July 2019 Spartan Spotlight
Keith Swanson ’77
Keith Swanson ’77 graduated from UT with his bachelor’s degree in marine biology. After attending St. Joseph’s College in Indiana for his first two years of undergrad, Swanson was drawn to UT because of the impressive marine biology program. Swanson packed his red Volkswagen and drove from Chicago, where he grew up, all the way to Tampa. He says when he pulled up to see the campus for the first time he was amazed and made many fond memories in the Rathskellar, hanging out with friends and always meeting new people, including his wife, a 1977 alum, who he met on Gasparilla.
After completing his undergraduate studies, Swanson went to work for Chloride Automotive Batteries, working in their chemistry labs to help produce batteries for automobiles. Five years later, he decided he wanted to go into business for himself. Swanson worked his way into the financial services industry and finally found something that he loved. Now, Swanson is a financial advisor and the senior vice president of wealth Management with UBS Financial Services. Everyday he helps people financially plan their lives. Swanson said, “It is not just about trading in the stock market, it is about having a plan on how you are going to retire, how much money you need to retire and how to achieve that goal. When we make that plan together, it is an extremely rewarding feeling.”
Even though he graduated with a degree in marine biology, Swanson feels that he can still apply other skills he learned from UT into his career now. Working on the marine boats taught him teamwork, and the array classes he took inspired him to become a lifelong learner. Swanson is still working to this day to get different certifications to help him advance in his career field.
Swanson and his wife spent 15 years living in the Tampa Bay area, and finally moved back up north to New Jersey so they could raise their children close to family. He spent 10 years on the community’s school board, and four of those years he served as the president.
When asked if he will return to Florida, Swanson could not respond quick enough! He says that he “loves the water and the freshness that Florida has to offer—it is like a different way of life there!” He reflected on how sparse Tampa was when he moved there in the 1970’s and how it has been fascinating to watch the city grow and develop into what we know it as today.