Archives & Special Collections
Swain School of Design 1970-1979
In the 1970s, there were only 100 students enrolled at any time, creating a close knit environment for both students and faculty.
The May 1970 commencement was a milestone for the school when twelve students earned their Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, the first in Swain’s history.
The Rodman Mansion, a historic Greek Revival home built in 1833, became headquarters for the Swain School in 1972. The building housed administrative offices, studios and a gallery. Before Swain purchased it, the mansion was home to the Jewish Community Center. These records are also housed in the UMD archives.
The early 1970s were a turbulent period in American politics. In response to the U.S. invasion of Cambodia and the Kent State Massacre in the Spring of 1970, students canvassed the New Bedford neighborhoods to distribute cards which could be mailed to Senators Kennedy and Brooke, Representative Keith, and President Nixon. Students also staged an Art Show for Peace on the campus lawn.
The stable is now a private residence.
Swain School of Design’s curriculum always included liberal arts, offering courses in Western Civilization, Art History and English.