Big Vision

Barbara Seidel SwagertyBarbara Seidel Swagerty ('56 & '58) recalls her McMurry days with fondness, and she credits her alma mater with shaping her life’s journey and preparing her for future service. The way she sees it, “turnabout is fair play.” McMurry gave her purpose and in return she is giving back in huge ways. “I owe my McMurry family big dollars for loving and caring for me all these years,” she said.

Swagerty, who earned a bachelor’s degree from McMurry in 1956 and a master of education degree in 1958, has been giving back to her alma mater for years. The most recent result of her generosity is reflected in the Seidel-Swagerty Tennis Center.

Her dream for the Tennis Center began growing in 1962 when Swagerty started coaching. She noticed the McMurry tennis courts were the same courts on which she had played when she rode her bicycle to campus as a child. A seed was planted and she vowed to do what she could to build a tennis facility that would be a source of pride for both her and her alma mater.
“I had a dream more than fifty years ago that if I ever got enough money together, I was going to give the money to build a beautiful tennis center,” she said.

The first gift, a joint donation from Swagerty and her father, came in 1998. Resurfacing existing courts and construction of three additional courts were completed several years ago, and the final phase of construction, which included a pavilion with offices, locker rooms and a classroom, was completed this spring.

Swagerty’s generosity didn’t end with the Tennis Center. Students in music, men’s and women’s physical education, elementary education, and athletics all benefit from scholarship funds she endowed in honor of family members.

Swagerty’s outpouring of love for her alma mater comes straight from the heart. She credits the influence of many people at McMurry with making her the person she is today and with shaping the lives of future generations.