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Pio returns to Monmouth as associate development officer

Barry McNamara
MONMOUTH, Ill. – The newest member of Monmouth College’s development and college relations team is a familiar face.

Bobbi Swarts Pio has returned to her alma mater as an associate development officer. This is the 1992 graduate’s second stint as a member of Monmouth’s staff. She served as an admission representative and Annual Fund director while working at the College from 1993-99.

In her new role, Pio said she “will be going out across the country, talking to alumni about different priorities on our campus. I’ll be re-engaging and reconnecting alumni with Monmouth.”

Both she and her husband, 1984 Monmouth graduate Chris Pio, have served on the College’s Alumni Board.

“We have a really great network,” said Pio, who lives in nearby Galesburg. “We’ve stayed local through the years and have really been a point of contact for a lot of alumni.”

Pio hasn’t always lived in Galesburg. As a high school student, she moved there from Iowa, and she recalls desperately wanting to return to the Hawkeye state when it came time for college.

“I had a deposit already in to the University of Northern Iowa,” she said. “Then my mom said, ‘Why don’t we check out that college in Monmouth?’ I went there kicking and screaming for my visit. But I remember being in front of Wallace Hall and looking up at the building. I thought to myself, ‘This is what college is supposed to look like.’”

One year after graduating from Monmouth with a degree in accounting, Pio worked in admission for former Monmouth vice president Dick Valentine.

“Working for Monmouth the first time around really cemented my relationship with the College,” said Pio. “We had a great staff that worked together and played together. It was an exciting time at the College, as we grew on the admission side from around 600 students to more than 1,000. We had great leadership that made some amazing things happen during that time.”

Today, the first students Pio helped recruit to Monmouth “have hit 40,” she said. “I’m looking forward to re-introducing some of those ‘kids’ to the College.”

In 1999, she started “a very cool job” at Bradley University, spending two years teaching alumni across the country how to be admission representatives for the Peoria, Ill., school.

After starting a family that grew to three children, she went back to work, wearing several hats at the Galesburg Community Foundation, where she’s been for the past eight years. Her work there included close interaction with up to 100 non-profit organizations in Knox and Warren counties.