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July 25 - CWC/SWU Gathering, Collins Ole Town
Oct. 30 & 31 - Homecoming

CWC/SWU Gathering

Alumni are invited to Collins Ole Town in Central for The 2015 CWC/SWU Gathering, Saturday, July 25. It’s a wonderful chance to catch up on happenings with your classmates! 
Arrive at 2 p.m. or later and visit a fun, historic slice of small town life. Dinner will be served at 5 p.m. There is a registration fee of $27 per person. Click here for more details and a registration form. For more information, contact David Funderburk at (404) 296-6018 (home) or (404) 314-4759 (cell). 
Master’s degree at SWU focuses on leadership Starting this fall, SWU will offer a degree program with a focus on leadership practices for current and aspiring leaders in a variety of organizations. The master of science in management and leadership (MSML) degree program will be offered both online and on-site at the Central campus and learning centers across South Carolina. Read more>>

Congressman in SWU Blue

U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) played in the Congressional Baseball Game for his fifth consecutive year – this year wearing SWU Blue! At right, he chats with President Obama. The game was played June 11 at Nationals Park. In a game pitting the GOP team against the Dems, Duncan managed to score the only two runs for the GOP. They came up short, losing 5-2. The game has been an annual tradition since 1909 and has become a fundraiser to benefit multiple DC charities, including the Washington Literacy Council, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation.
Dr. Lisa McWherter, left, SWU's VP for advancement, received the Duke Energy Citizenship Award for 2014-15 at the Clemson Area Chamber of Commerce annual awards banquet May 28. 
Presenting the award was Emily DeRoberts ('99), District Manager of SC Government and Community Relations with Duke Energy and one of our outstanding alumni. The Citizenship Award recognizes the individual in the Clemson Area Chamber who goes beyond the call of duty to serve others.  
The new SWU Magazine is here! This issue's cover story is about the $1.4 million goal reached for the Nicholson-Mitchell Christian Ministry Center. There's also an inspiring story about Davis Kippen, a Warrior baseball player who hit one of life's major curve balls, news about an exciting partnership aimed at creating lasting economic solutions in Haiti, and, of course, updates on academics, athletics, and your classmates! Click here for a pdf version.

Career Opportunities

Part-time opportunity in Winston-Salem area

A lab courier position is open for Lab 33, a dental lab in the Winston-Salem, N.C., area for any alumni and friends who may be looking for extra income and/or a side job. Time commitment ranges from 5-20 hours per week. The ideal candidate must have a valid driver’s license and a spotless driving record, be willing to work with prior days’ notice, be professional in conduct and appearance and have excellent communication skills. Some college or a bachelor’s degree is required. The candidate must be willing to be paid by the job and to utilize their own vehicle, as well as be willing to sign to hold the employer harmless. To apply for find out more, contact Mr. Means at (336) 608-7126 or contact the SWU Alumni Office at (864) 644-5385.

SWU employment opportunities

SWU's Columbia learning center currently has openings for the following positions. Click on each job title for more details! See the complete job listings for faculty and staff positions at

SWU graduates turn to Latin American ministry

SWU alums Luke and Abbie Sawyer and their family are currently transitioning from doing ministry with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) in Colorado to beginning the next season with FCA in the Dominican Republic. The Sawyers left Colorado and are currently living in South Carolina, while they raise funds for their relocation to the DR.

“This has been a dream of mine for quite some time, since I played with Athletes in Action in Nicaragua I have known that God was calling me to work among the poor specifically in Latin America,” Luke writes in his blog. Prayerfully consider your support of the Sawyers as they start a new chapter of ministry.  Visit their blog at and their giving site through the FCA here

Needed: Car

We have been made aware of a special need for a recent "first generation" SWU graduate that I want to share with you. They have a job at the university and are in need of a car. Up to this point, they have been able to borrow from a family member, which is no longer an option. We are looking for someone who could donate a vehicle.  It could be donated to your church or district and then passed along. Please let us know if you could help with this situation. If you can help, please contact Joy Bryant at the Alumni Center at (864) 644-5385 or email
GREAT NEWS for those of you wishing to further demonstrate your SWU affinity! If you already have a SWU license plate for your vehicle, this information is relevant for you and if you don’t already have a SWU license plate, now is a great time to do so if you have an interest. 
This new design replaces the former yellow oval with blue SWU lettering design, which is being discontinued on South Carolina license plates. South Carolina specialty tags are more standardized this year, so the only aspect of the tag we were able to design was our actual logo. All other design elements were assigned by the State. Remember, SWU receives a donation for each new plate issue or renewal, which supports The Promise Fund! For details, contact Dr. Lisa McWherter, vice president for advancement, at (864) 644-5013 or 1-855-644-5008, or email

Special offer promises added value for SWU Alumni

After more than a year of negotiations with Nationwide, we are proud to announce an official affinity program has been approved for our alumni. Over the course of the next year, SWU alumni will receive special offers crafted specifically for them. All Alumni can be confident that no private information was released in the partnership. Alumni will receive communications through their mail and/or e-mail. We are excited SWU alumni can now receive great discounts, and special offers. SWU Alumni will continue to seek out opportunities that will provide added value to being an alumnus of Southern Wesleyan. For details, contact Dr. Lisa McWherter, vice president for advancement, at (864) 644-5013 or 1-855-644-5008, or email


