Steve and Emily Swanson give $2.25 million to support merit scholarships for College of Charleston

Charleston entrepreneur Steve Swanson ‘89 and his wife, Emily ‘89, announced a $2.25 million gift to support merit scholarships for The Honors College of the College of Charleston.

“I received a full scholarship to the College. So, it seems utterly natural to give back to the school that gave me so much,” Swanson says. “The College of Charleston changed our lives, and Emily and I hope to change the lives of these students through our scholarships.”

Distinguished by extraordinary academic talent, leadership potential, and community service, the inaugural class of Swanson Scholars has an average S.A.T score of 1480 and an overall average weighted GPA of 4.69. The class includes a No. 1 regionally-ranked varsity tennis captain, a member of the Tennessee Governor’s cabinet, a junior board member of the Atlanta Mission, and a member of the nationally–ranked South Carolina Math Team (full student bios attached).

“The Swanson Scholarships will provide a vital recruiting tool for the College to attract the best and brightest students from all over the country,” said President George Benson. “We are extremely grateful to Steve and Emily Swanson for their generosity and leadership. Their investment demonstrates confidence in the direction of our Honors College and our entire university.”

All Swanson Scholars are members of the William Aiken Fellows Society, an elite group of the College’s top scholars. They will participate in a rigorous academic curriculum and a variety of summer enrichment programs, leadership courses,one-on-one faculty mentoring, public service activities in the United States or abroad, as well as research or business internship opportunities across the globe.

Trisha Folds-Bennett, associate dean of The Honors College, says, “Arriving with a foundation to excel, these bright and accomplished students will set the intellectual pace for the campus and energize our culture of inquiry.”

About the Swansons
Steve and Emily Swanson graduated from the College of Charleston in 1989. Steve, a scholarship recipient, was a mathematics major and a graduate of the Honors College, while Emily was a biology major. Emily has had a successful career as an investigator with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In 2001, Steve became CEO of Automated Trading Desk (ATD), which was acquired by Citigroup Inc. in 2007. Swanson stayed on with Citigroup for many years. He is now focusing on new ventures. Swanson is currently a member of the College of Charleston Foundation Board, a member of the School of Business Board of Governors, and was on the Honors College Steering Committee.

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