Donna Swaim, a revered teacher and mentor whose 50-year University of Arizona career stretched broadly across campus, from humanities to medicine to athletics, and included trips to dozens of countries for many students' study abroad, passed away in late 2020. From 1964 until her retirement in 2014, Swaim taught courses in English, humanities and medical humanities, and religious studies, and served as a Faculty Fellow in the athletics department and Native American Student Affairs.
Dr. Swaim created some of the university’s first study abroad trips, starting in 1979, before there was even a formal structure to do so. In total, she led students on 24 trips abroad, visiting a wide array of countries including England, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Mali, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Romania, Moldova, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iceland & the Faroe Islands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Nepal and Cambodia.
The College of Humanities honors her memory through The Donna Swaim International Award For Religious Studies, which helps students study the religions of the world in the contexts of their own cultures through study abroad opportunities. We ask you to contribute a gift toward our goal of turning this award into an endowment, ensuring that her legacy of enriching students' lives will continue in perpetuity. Thank you for your support.