Students Mourn Professor Killed In Crash
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
December 12, 2011 6:26 PM
There was one less professor entering the doors of Gilbert Science Center at Augustana College and everyone who works and teaches there could tell.
“We will miss him dearly,” said Dr. Karen Younger, the natural science division chair at Augustana College.
“It's obviously a big loss. I mean he was the best. I can guarantee you that. He knew everything,” said Swets’ advisee, Danial Faisal.
Doctor Daniel Swets was an associate professor and the chair of computer sciences and mathematics at Augustana College. He was killed Friday on his way to a robotics conference in Rapid City.
Monday, his students showed just how much he will be missed with kind words on signs.
“It really helps us all to have ways of remembering him and having people remember him in their own special ways,” said Younger.
Swets’ office door remains closed with a binary code message from his students. An office, where many say, all were welcome.
“Sometimes the students came in and it was clear it was years after they graduated and they still came back to see him,” said Drew Alton a physics professor at Augustana.
“Every time we used to go to him, he used to always sit with us and give us a lot of time. He used to plan out the whole year for us,” said Faisal.
“His response to people is always with a smile and it makes you feel like he's welcoming you to his office, to come have a seat in the chair and talk,” said Younger.
Some Augustana professors say Swets challenged students and held them to a high standard. And for one professor who's office is next to Swets, the loss will be tough.
“He said, ‘I'm not going to be here on Friday,’” said Alton. “It's hard to believe those are going to be the last things he's ever going to say to me.”
A memorial will be held at Augustana College this Wednesday afternoon at 3pm, in the Chapel of Reconciliation.