Swearer’s Dignity

March 26th, 2008

Charlotte Bruce Harvey '78 writes that one of Howard Swearer's pet peeves was "reporters asking nasty questions" (Finally, November/December). I blushed when I read that line. As a reporter for the Brown Daily Herald, I spent most of my freshman year bothering President Swearer with questions. But his unwavering graciousness evoked in me a deep respect. Often, in search of a quote, I would appear at his office door without so much as an appointment. "Oh, David," he would sigh, with a wry smile and a shake of his head, but he would always welcome me in. I remember once practically pouncing on him as he walked across the Green. I felt as if he treated me not as a student but as an equal.

Howard Swearer will be remembered for many things—including his commitment to the field of international relations—but I hope he is also remembered for his quiet dignity and abiding humanity. He was like a dad away from home: someone who didn't mind being challenged, and therefore, someone you knew you could trust.

David Allyn '91
New York City

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March / April 2008