Marc Persson '00 and Emily Swonguer '00

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Marc Persson '00 and Emily Swonguer '00For nearly a decade, Marc Persson '00 and Emily Swonguer '00 have attended summer welcome parties for incoming Franklin & Marshall students in southeast Pennsylvania and Delaware. For the students, it's often the first connection they make with F&M alumni. For the couple, it's a distinct reminder of the impact the College has had on their lives.

"We love to talk with students about the time we co-authored a paper with Professor (Kathleen) Triman in 1999," Swonguer says. "We had such a great opportunity to work with her, and the cool part is that we got published. We want students to get excited about the opportunities they'll have at F&M."

Persson and Swonguer worked together on a Hackman Scholars project, supporting Triman's work by inputting reams of data into the Ribosomal Mutation Database—which has served the RNA research community since 1994. The retired professor of biology was an "inspirational and motivational force," Persson says, while Swonguer credits Triman as the professor who had the biggest influence on her.

Now a husband-and-wife team at Perssonal Health Chiropractic LLC in Ridley Park, Pa., Persson and Swonguer graduated from New York Chiropractic College in 2004. Their practice helps patients recover from injuries caused by accidents, falls, repetitive motion and poor posture. Persson takes pride in promoting healthy lifestyles.

"The biggest smile I've ever had on my face came when a patient sent me a magazine article about his recovery from a car accident," Persson says. "He credited me with turning his life around. … Sometimes you never know how much you've helped someone until many years later."

The same could be said for the support Persson and Swonguer have given the College since they graduated. They support financial aid through both a current use and endowed scholarship, and they have made provisions in their estate to add to their endowed scholarship. Both are members of the Regional Alumni Council and Franklin & Marshall Admission Network (FAN), while Persson is also on the Alumni Association Board, Greek Alumni Council, serves on the FAN board and is chapter adviser for Phi Kappa Psi. And you don't have to look hard at F&M basketball games to find them, especially when the Diplomats visit Swarthmore and Haverford.

"Once you graduate, you understand the value of your F&M education more than you do in the thick of your student days," Swonguer says. "There are so many connections to make through the F&M alumni community, and so many doors to open. It's important for us to give back to students.

To learn how to craft your own legacy gift to F&M, contact Mary Ann M. Cooke, J.D., ’90, Director of Gift Planning, at 717-358-4821 or mcooke@fandm.edu.