Beloved Professor Retires after 50 Years at the University of Arizona

April 24, 2014

Dr. Donna Swaim will be retiring in May 2014. Now in her 50th year as an educator at the University of Arizona, Dr. Swaim has touched thousands of students' lives. Teaching her first course at the University of Arizona in the spring of 1964, Dr. Swaim has shared her passion for undergraduate education in numerous settings, including 5 years teaching English Composition, 35 years teaching in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Program, and 10 years teaching in the Religious Studies Program. Dr. Swaim also served as Faculty Fellow for the Athletics Department for 20 years and with the Native American Center for the past 4 years. One of her greatest contributions to undergraduate education at the University of Arizona was leading travel abroad study trips, where students had the opportunity to take part in life-changing global experiences.

In honor of her life-long service to the University and dedication to her students, the UA Foundation is proud to announce the formation of the Donna Swaim International Award for Religious Studies, a scholarship that will enable academically-prepared Religious Studies majors to study the religions of the world in the context of their cultures.

Dr. Swaim feels that travel is an especially enriching experience for students, because "at the university we learn academically–but travel gets beyond the academic. It lets students live and experience the things they've learned in class."

During her time at the University of Arizona, Dr. Swaim led student groups on a total of 24 trips abroad, visiting a wide array of countries including Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland & the Faroe Islands, Italy, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Mali, Moldova, Morocco, Nepal, Nicaragua, Norway, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, and Zimbabwe.


To donate to the Donna Swaim International Award for Religious Studies, please click here. Dr. Swaim has asked that her former students and colleagues post memories and pictures of these trips abroad on her new Facebook profile, so that she can have an electronic record of her time at the University of Arizona.