Rev. Jim Swarts ’71 landed on the Geneseo campus after six years in the U.S. Navy. He graduated as a much different person. “I would not have become who I am today had it not been for my experience at Geneseo. I became a person much more willing to give than receive.” Jim’s generous spirit and desire to provide the same opportunity for transformation have led him to include a gift to Geneseo in his will.
“The ability of people to grow and change in college is something that should be rewarded and encouraged,” Jim says. “That’s one of the reasons I give back. There are people coming in who need financial help. I paid almost nothing compared to today, and I feel an obligation to help lift up those today and tomorrow who, without the aid of the Geneseo Foundation, would not have the opportunity that Geneseo gave me.”
Jim’s ties to Geneseo extend beyond his experience as a student—he taught in the history department for 14 years. “Never in a million years would I have expected that I would be teaching at Geneseo. It was so rewarding; I had great academic freedom and the support and guidance of the department chair, dean, and other professors. That’s another reason I give back. I was recruited by Jim Williams and Bill Cook to teach. Those years meant a lot to me.”
Jim is a member of the MacVittie Legacy Society, a group of about 150 Geneseo donors who have documented their decision to include the college in their estate plans. He says including Geneseo in his will allows him to increase the impact he can have. “I had the ability to give a more substantial gift through my will than I could have given from my earnings and savings. I have more assets in my estate than in ready cash, so that will be a larger legacy for me to leave to future generations.”