On Thursday, April 16, Cairn University held an alumni and friends gathering at Tel Hai Retirement Community to present the Alumni Recognition Award to Tel Hai President and CEO Joe Swartz.
Joe has made a great impact on the senior living community, having served on numerous boards associated with the senior living industry. He is responsible for all operations of the Tel Hai community and has over 40 years of experience in the industry, including executive roles in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. He was also appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to serve on the Florida Continuing Care Advisory Council. He graduated from Cairn University in 1973 with a Bachelor in Social Work.
The evening was a wonderful time of connecting with faculty, alumni, and friends of the University. Margie Brubaker (daughter of Dr. Charles Furness, founder and first chair of the program), Bill and Jill Tarr (second chair and his wife), and Professor Lloyd Gestoso (current chair) were all present at the event, each representing the program’s leadership over 50 years. Dr. Janet Tyler, a professor in the department for over 30 years, and social work alumni were also present, including one of the first graduates of the social work department in 1967.
“I feel honored and humbled to receive the award. Cairn helped me prepare for both life and my life work in senior living through its social work program, biblically-integrated education, and leadership opportunities,” commented Joe. “I look back with gratitude for the impact Cairn made in helping me to learn and grown as a person and prepare me for service within society and the church.”
The evening celebrated the past, but also looked forward, as Mr. Gestoso spoke on the social work program today, how it is still preparing strong leaders like Joe, and how it will continue to do so in the future. We look forward to several special events, beginning with Homecoming, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Cairn’s Social Work department.
Perspective: It’s an important word. It is full of meaning, and its implications are profound, both for us as individuals and for us as a society, a society that seems,