Edward Swisher attended BG 1940-1944. When he graduated, he took with him critical skills that served him well throughout is life and career. The years that Swisher was a student were tumultuous, to say the least, as the United States was in the middle of World War II. In fact, some of Swisher’s classmates had already been drafted and were fighting in the war.
Back at home, Swisher attended classes regularly and was a good student. Looking back, he feels that he was well-prepared for life because of the quality education he received. “I always thought my education was great – it was the best around,” he recalls. “The nuns were great people and well-respected. They made sure we learned and were behaved. I remember having my knuckles cracked a time or two!” As well-respected as they were, Swisher laughingly remembers one nun in particular, the Biology teacher. “We were always working with bugs and insects so we gave her the nickname, Sister Bugs.”
Even though the years have gone by, Swisher has many fond memories of his time at BG. During the Junior/Senior Prom, he and a group of girls decided to grab some toy instruments and get on stage to perform. “They all loved it so much that they wouldn’t let us down from the stage,” he reminisces. They must have been good, since a friend of his actually remembered the “band” at their 25th graduation anniversary celebration.
Not only did he have a lot of good times and great memories, but Swisher attributes one class with preparing him for life after high school. “I took a Commercial course where we learned a lot about business and special abilities such as shorthand and bookkeeping,” he says. “This knowledge was a boost to both my civilian life and my army life.” In fact, this class may have been just the reason why he was selected into the Army instead of his wish of joining the Navy. Swisher explains, “When I was drafted shortly after graduation, I wanted to join the Navy. My buddy told me to wait until the draft and I would most likely get in. So, when I was in line waiting to get my stamp, the lady saw on my papers a designation of Special Qualifications. After speaking with her superior, she stamped my papers Army.” Swisher spent most of his military career in administration and believes that the Commercial course provided him with the abilities needed for the positions he held in the Army.
After leaving the Army in 1946, Swisher returned to Germany where he met his future wife, Hilde. He couldn’t marry her overseas, but was able to bring her to America through the War Brides Act. Swisher was called back to active duty in 1950 where he remained until he retired again as Sergeant Major in 1971. During that time, he and Hilde adopted their daughter, Debora. Today, Swisher has four grandchildren, a handful of great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson.
When asked about his Catholic education, Swisher doesn’t hesitate. “While I didn’t think much of it when I was in school, I now always look back and know that the whole Catholic school system worked for me. It helped me with my life and my career.”