Published on April 8, 2024 by Diamond Nunnally  
Dorothy ’76 and Richard ’69 Swindle.
Dorothy ’76 and Richard ’69 Swindle. (Photograph Courtesy: The Swindles)

Dorothy ’76 and Richard ’69 Swindle made their first gift to Samford University in the 1980s. Now, 40 years later, they are still investing in its legacy. This time, through a challenge to the Samford community on Tuesday, April 9 for 2024 Samford Giving Day. 

“When we were asked to allow our most recent contribution to Samford to be used as a challenge match for Samford Giving Day, we were happy to help in any way we could to encourage others to be generous,” said Dorothy Swindle.  

The Swindles met and graduated from Samford, Richard with a degree from Howard College of Arts and Sciences and Dorothy with a degree from Orlean Beeson School of Education. The couple also worked in the admission office. 

“Our years at Samford were some of our best,” Dorothy said. “It was a time of growth for us, and our entire world expanded by the things we learned and experienced and by the friends we made. We were challenged to see the world in a broader view and our understanding of a loving and accepting God grew as well. We will always be grateful for our years there.” 

The couple’s ties to Samford do not stop there. Their eldest daughter, Anna Swindle Keller, graduated from Samford with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communications and Spanish in 2007. 

Dorothy said, “At this point in our lives, having added a daughter to the family list of Howard College graduates, it feels right that we have had a small part in continuing Samford's legacy.” 

If it were not for Dorothy’s father, the late Rev. Charles J. Granade, and her mother for their years of generosity to Samford, the Swindles would not have been inspired to continue the tradition.  

Her parents established the Charles Jackson Granade and Elizabeth Donald Granade Chair in New Testament at Samford. It is an endowed faculty position helping to ensure programs at Samford are at the highest academic and professional level. James Strange, a Biblical and Religious Studies professor, has held this position since 2017.  

“Recently it has become especially meaningful for us to support the Charles Jackson Granade and Elizabeth Donald Granade Chair of New Testament,” Dorothy said. “The gift given by my parents to begin this chair brought them immense joy and our continuing support of this dream of theirs brings us joy.” 

The position has a larger impact than helping a single professor. For example, the funds can be used to support travel to professional conferences, freeing up departmental funds for other faculty," Strange said. "The Swindles’ act of generosity encourages others to do similar things, and the existence of such positions at Samford shows people something about Samford. The university encourages research and some alumni are eager to support their alma mater,” he continued. 

The Swindles have kindly chosen to give $5,000 to Howard College of Arts and Sciences if 250 people give on Samford Giving Day. Join them in accepting this challenge to support faculty and student programs at Samford. Make your gift today and help the Swindles reach their goal! 

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.