Swannie Turns 90
"This is a heck of a fuss for an old goat, but I love it," Swannie said when encouraged to speak to the family, friends, staff, faculty, trustees and alumni gathered in the Tyler-Van Dusen Campus Center Rotunda.
Many of the celebrants worked at Alma or were students during Swanson's 24-year tenure from 1956-80. Many told stories that related the same fond affection for Alma's longest-serving president. Those who could not attend sent thanks for the service he provided to the College and the influence he had on their lives.
President Saundra J. Tracy presented Swanson and his wife, Dorothy, with T-shirts bearing Alma's new logo that will be unveiled at Homecoming in October. She said it was fitting that the Swansons be the first to wear clothing bearing the new logo.
She also related the special relationship she and Swanson share as Alma's ninth and 12th presidents, referring to each other by number as opposed to name.
"It is a privilege to have someone who is considered to be Alma College as a trusted confidant. It is a special relationship I have with number 9," Tracy said. Swanson replied with "Thank you number 12."
Nancy Gallagher '80 has known Swanson since her mother worked at Alma College. As a student and now a trustee, she understands what Swanson meant to the College and the community.
"You never quit working for Alma College. You have been the face of Alma College around the community for all these years."
From the time he became Alma's president and after his retirement, Swanson has been a part of the Gratiot community and now resides at Masonic Pathways in Alma.
Posted: Mon, August 8th, 2005 at 4:30PM