Grandchildren, part-time teaching top list of plans for retiring professors
May 15, 2007
Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
David Dibblee will now have more time to spend with his 18 grandchildren. Jon Swanson will try to wrestle control of his household from the family Airedale. Thomas Byrnes plans to live in South America.
The three Benedictine University professors have combined for more than 70 years of service to the University, its students, fellow faculty and the community at large. All three announced their retirements at the end of this academic year and have been awarded professor emeritus status.
Dibblee, an associate professor in Business and Management, has been at Benedictine University since 1982. A 1976 graduate of Aurora College with a bachelor’s in Psychology, Dibblee earned a Master of Business Administration (1979) and a Ph.D. in Education (1999) from Northern Illinois University.
Dibblee started teaching at Benedictine University as an adjunct. He has taught a number of different accounting and other business courses to both traditional and adult students.
“I have seen the technology move from the chalkboard and overhead projector to full computer equipment in the classroom and developing my own PowerPoint presentations,” he said.
Dibblee also served as department chair for 12 years, Social Science division chair for five years and Faculty Welfare Committee chair for 14 years.
“I must admit that the last 25 years have been wonderful,” Dibblee said. “I feel privileged to have spent those years working with faculty and staff, whom I truly appreciate, doing what I love to do best, that is teaching. But now it is time to take my life in a different direction, and I must admit that I am really looking forward to retiring and doing something totally different.”
Dibblee and his wife, Patricia, live in Huntley and have seven grown children – Seth, Scott, Sarah, Jim, Brent, Amanda and Laura.
“I plan to travel, spend a lot of time with my grandchildren and catch up on some reading for pleasure,” Dibblee said. “I am also going to ‘hang out my shingle’ on part-time basis. Perhaps I will teach as an adjunct in the future, as I don't think I will be able to give up the classroom and the great joy of teaching. I expect retirement to be full and busy, but not too busy.”
Swanson, a professor and former program director in the Master of Public Health program at Benedictine, earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Illinois. He also taught at the now-closed George Williams College where he was a professor of Natural and Health Sciences.
The author of 60 articles and three books on health topics, Swanson developed a model program in drug abuse while Director of Research at the Robert Crown Center for Health Education; served as chairman of the State of Illinois Sex Education Advisory Board, and was a consultant for United States Department of Education, Midwest Training Center for Drug Abuse, Region V.
Swanson and his wife of 40 years, Ruthann, have two children – Marji and Matthew – and three grandsons – Peyton, Aidan and Gavin.
“I have been fortunate to work with a stellar cast at Benedictine,” Swanson said. “The staff has been most helpful, the faculty wonderful, the students exciting to be around and the atmosphere has been happy and delightful.”
Byrnes is retiring after 24 years at Benedictine University as a full-time faculty member in the area of Religious Studies. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross, a master’s in Philosophy from Boston College, a Master of Divinity from Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and a Ph.D. in Ethics and Society from the University of Chicago Divinity School.
Byrnes taught a number of courses in Religious Studies and was an active participant in curriculum development for the Cultural Heritage core. He piloted two of these courses, Converging Hemispheres and Mediterranean World, which he has since taught to the general undergraduate students, students in the Scholars Program and those in the accelerated adult model.
Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education
recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes
magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business
as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.