Fifty years after his dream turned into a reality, recently retired Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Fred Mathews chronicled the challenges he and others faced building a community college in Dowagiac, Michigan.
Mathews spent nearly 19 years writing “Triumph Over Adversity,” a candid look at the history of Southwestern Michigan College. Mathews said he decided to write the book because people would tell him about the history of the college and it would be “pure fantasy.”
Mathews wrote the first 95 chapters from memory as he put it down on paper. As chance would have it, Mathews kept boxes of documents stored in his basement that he was able to reference to verify facts in the chapters he had already written.
With the college celebrating its 50th year in 2014 and his milestone as 50th year as chairman, Mathews thought there was no better time to finish the project that focused on the college he put his heart and soul into and the region he loves.


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