Brown University

Kent Swig (right), with rugby co-alumni Robert Kent, watching a recent Brown Rugby game.

Kent Swig—successful entrepreneur and notable figure in the real estate industry—is also a graduate of Brown University, class of 1983, and has maintained a positive relationship with his alma mater.  As a student, Swig studied Chinese History while taking part in a number of the university’s classic extracurricular activities; he was, for example, a member of the Rugby Team, which celebrated its 50th anniversary just this year with a trip to Bermuda—commemorating the team’s first tour in Bermuda in 1965, where they went undefeated, the first college team to do so.  Ten years ago, after the death of  David Zucconi , Brown University’s rugby coach and officer in The Brown Development Office, Kent Swig was among several former rugby players who donated money to build a new rugby field to Brown University’s rugby team, to honor the memory of an inspirational coach, and in appreciation of this athletic legacy in which he, too, has a part.

Swig is, furthermore, a much admired lecturer.  Professor Josef Mittelman, Clinical Professor of Engineering at Brown (following his years as Visiting Scholar and Visiting Fellow in the Center for the Study of Human Development, as well as Adjunct Lecturer and Executive in Residence in the Division of Engineering), has incorporated classes with Swig into two of his engineering courses, one called “Engineering 1930’s: Land Use and the Urban and Suburban Environments” and the other entitled “Entrepreneurship and Good Work: Engineering Dreams” seminar, to overwhelmingly positive response.  The former course is geared towards using practical examples, such as case studies presented by guest lecturers, of creativity and influence in the business world, to provide an understanding of the fundamentals of successful entrepreneurship.

Kent Swig has lectured regularly in the two courses taught by Professor Mittelman since 2003.  The group size for each course ranges from 24 to 30 students. The latter of the two courses works with students who engage with guest lecturer Swig in a question-answer format.  Swig is notified regarding points of interest to the student’s beforehand, and in their lecture reviews students have remarked that Swig is impressively on target and well-synchronized with their curriculum.  Students responses are uniformly appreciative, but vary in what they take away from his talks: some value his ability to easily impart complex ideas; others latch onto his description of balancing work and family, and or his explanation of calculated risk-taking.

Kent Swig’s school activities included not only the Rugby Team, but the varsity Swim Team where he participated as a springboard diver for all 4 years competing on both the one and three meter boards; he was also one of the photo editors for the Brown Daily Herald, the University’s student operated newspaper; and belonged to the Sigma Chi fraternity.  His son is currently enrolled in Brown University, carrying on his father’s footsteps, even as Swig himself continues to take part, giving back to his roots.

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