University Graduate Experience

Chan Shun Centennial Library

Main collections

The library at Southwestern contains approximately 140,000 print and electronic book volumes and 56,000 journal titles available in print and online. The library's main web page at is the starting point for most research at Southwestern. Patrons search these collections using the library's online catalogue, individual journal databases, or the combined discovery service, which includes most of these materials. The list of full-text journals provides serious researchers with access to specific journal issues. Additional collections of audiovisual material, microforms, maps, artwork, and archival resources expand the library's main holdings.

Specialized collections

Southwestern's library encompasses three specialized collections that support academic programs. The Adventist Heritage Center Collections include substantial primary source materials chronicling the establishment of the Seventh-day Adventist church and the presence of the Adventist movement in the Southwest. Items include rare books, photographs, and manuscripts, as well as reproductions of similar materials. The Ruth King McKee Curriculum Library serves Southwestern's education program by providing examples of curriculum and instruction materials used in the K12 setting. The Entrepreneurship and Small Business Resource Center is our newest special collection, established in the fall of 2010, and will bring together the best resources for entrepreneurship, small business management, and business ethics.

The global library

Negotiated agreements, consortial memberships, and evaluated websites link Southwestern's scholars to thousands of academic, special, and public libraries within the United States and beyond. Students, faculty, and staff who need resources outside Southwestern's holdings may procure them through the library's document delivery / interlibrary loan service. On-demand delivery of research materials is made possible through TexShare, and can be initiated through completing the request form found on the library's webpage. Also, current students and faculty are invited to request a TexShare borrowers' card at the library's front desk, which grants individual borrowing privileges at most Texas university and public libraries.


The library's professional staff members provide necessary resources and assist faculty and students in retrieving materials for research purposes. Instruction and individual research consultations are available by request. Online subscription databases provide access to extensive resources, which are equally available on and off campus. Students using licensed subscriptions off campus will be asked to authenticate their connection to Southwestern with their Campus Portal login.

The Write Spot

Though physically located within the library's instruction classroom, this initiative represents a campus-wide commitment to ensuring that students have support in developing strong written communication skills. It is open to the campus approximately 25 hours per week during fall and spring semesters. Faculty and students who staff this facility are trained to serve as tutors.

Campus Internet Access and Computer Labs

The library (open 75+ hours a week), and the Pechero Hall Computer Lab provide three venues for walk-in access to computers, to the Internet, and to specialized software necessary for undergraduate and graduate work. Statistical packages, desktop publishing and office software, as well as specialized programs to support scholarship are available at these locations.

Southwestern's Lecture Series

The Carol Sample Lecture Series, an endowed, annual series that honors retired English professor Dr. Carol Sample, supports guest lecturers whose work appeals primarily to writing and literature students.

The George and Dottie Saxon Lecture Series presents up to three speakers annually who address the connections between science and faith. The series, established in 2006, has brought to campus speakers such as Michael Behe, Kurt Wise, Ronald Numbers, and David Berlinski.

The Scholars Lecture Series supports all disciplines. Two presentations per semester offer insight into and commentary within many fields, often presented by individuals whose life experience has been outside the academy. Recent programs have included political analysis, psychology, music theory, history, religion, education, and international relations.

Southwestern's Dramatic Presentations

Southwestern offers a drama class every spring semester. Participants explore theoretical material on the drama in history and on drama as a genre, but also gain the practical experience of staging a full-length work by classic writers such as Shakespeare, Goldsmith, Wilde, and others. The students learn all aspects of stagecraft, ranging from acting techniques to the use of blocking, staging, props and costumes to achieve an overall effect. These performances enrich both the presenters and also the community that views them, as we together experience the best that dramatic culture has to offer about ourselves and our world.


Writers meet weekly in The Write Spot to review one another’s work, encourage each other in the creative process, and offer suggestions and guidance. This is a great place to network with other faculty, staff, and students who share your love of writing. The ROUGHwriters present their creative work in public readings and performances.

Southwestern's Paleontology Museum

Southwestern’s Paleontology Museum houses specimens from the Hanson Research Center in Wyoming, the Earth History Research Center (a collaborative endeavor among many academic institutions), and Southwestern’s own index collections of fossilized vertebrates and invertebrates. Most specimens can be viewed through the online portal to the museum (, but personal tours and research viewing can be arranged as well. Southwestern’s Harold Drake Preparatory Laboratory serves as a working exhibit in which visitors are welcome to observe the cleaning and preparation of geological and paleontological specimens in person or online at

Thomsen Observatory

Southwestern’s astronomy courses benefit from access to the Thomsen Observatory, which is adjacent to campus. The Observatory and related physics lab house a number of reflector and refractor telescopes that offer celestial exploration for students, faculty, and the community.