Frombgen says ‘it takes love’ in inaugural address as SC’s 20th president


Elizabeth Frombgen said love will be the key to the school’s future in her first official address as the 20th president of Southwestern College in Winfield.

“I believe that presidents must first and foremost love their colleges, love their students, their faculty and staff, their alumni, and their community – it takes love,” Frombgen said during her inaugural address recently. “Love allows us to move through the hard and difficult work that it takes to sustain a small college.

“Love will allow us to advance Southwestern with grace and care. Love will inspire us to build Builders, and to prepare our students to make their communities and the world better through work and service.”

The inauguration of Frombgen was held on Saturday, April 22, in the Richardson Performing Arts Center.

According to a news release from SC Friday, the formal installation ceremony included the invocation from Southwestern senior Carly Redding. The ceremony was led by Scott Hecht, 1990 graduate of SC and the chair of the board of trustees. Messages of entrustment were given by Bishop David Wilson, Redding, Kaydee Riggs-Johnson, Susan Andrews, Lonnie Boyd, and Cheryl Rude.

Hecht led the formal investiture of Frombgen, presenting the college’s presidential medallion.

Special remarks were made by Phil Dudley, President Emeritus of Hastings College and a 1968 graduate of Southwestern, and Susan Traverso, President of Thiel College in Pennsylvania. Special introductions were provided by the first gentleman, Doug Kinnear, and first daughter, Lana Kinnear, before Frombgen delivered an inaugural address. James Leland played the organ for the processional and recessional; Sarah Miller sang an original composition, “Lux Esto,” and Anjaih Clemons-Williams led the singing of the alma mater.

Additionally, faculty of the college were in attendance as were special delegates of area colleges, universities, government, and professional organizations with others sending formal greetings.

Prior to coming to SC, Frombgen was vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa., Frombgen earned her Ph.D. and master of arts degree in political science from Purdue University and her bachelor of arts degree from Western Washington University.

She was on faculty at Hastings College from 2001 to 2012, serving as a professor and department chair before accepting the role of associate vice president for academic affairs, a position she held until 2017 when she accepted the position at Thiel. Frombgen began work at Southwestern College in the summer of 2022.

Frombgen and her husband, Kinnear, have one daughter, Lana, who is in graduate school in Colorado.

They also have two rescued Jack Russell Terriers, Diamond and Suzy.

Additionally, Liz enjoys making and sharing artisanal cheeses. She is also a member of several community clubs and organizations. Kinnear, a retired professor of economics, is an avid cyclist, who regularly competes in gravel races. He volunteers at the Winfield Food Pantry and at the college.

SC says Frombgen and Kinnear enjoy living in Winfield and are pleased to actively participate in the life of the community.

The full inauguration ceremony, which served as the culmination of the 2023 Founders Weekend festivities on campus, may be viewed at