Mark and Kathie Swaim Fund for the Office of Undergraduate Research

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Established in 2021 by Mark (BS 1976) and Kathie Swaim, this fund supports the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR). OUR’s mission is to serve as a central resource to promote and expand experiential learning for undergraduate students through research experiences with skilled research mentors. Studies show that students who engage in research are more likely to graduate, more likely to go on to graduate school, and have more successful careers after graduation.

Mark is a third-generation Boilermaker. Following the footsteps of his grandfather, Owen R. Swaim (BS 1906), and father, John S. Swaim (BS 1935), Mark continued the Swaim legacy at Purdue Fort Wayne graduating with associate degrees in supervision and civil engineering and a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering technology. Mark has fond memories of traveling to the West Lafayette campus to attend football games with his family. Following service in the US Navy, Mark earned his degrees, after which he worked in the construction industry in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Indianapolis, Indiana. Kathie earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana State University and master’s degree from Indiana University. In 1989, she formed her own nonprofit consulting firm, Alternatives, which specialized in board development and training for small organizations. Upon retirement, they returned to northern Indiana. Mark took over management of the family farm in Boone County, Indiana. Kathie passed away in 2021, but her legacy lives on through her and Mark’s generosity creating countless opportunities for students to thrive.

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