Steve Southwell serves as president of the Alumni Association. He came to Erskine in 1976 from Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Having learned about Erskine from a family doctor, he received a baseball scholarship and moved to Due West to study banking as a business major. At Erskine, he met his wife Jane Williams, a member of the Class of 1984. They have been married for 32 years and have a son, Rob, and a daughter, Sally. Sally recently married her husband, Brandon Berger.
While at Erskine Southwell “was lucky to have some good Christian role models,” he said, including Bill Lesesne, Dr. Bill Kuykendall, Dr. Jim Gettys, and Dr. Randy Ruble. “I was able to take their example and translate that, as best as I could, into the business world.”
Southwell recalls from his time at Erskine that “we didn’t have cable TV, cell phones, or computers.” Students had to make their own fun living in Due West. The tradition of going to the Waffle King in nearby Honea Path with fellow members of the Chi Lambda Sigma society to order the famous “Erskine Special” was a memorable part of his Erskine experience. He enjoyed two J-term courses which took him to New York and Florida.
Southwell has remained an active part of the Erskine community. In 2004 he served as the president of the Flying Fleet Club, which first introduced him to the Alumni Board. Southwell is completing his second term as Alumni Board president. Serving on the Alumni Board has given him a way to “stay involved with Erskine’s great people and to give back.”
In his time as Alumni Board president, Southwell has worked to remind alumni how special their alma mater is while also striving to serve as an ambassador from the alumni to Erskine’s president and board of trustees. He remains hopeful for Erskine’s future. He believes that “those of us who truly love Erskine should commit to speaking highly of our alma mater at every opportunity.”
Looking toward the future, Southwell’s message to the Erskine community is simple and timely: “Don’t give up!”