Sylvia Kerrigan '86

Sylvia Kerrigan

Sylvia Sydow Kerrigan '86 remembers walking through campus as a little girl, studying in the library and playing sports on the athletic fields.  When it came time to select a college, choosing Southwestern was one of the easiest decisions she ever had to make since she was already a Georgetown resident and a Pirate fan.
As an undergraduate English, political economy and philosophy major, Kerrigan learned to appreciate the focus on "the whole person," the rich broad-based education and the deep relationships forged with fellow classmates and faculty.  "Dr. Score was such a special person. The classes were challenging and we were taught to think analytically and deeply," she says.
It didn't take much thought for Sylvia to decide to include the University in her estate plans. "My education was pivotal to the path I'm on today, leading a life that is challenging, fulfilling and exciting.  My husband Matt, and I both feel strongly that all of us have an obligation to help others along the way, and to give back to the extent that we can. I am honored to be able to include Southwestern in my will and to become a member of the 1840 Society. I take great joy in knowing that one day two endowed chairs will be named for each of my parents, whom I love and admire."
As executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Marathon Oil Company, Kerrigan meets challenges every day for which Southwestern prepared her. As a current University trustee, Kerrigan also prepares for Southwestern's future. "I hope future generations will have the same kind of educational opportunities I enjoyed. Being a world-class university isn't an easy job. Or a cheap one. But it's like that old maxim, ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.' My gifts by themselves don't really move the meter much at all, but with all of us doing what we can, when we can, how we can, collectively we share an enormous capacity to make sure the best is still ahead for Southwestern. And I know that it is—I can see the leadership in place here, the commitment to excellence, and I can see for myself how bright the future is. For me, and I hope for most of us, just being part of a community like Southwestern University is always its own reward."

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