Tom Oswald ’67
Brief bio: Through his Monmouth classmate, Eugene Turner ’67, Oswald found a research position at Louisiana State University, and he worked there for three decades at its College of the Coast and Environment. His work included research on hurricane mitigation, the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico and wetland reserves.
His gift: Oswald gives to his alma mater through a charitable annuity. “It’s a really good deal,” he said. “I’m really happy about it. People need money in their retirement, so I receive quarterly income, but I know I’m making a gift to Monmouth College when I no longer need the money myself.”
Why he gives: In 2017, Oswald returned to campus for his 50th reunion. “I got to see how the College is growing and changing,” he said. “They’re up-to-date on their curriculum and programs. It’s a very good alternative education for people who want something different. I was very impressed when I went there, and the money they’re receiving is being put to good use.”
What Monmouth means to him: “Monmouth College opened the world to me. I was from suburban Chicago, and you might not think that going to a small town in Illinois would open the world, but it did. ... I came from a very parochial background that was not that diverse, but at Monmouth, I went to school with people from all over the country.” Through his education and off-campus programs in Costa Rica and at Superior National Forest, Oswald blossomed. “It’s always been my belief that higher education should not be a trade school. Monmouth encouraged me to think and to understand that all things were possible. ... My ideas and preconceptions were challenged, and I was challenged, which was very beneficial to me.”