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Dr. L. Alex Swan was born in the beautiful Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands, on January 17, 1938, to Cornelia Grant and John Swan. He spent his formative years in the West Indies, where he enjoyed dominoes, soccer, cricket, fishing, learning to play the piano, the harmonica and preaching. Being reared as a preacher's kid in the Anglican Church as a young adult, he developed an extreme love for the church and the people of God. Alex Swan then learned about and accepted the Adventist message and led the rest of his life in accordance.
After leaving his home, he set out to earn money by working several jobs on a ship which traveled from island to island. This experience helped him realize that furthering his education was a priority to the success of the life he dreamed of as a child.
He obtained ordinary levels from Cambridge and London Universities, and advanced levels in Accounting and Commerce. He also obtained a certificate in Legal Aspects of Business from the Institute of Bookkeeping, London, England. He attended the University of the West Indies College. He graduated from North Caribbean University with an associate degree in Business Administration, Oakwood University with a degree in Business Administration, Clark Atlanta University with a Masters in Business Administration and Sociology and from the University of California at Berkeley with a Doctorate in Criminology.
He has taught at Scarritt College, Miami Dade Community Campus, Sonoma State University, Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University, The University of Houston, Rice University and UC Berkeley. He served as chairperson of the Department of Sociology, Economics and Social Work at Texas Southern University. He served as Vice-Chair and Chair of the Faculty Assembly and Senate and as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Texas Southern University. Dr. Swan was dedicated to the advancement and educational pursuits of many students and faculty members for 41 years and was proud to be a part of the TSU HBCU family.
His passion for writing led him to publish his thesis: The Politics of Riot Behavior in 1980. Dr. Swan has authored six books and co-authored five. The other writings were published in several books and over fifty-five articles were published in professional journals, magazines, and newspapers.
Dr. Swan appeared on C-Span and has been quoted in the New York Times, The Houston Chronicle, Ebony, and Jet. His presentation on research and experimentation in prisons was published in the Congressional Quarterly. Dr. Swan was the quest Editor of a special issue of the Journal of African American Issues, and of an Issue of the Journal of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
At Fisk University, Dr. Swan started a Campus ministry that spread to Meharry Medical College and Tennessee State University with over 30 persons coming to give their lives to God. Dr. Swan has preached and conducted seminars and workshops, under the umbrella of GETS and Associates of which he was the Founder-Director, in several churches in America, The Caribbean- Brentwood, Windsor Village, Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, Lilly Grove, Greater St. Mathews, All Nations. St. Stephens Baptist, Briar Chase Baptist, Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church, and many others.
From 1983-1999, Dr. Swan obtained several licenses and certificates. He was a licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Clinical Sociologist, National. Dr. Swan was also a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Family Mediator, Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Dependency Counselor and has a Diploma in Psychotherapy. In 2002, the Southwest Region Conference of Seventh-day Adventist issues Dr. Swan a Lay Pastor's license, which allowed him to continue to spread the gospel in which he believed and loved dearly.
Dr. Swan married the love of this life, Karla McCall of Huntsville, Alabama on July 28, 1974, and to this union, two beautiful children were born, James and Karlecia.
Dr. Swan departed this life on September 29, 2019. He was preceded in death by his grandmother, mother, father, and three brothers.
He leaves to cherish his memory and legacy: his wife, Karla of 45 years; son, James; daughter Karlecia; sisters, Simona (Clifton), Edith(Ricky), Kate, Andrea(Anthony), Michelle(Albray), Paulina, Kathleen, and brothers, Claude, Hubert and William, Brother-In-Law, Stanley McCall, godchildren, a host of nieces, nephews and a multitude of students and friends.