Swanson, Jon

As I tried to think back and identify my earliest memory of Allegheny, I discovered a coincidence that had not occurred to me before.  My first visit to campus was just after my sophomore year in high school and it was to celebrate my grandfather whose class was having it’s 50th reunion at Allegheny.  My family traveled all the way from Illinois to watch the Class of 1911 receive their new diplomas.  So I already have great memories of one Allegheny 50th Reunion and can’t wait to collect more this June.

Education after Allegheny

After two years in Allegheny’s Admissions Office, I headed to Indiana University to work on a master’s degree in College Student Personnel Administration.  I first learned about Indiana from Phi Delt brothers Tom Neelen and Dick Naum who spoke  highly of their experiences there.  The program inspired more possibilities so after completing it, I moved on to the University of Michigan and received a Ph.D. from the Center for the Study of Higher Education.

Marriage, Children, and Grandchildren

I met Cathy in a class during my first year in graduate school at Indiana University.  She was in her second year of the program and was beginning to consider job opportunities for the coming year. When she planned a trip to interview for a position in the Dean of Students office at Albion College, I joined her to visit the University of Michigan located just down the road.  We got married a year and a half later and had Cara and Phil, both of whom are now married and live in the Atlanta area.  Cara and Andy have two children, Elle (9) and Anderson (6), and Phil and Joye just got married a couple of years ago and have lots of plans.  

My jobs

My first job after graduation was Assistant Director of Admissions at Allegheny.  Working with Vic Zack and Dick Stewart as well as other faculty and administrators of that day was an inspiration to aim at a career in higher education.  After completing the program at Indiana, I joined the staff at Eastern Michigan University as the Director of Residence Hall Programs.  A couple of years later, the Director of Development position opened in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Michigan that also had faculty responsibilities for teaching business courses.  Several years later, I moved over to the Medical Center at Michigan as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations.  After 20 years with Michigan, I accepted the position of Associate Vice Chancellor at the Tulane University Medical Center.  It took nearly a decade in New Orleans to warm up to the idea of retiring.


Soon after retiring, we moved to Boulder, CO where Cathy’s family lives. When looking around for volunteer opportunities, I discovered a non-profit organization with the mission of providing transportation for older adults and persons with disabilities.  So, “Via, Mobility for Life” is where I have spent most of my time in retirement.  But since these are “retirement years”, my schedule has always been flexible enough to accommodate other activities such as hiking with retired faculty groups,  meeting friends and former colleagues in coffee shops, traveling with basketball teams to play in senior  tournaments, and enjoying  lots of family gatherings.    

My contact Info

Address:  2288 Kincaid Place, Boulder CO  80304
Phone:     303-440-0436

Freshman Book


Jon & Cathy

Front row: Anderson, Elle, Grampa, Cara
Back row: Andy, Cathy, Joye, Jon, Phil

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *