Third-generation Titan Embraces Family Tradition

Garrett Swingler
Garrett Swingler ’24

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Garrett Swingler ’24, a first-year computer science major and third-generation Titan, is attending Illinois Wesleyan University as a McLean County Scholarship Guarantee recipient. 

Swingler’s mother and father are both Illinois Wesleyan alumni, as well as three aunts and an uncle. His grandfather –– Max L. Starkey –– graduated from IWU in 1957 and worked as the University’s comptroller for nearly four decades. Starkey is the namesake for an annual award presented to an Illinois Wesleyan staff member for extraordinary service to the University.

“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be a third-generation Titan,” said Swingler. “This campus feels like home to me. My goal is to carry on the legacy that my family has built here at IWU.”

A member of the Illinois Wesleyan baseball team, Swingler attended Normal West High School where he competed for four years on the baseball and golf teams. As a lifelong resident of Bloomington-Normal, Swingler is grateful for the Illinois Wesleyan Associates’ support of local students.

“It is awesome hearing about the great support system Illinois Wesleyan’s alumni have for the

school,” Swingler said. “I found it quite shocking to hear that the Associates have given back $1.1 million over the past two years to support students like me.”

Illinois Wesleyan’s strong alumni base, high academic standards, and successful athletics program were all important factors in Swingler’s decision to attend IWU.

“I chose Illinois Wesleyan because of the benefits this school provides. First, I was wanting to continue my athletic career and Illinois Wesleyan gave me the opportunity to do that,” Swingler said. “Illinois Wesleyan is also known to be a prestigious and challenging university, which is what I was looking for in the school I attended. Lastly, Illinois Wesleyan is known to have a really great job placement percentage right out of college. I saw this as a huge opportunity when I was accepted into the school.”

Upon admission to IWU, Swingler chose to major in computer science with a minor in data science. 

“I decided to pursue this field because of my interest in technology and gaming,” Swingler said. “I was involved with STEM and took two computer science classes in high school and really enjoyed them.”

Ultimately, Swingler hopes to combine his passions for technology and sports into a career after graduation.

“My dream job is to work for a professional sports team,” Swingler said. “I would love to use data to do statistical analysis for the current players as well as recruitment for future players.”

By Megan Baker ’21