I spent a day this week on the campus of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. It’s one of the 40 Colleges That Change Lives identified by Loren Pope. I was very impressed with the quality of the liberal arts education afforded its students. I stopped to talk to students on the quad, in the dining halls, and in the library. Every single one of them was pleased with their experience. I also spoke with the reference librarian, who could not stop raving about the quality of the students and the academic atmosphere on campus.
There only two drawbacks I can see. The first is Texas. It’s sometimes hard to sell a school in Texas to my clients on the East Coast or in Colorado, because of stereotypes and prejudices. Of courses, these hold no water, but it is often difficult to get around these impressions.
The second is that in comparison to some schools in the northeast or Midwest or California, Southwestern comes off as a generally more socially conservative place. Again, this has more to do with Texas than with the school, which to me seems to be pretty darned liberal. However, most if not all of the dorms are single-sex, and perhaps the campus is a bit more conservative because Texas is a relatively conservative state, politically. But students and faculty assured me that the students are intellectually curious, involved in politics and social issues, and are usually just as liberal as their counterparts down the road at the University of Texas.
So if you’re looking for a small liberal arts college of high quality, like warm weather, and want to try a brand-new geographical and cultural experience, you won’t go wrong to check out Southwestern.