In memoriam: Thomas R. Swartz, professor emeritus of economics

Author: Dennis Brown

Thomas R. Swartz, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Notre Dame, died July 19. He was 84.

A native of Philadelphia, Swartz earned his doctoral degree in economics from Indiana University in 1965 after taking a master’s degree from Ohio University three years earlier and a bachelor’s degree from LaSalle University in 1960.

Upon receiving his doctorate, Swartz accepted an appointment to the economics faculty at Notre Dame, where he spent the next 45 years teaching everything from introductory courses to interdisciplinary seminars. A popular professor, he was the recipient of Notre Dame’s highest teaching honor in the College of Arts and Letters, the Sheedy Award.

Swartz also introduced and administered a summer program at Notre Dame’s study abroad site in London and was active in a range of campus issues, including service as president of the Faculty Senate.

Off campus, Swartz was involved in Democratic political campaigns, assisted local and state governments with issues related to urban economics, supported the foundation at Southwest Michigan College, and volunteered with the planning commission in Cass County, Michigan, the Diamond Lake Yacht Club, the Niles, Michigan, YMCA and St. Ann Catholic Church in Cassopolis, Michigan.

Swartz is survived by his wife, Jeanne Jourdan, along with five daughters, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A funeral Mass will take place at 11 a.m. Aug. 12 (Friday) at St. Ann Catholic Church, 421 N. Broadway St., Cassopolis, Michigan.

Originally published by Dennis Brown at on July 29, 2022.