The Clemson Alumni Association recently recognized Barbara Ann “Bobbi” Porch Swann of Greenville, SC with the designation of Honorary Alumna of Clemson University. The distinction of Honorary Alumnus/a is a special recognition intended for steadfast Tiger supporters whose “blood runs orange” but who never attended Clemson.
Bobbi Swann has had a significant impact on the success of Clemson University for many years. A graduate of Ohio University, Swann is a former teacher having taught 3rd and 4th grade. She is the mother of three Clemson graduates, Erin Swann ’92, Audrey Melzer ’95 and Ted Swann ‘97. She currently has two granddaughters who attend Clemson.
Swann has dedicated her time, talent, and treasure to Clemson since marrying her husband, a 1963 graduate, Joe Swann. As told by her daughter, Erin, her father’s love for Clemson was contagious and her mother was “converted immediately. Her blood runs a deep, deep orange to this day.”
She is an enthusiastic Clemson sports supporter, always ready to don her orange and cheer on the team, whether it be a football, basketball, or soccer game. When she is unable to attend, you will find her in the kitchen listening to the game while she cooks.
Swann has faithfully served alongside her husband as a Board of Trustee spouse for 32 years, and previously as a Board of Visitor spouse. The Swann family provided a Cornerstone Gift to Clemson Athletics of $3.3 million for the development of the Swann Pavilion, which includes a practice court, locker rooms and coaches’ offices for the basketball program in Littlejohn Coliseum. The Swann family also contributed to the Swann Fitness Center on Clemson’s campus, an endowment of the men’s soccer coaching position, and an endowment to provide tutoring for freshmen.
Clemson Alumni Association Executive Director, Wil Brasington, stated, “Bobbi is a prime example of a dedicated Tiger. She has embraced Clemson as her family, and we are proud to take this moment to let her know how much she is appreciated by recognizing her with the distinction of Honorary Alumna.”
Swann is also a servant-leader within her community, serving as an emeritus board member for the Meyer Center for Special Children; co-chair of the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball; an Above All Ministries Bible study leader and facilitator; and a Circle 555 membership committee member.
The Honorary Alumna designation was presented to Swann while surrounded by her family and friends by Wil Brasington and alumni association board chair, Jeff Duckworth, in the Board of Trustee’s suite at the Syracuse football game during Homecoming festivities. She was completely surprised but very appreciative.
Honorary alumni are selected by the Alumni Association board of directors on the basis of outstanding service, lifelong devotion and loyalty to Clemson University or the Clemson Alumni Association. Nominations for the 2023 Honorary Alumnus/a designation open in October and close January 31. To nominate a deserving person, to review past honorees or to view the award guidelines, visit the Clemson Alumni website at alumni.clemson.edu/honoraryalum.