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Endowment Honors Legacy of Charlotte Swart

Charlotte Swart - Endowment Honors Legacy of Charlotte Swart - College of Natural Resources News NC State University
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An avid supporter of student success, the late Charlotte Swart (1936-2020) left quite the legacy behind for students at NC State’s College of Natural Resources. From the early 1980s through the 1990s, Swart managed the college’s student affairs office.

One alumnus described Swart as, “Someone who opened doors for all, without discrimination. When we were in the School of Forest Resources at NC State, the first friendly face we came in contact with at Biltmore Hall was Charlotte’s. Not only was she warm and welcoming, she seemed to know how unfamiliar a new school could feel to a new student and connected one with whatever information they needed to acclimate themselves in their studies.”

While she was employed at the College of Natural Resources, which was then known as the School of Forest Resources, Swart made welcoming new students a priority. She donned a cap for several different roles: administrator, counselor, public relations officer, data processor and general problem solver. 

The Charlotte Swart Memorial Award was established by NC State alumni to honor Swart. The fund will provide merit- and need-based scholarships, internships, study abroad programs and costs associated with summer camps to students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in the College of Natural Resources. 

“She treated every student exactly the same way – like a mom,” one NC State alumni said. “She had a prescient sense of whatever you came to her to ask and efficiently connected you with whatever it was you needed, even if all you needed was counseling or encouragement. It was just who she was: a mother to every student who walked through the doors. She genuinely loved the people she worked with, and it showed.”

The 1985 edition of the college’s student journal, the Pinetum, was dedicated to Swart and her contributions. The dedication page read: “Always cheerful, always calm, Charlotte manages to balance the daily confusion by extending a  sincere concern for the many students that beat a path to her door. New students, current students and recent graduates alike know her as a source of useful information as well as a source of moral support.”

Born and raised in New Hanover County, North Carolina, Swart attended and worked as the bursar at Wilmington College. In 1961, her family moved to Raleigh, where she worked several part-time jobs. In the mid-1970s, Swart began her career at NC State, working in Speech and Communications.

Beyond her time with the College of Natural Resources, Swart was also the office manager of the Computer Graphics Center. In her spare time, Swart delivered meals for Meals on Wheels, worked in White Memorial Presbyterian Church’s Clothing Closet and was an active member of the Patchwork Garden Club.

To make a contribution to the Charlotte Swart Memorial Award, please click here.