More athletics news

Alumni News


After serving three seasons as the top Lyon College assistant coach for the women and men’s soccer programs, Chris Bocanegra (’08) was named the sixth head coach in the 12-year history of the Scot women’s squad.
Mark Cromer (’15), and Tori Wanner (’15) were married on July 4. Mark is a biology graduate and Tori is an English Education graduate.
Rupal Ramesh Shah ('04) will be this year's "Passing the Mantle" speaker at the 2015 Orientation Aug. 15. A chemistry/biology graduate of SWU, Shah was the first to graduate from the university's Honors Program, and while working at Harvard University, was named a Harvard Hero. Shah recently graduated from Boston University School of Public Health with her master's degree in public health. She has done extensive research in the U.S. and Africa on global health issues.
Dr. Ashlee Tietje ('06) joins SWU’s Science Division this fall (full-time) as assistant professor of biology. Tietje recently earned her Ph.D. in biological sciences from Clemson University. She received her BS in biology education from SWU and has been teaching here as an adjunct faculty member since 2013. 
Stephen and Kelly McKenzie Tolan welcomed their new son Roman into the world July 4. Roman is the grandson of Roger McKenzie, professor of religion, and Dave Tolan, SWU missions mobilizer.
Dr. Russell J. Zwanka, (’97) recently published a book titled “A Marketing Manual for the Millennium.” 
This book was developed to cover the human side of marketing, business and life. The book’s description reads, “This millennium brings us a customer-focused, personalized world, where the customer has more information, less time, and less patience than ever.” Zwanka is on the faculty of the State University of New York at New Paltz 
School of Business. Read more>>
Aaron Ledford, a MEDAS student currently enrolled at the North Augusta learning center, was named Teacher of the Year at Johnston-Edgefield-Trenton Middle School in Johnston.
Mindy Clark, a MEDAS student currently enrolled at the North Augusta learning center, has been named assistant principal at Merriweather Middle School, which is located in North Augusta.
LaQuana Aldridge was named assistant principal at Millbrook Elementary School in Aiken. Aldridge earned her MEDAS from the Columbia learning center. She also has a bachelor's degree from Romapo College of New Jersey and a master's degree in divergent learning from Columbia College.

Liz McClearen ('15)was named principal of Chukker Creek Elementary School in Aiken. McClearen earned her MEDAS from the North Augusta education center this past May. She also has an early childhood education degree from USC Aiken. She has teaching experience at three Aiken County elementary schools, including Greendale for the past five years, where she was named Teacher of the Year.

Thessa G. Smith, ('03) business graduate, was named as McCormick County’s new economic development director. She has worked for GLEAMNS Human Resources Commission, Inc., in Greenwood, was assistant county manager and zoning administrator for Greenwood County and served three years as a county administrator in Allendale County.

National champion duathlete and SWU alumna Lindsey Torgerson ('09) is opening a gym to help young athletes in the Laredo, Tex. area become better competitors. A member of the 2007 NCCAA National Championship Women’s Basketball Team while at SWU, Torgerson travels the world as a duathlete, competing for Team USA.

In Memoriam

DePayne Middleton Doctor

As the world mourned for the nine victims in the wake of the June 17 shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, the SWU community was deeply affected by the loss of an employee and alumna. DePayne Middleton Doctor, 49, admissions coordinator at SWU’s Charleston learning center, was in historic Emmanuel AME Church and was among the shooting victims.
“Always a warm and enthusiastic leader, DePayne truly believed in the mission of SWU to help students achieve their potential by connecting faith with learning,” said SWU President Todd Voss. “Our prayers go out to family and friends. This is a great loss for our students and the Charleston region.” Doctor, a 1994 alumna, began work this past December at the Charleston learning center. Read more>>

SWU offering scholarships to Doctor's children

SWU is offering full tuition scholarships for the four children of DePayne Middleton-Doctor, a university employee who was among the nine victims of the tragic Emanuel AME Church shooting June 17. Read more>>

Pastor Wayne Johnson, father of SWU student Zach Johnson, died suddenly on the morning of June 22. He was pastor of Trinity Wesleyan Church, Eden, N.C., and the N.C. East District’s administrator.
Rev. Steve Saunders (’75) was killed in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident shortly before noon July 7 near Asheboro. Pastor Steve and his wife Carolyn were scheduled to finish their assignment at the Albemarle Wesleyan Church in the NC East District July 12. Please remember this precious, heartbroken family, and the Albemarle church, in your prayers. Steve and his wife Carolyn are former missionaries and Steve is the son-in-law of former missionaries, Paul (deceased) and Lois Downey.
Beverly Payne Williams (’95) died in late June after a 10-year battle with cancer. Williams graduated from SWU in 1995 with a degree in psychology. She was a single mother with a son who is a senior in high school. A fund has been established to help with expenses for her son and her medical bills. You may contribute at

SWU professor to lead Israel tour

Paul Jordan, professor of computer science, will be leading a 10-day Community Bible Church study tour of Israel, along with Jay Harlan and Daniel Jachens Oct. 2-11. Tour highlights include the Sea of Galilee, Mount of Olives, the Garden Tomb and the City of David. For details, contact Jordan at (864) 644-5034 or email More details, including an itinerary, can be found here. On the upper right corner, enter code CBC1015.   

Wesleyans to join with Billion Souls Network in 500-year recognition

On Oct 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the All Saints Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Southern Wesleyan University alumni have a fantastic opportunity in 2017 to travel to Germany and mark this momentous event. Details are coming. Read more>>

Class Ring Special

Order online with promo code swualumni and receive a $50 discount and Herff Jones will send a gift to SWU in your honor. Go to the Herff Jones website.
Alumni Walk bricks are $125. Proceeds support SWU's Promise Fund, which helps to increase fund scholarships and financial aid, invest in state-of-the-art classroom equipment, expand our campus ministries and enhance other student activities. Click here to order your brick!


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