Western Oregon University alumni creates a significant impact on the community

Image of Emily Swart ’20

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University is proud to highlight the achievements of alumni, Emily Swart ‘20. She majored in interdisciplinary studies, leading her to embark on a fulfilling career as the donor relations manager at Marion Polk Food Share. Through her dedication and passion, Swart has made a significant impact on the lives of countless individuals facing food insecurity.

At Marion Polk Food Share, Swart’s role involves securing funds to distribute one million pounds of food monthly. This incredible feat is made possible through the hard work of volunteers who sort donations from retailers, food drives, and local farmers. The warehouse supports food pantries and collaborates with local programs such as Church in the Park, Boys & Girls Club, and Western’s food pantry.

Swart’s journey to success was not a linear path. She found guidance and support at Western after high school where she majored in interdisciplinary studies which allowed her to explore her interests and nurture her curiosity. Swart credits the university for providing the direction she needed to fine-tune her skills, which paved the way for her career.

“If you come to Western with an open mind and you lean on your professors and the staff, they’re going to help you dig even deeper into what you’re interested in and passionate about. What makes Western special is they take students like me and launch them into jobs like this.” shared Swart. 

Swart’s success story is a testament to the transformative power of education and the invaluable support provided by Western. Her dedication to helping others and making a difference in her community is truly inspiring. Western takes pride in its alumni and their contributions to society.

Learn more about alumni Emily Swart’s success story


About Western Oregon University Foundation The Western Oregon University Foundation was founded in 1965 and is the fundraising arm of Western Oregon University. A nonprofit corporation, governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees with IRS 501(c)3 status, the WOU Foundation’s scholarship program includes more than 250 donor-funded scholarships. In addition, the foundation manages nearly 300 funds for academic and student programs. As of 2023, the WOU Foundation has approximately $26 million in assets and a permanent endowment of $22 million.

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