Posted by William Nunnelley on 2007-09-17

John E. Swearingen, longtime supporter of Samford University and husband of Bonnie Bolding Swearingen, died Friday, Sept. 14. Mr. Swearingen held an honorary degree from Samford. Bonnie Bolding Swearingen is the Samford graduate and Birmingham native for whom the Samford Fine Arts Building was named in 2006.

The Bonnie & John Swearingen Scholarship Fund was established several years ago to benefit Samford students. His family requested that memorial gifts to Mr. Swearingen be directed to this fund.

John Swearingen, a resident of Chicago, Ill., was a native of Columbia, S.C., and graduate of the University of South Carolina and Carnegie-Mellon University. He was an internationally known leader in business, having led the Standard Oil Company (now BP-Amoco) as chief executive officer for 23 years, and was the recipient of numerous awards for his professional and humanitarian achievements. Among his awards was the Herbert Hoover Humanitarian Award from the Boy Scouts of America in 1980.

As a leader in the petroleum industry, he served as chairman of both the National Petroleum Council and the American Petroleum Institute, and was a director of numerous other business corporations. He was a life trustee of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and former chairman of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago.

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.