McPherson College will honor Carol Swenson, the college's first full-time sports information director starting in 2000, with admission to the Athletic Hall of Fame this weekend.
"I was completely surprised," Swenson said. "I know there's a lot of really deserving people."
For those who worked with Swenson, however, he was a natural selection.
"What Carol has done for not only the college but for the conference in terms of Sports Information is just incredible," said current McPherson College Athletic Communications Director Aric Cherry. "Carol is Mr. Sports Information."
Swenson began his career after graduating from Kansas State University by teaching math in high school and junior high in Washington, Kan., and McPherson. After 22 years in the classroom, he then worked for another 10 years as McPherson High School's activities director.
As he felt it was time to retire and make a change from his work at the high school, Swenson said he was open to possibilities.
"I just figured the Good Lord is going to place me where he wants me," Swenson said.
That place was McPherson College, where as sports information director he helped define the job, not only for McPherson College, but across the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Before he began at MC, no other college in the KCAC had a non-student employee dedicated full-time to sports communications. Now, basically all of them do.
"They've seen the value of telling that positive story in the media and reconnecting with alumni and friends of the college," Swenson said.
Swenson saw athletics as a wonderful avenue to help McPherson College grow, as he oversaw the growth and development of the Booster Club during a time that saw the renovation of the McPherson Stadium and the expansion of the Sport Center.
Although he retired from McPherson College in 2009, he still has a hand - or rather a voice - in the world of athletics. He has now logged 40 years as the announcer for the annual Kansas State High School Activities Association track and field championships held in Wichita.
For all of his contributions to Bulldog athletics, Swenson claims that he was never much of a sportsman, just that growing up in Alta Vista, Kan., everyone ended up on one team or another.
"I was never an outstanding athlete by any stretch," Swenson said, "But I enjoyed sports and enjoy being around them."
McPherson College will bestow the award on Swenson at a ceremony open to all at 10 a.m. Oct. 18. Friends of Swenson are invited to attend a 9 a.m. brunch prior to the ceremony. The brunch costs id="mce_marker"0. Reservations may be made by contacting Aric Cherry, Sports Information Director, at [email protected]