring of a recent graduate or hosting an international student for dinner over the holidays, this University would not be what it is today without our community behind us.

If you are looking for a last minute gift or want to read for yourself, some of the personal stories that have shaped our history stop up at the Foundation Office or go online at https://www.smsualumni.com/50thbook to secure your copy.

Best wishes for a Happy Holidays and Go Mustangs!

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