Celebrating a distinguished career – Sandy Swisher

Marketing Communications Specialist, Sandy Swisher retires after a 43-year-long career at the University of Michigan.

Sandra Swisher, Department of  Chemical Engineering marketing communications specialist announced her retirement this summer bringing a 43-year-long career at the University of Michigan to a close on August 9, 2022. Her retirement marks the end of many years of contribution to the University and the Department of Chemical Engineering in the areas of marketing, communications, student services and alumni engagement.

Swisher began her career at the University in March 1979 when she accepted a position as a library assistant. A few years later, she joined Chemical Engineering as an academic services secretary, officially beginning her new role on August 9, 1982. Adapting to the role’s increasingly technical responsibilities, Swisher earned a master’s degree from the Michigan School of Information alongside many additional academic and professional courses taken throughout her career. 

In June 2005, her appointment changed to multimedia services intermediate, and in 2010, Swisher was promoted to marketing communications specialist.  

Swisher spent 40 of her 43 years at the University as a chemical engineering staff member. During that time, she was often found behind a camera lens and has authored countless stories sharing news of research, achievements and more. 

“There are no words to describe what Sandy has meant to the department. Her sincere interest in students, alumni and others has helped us stay connected. There is nothing more significant than making an impact in the lives of young people, and she did this every day.”

Bob Ranger
Former chemical engineering alumni board chairman

She was a key part of the department’s entire website history – managing, supporting and providing content. 

“What impressed me the most about Sandy was her dedication to students and her willingness to grow and learn to better serve them,” longtime friend and colleague Susan Montgomery said. “She was always up for anything that would improve the student and later alumni experience.”

At the University, within Chemical Engineering and in the eyes of its alumni, Swisher is highly regarded. She has been a friend and colleague to many and an integral part in furthering the department’s alumni engagement efforts. This included broadly expanding the alumni newsletter – adding alumni and student highlights to help alumni stay in touch with the department – and leading the planning and organization of many successful homecoming luncheon events.

 “I am one of the hundreds of students to have passed through Sandy’s office door over the years, we all share the memory of feeling like we were in the best hands. I always knew that no matter what the hurdle, Sandy was going to help. She was absolutely great at her job and is an even better person.”

Jeff Lawrence
Chemical Engineering Alum (’93)

Swisher’s reassuring presence and commitment to the chemical engineering community will be greatly missed by colleagues, students, alumni and friends. As her impressive career at the University comes to an end, the community she has been dedicated to for the last 40 years is excited to wish her all the best in the next chapter. 

“I cherish the time we had together in the department,” Montgomery said. “My experience was greatly enriched by the opportunity to interact with one of the most loyal employees in the history of the chemical engineering department.”