UTC Scholarship Honors Memory Of Dr. Bob Swansbrough

Friday, September 13, 2013
Shown, from left to right, are Annie Swansbrough, James Swansbrough holding Wynton Swansbrough, Mary Swansbrough,  Dacey Cockrill, Christy Swansbrough, Dr. Michelle Deardorff
Shown, from left to right, are Annie Swansbrough, James Swansbrough holding Wynton Swansbrough, Mary Swansbrough, Dacey Cockrill, Christy Swansbrough, Dr. Michelle Deardorff

The new head of the UTC Department of Political Science, Public Administration and Nonprofit Management never had the opportunity to meet the late Dr. Bob Swansbrough, but she perfectly described the longtime UTC professor of political science and administrator at a recent gathering of friends and colleagues.

“We are here to celebrate the endowment of a scholarship to honor the memory of Dr. Bob Swansbrough…it is rare to endow a scholarship so quickly and to award it,” said Dr. Michelle Deardorff. “Not only was Bob an academic and an intellectual, he was a leader in the community.  And that’s exactly what we want for our students, to learn to lead and to be involved in our community.”

Dr. Swansbrough held the position of associate dean of The College of Arts and Sciences from1992 until he died in February 2011. He served as head of the Department of Political Science at UTC from 1981-1991. He joined the UTC faculty in 1971.

He was selected as a 2009-2010 Fulbright Scholar to China. Swansbrough’s book Test by Fire: The War Presidency of George W. Bush was published in 2008.

He was appointed to head a UTC faculty committee to determine the feasibility and academic requirements of re-establishing ROTC, which led to the creation of the Department of Military Science on campus. Dr. Swansbrough himself served in the military as a Division Officer, US Navy from 1961 to 1965.

He was often asked to offer his views as a political analyst for Tennessee television stations and print publications.

In 1974, Dr. Swansbrough served as 3rd District campaign coordinator for Congresswoman Marilyn Lloyd and then as her administrative assistant from 1975-77.  He was a delegate to the 1972 Hamilton County and 3rd District Democratic conventions.

Dr. Herbert Burhenn, former Dean of Arts and Sciences at UTC, talked about his good friend of 40 years.

“He was a wonderful colleague who could make sense of the political world, which I found challenging,” Dr. Burhenn said.  “I am delighted Bob’s friends and colleagues wish to cherish his memory with this scholarship.”

The Political Science Scholarship Committee chaired by Dr. David Carrithers, Adolph Ochs Professor of Government, developed the criteria for the Dr. Robert H. Swansbrough Endowed Scholarship Fund in Political Science.  The scholarship is open to current junior or senior students who demonstrate successful academic performance.  The first recipient is Dacey Cockrill. 

“Ms. Cockrill was selected by a department committee from a long list of highly deserving students. She is a straight A legal studies student from Maryville, Tennessee, with an excellent record of leadership positions and extracurricular activities on the UTC campus.  She is a very deserving person to be named first recipient of this scholarship that honors Dr. Swansbrough, who made outstanding contributions to the Department of Political Science and to the university as a whole during many years of distinguished service,” Dr. Carrithers said.

At UTC Ms. Cockrill has participated in Freshmen Senate and she has served on Student Government committees.  She has attended LeadUTC, LeaderShape, the Undergraduate Interfraternal Institute, Fraternity and Sorority Life Academy, and Fraternity and Sorority Life Executive Institute. Ms. Cockrill is an active member of Chi Omega and serves as the Vice President of Records for the Panhellenic council. 

“I am so grateful that the Political Science department chose me for this scholarship.  After meeting Dr. Swansbrough's family, I am honored to be endowed with a scholarship commemorating such a wonderful person,” Ms. Cockrill said.

To contribute to the scholarship, please call the UTC Office of Development at 423 425-4232 for details.

March For Our Lives Event Set For Saturday In Chattanooga

Students and community members from greater Chattanooga will gather for a “sibling march,” as part of the March for Our Lives movement, on Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon at Coolidge Park then after short program, participants will march across Walnut Street bridge and to the courthouse. "The march is one of over 800 marches happening around the country planned by students and survivors ... (click for more)

UTC Professor, Chattanooga Library Offer Symphonic Tales For Preschoolers

In her intro to music class at UTC, one of the very first questions Dr. Nikolasa Tejero asks her students is, “How many of you guys have music experience?”  No matter the class, most of the students think Dr. Tejero, associate professor of music theory and applied clarinet, is asking if they’ve played an instrument or sung in a choir. Even after clarifying that she really ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Says $4 Million Needed To Put SROs In All Hamilton County Schools

Sheriff Jim Hammond on Thursday night told members of the County School Board that $4 million is needed to provide School Resource Officers for all of the 79 schools. He said currently there are 31 SROs in 29 schools, leaving 50 uncovered. School Board member Rhonda Thurman said she believes the community could come together to provide the necessary funding. "It's something ... (click for more)

Judge Philyaw Denies He Did Not Reappoint Magistrate Because She Was Gay

Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw told a federal jury on Thursday that the fact Elizabeth Gentzler is openly gay had no part in his decision not to reappoint her as a magistrate. "Absolutely not. I have a lot of gay friends, family and acquaintances," he said. However, a court officer at Juvenile Court sided with Ms. Gentzler. Jimmie Cannon said, "Ninety-nine percent ... (click for more)

Avoid Underage Drinking And Other Prom Drama

My high school prom took a dramatic turn when two guys got their tuxedo jackets mixed up. One of them belonged to my date, who kindly offered to keep my wallet in his pocket. That’s the jacket another young man mistakenly grabbed off the back of a chair before heading to an underage drinking party that got shut down by police well after midnight—as kids scattered in every direction.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘In God We Trust …And Protecting Our School Children

On a day that the Tennessee Legislature overwhelmingly approved a bill that would prominently display the words “In God We Trust” in every school building in the state, the Hamilton County School Board gave my boy Bad Little Johnny cause to get a magic market and scribble underneath, “but ‘Everybody Else Is Gonna’ Need A Pistol!’” Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond, who was ... (click for more)