Jacqueline Vincent Swan passed away on March 18 of this year. She was a brilliant women, fiercely loyal, tough as hell, devoted to her family, welcoming of everyone, and an ardent University of Minnesota football fan.
She was also my grandmother.
She loved to read, followed all Minnesota sports teams, and did her crossword puzzles in ink. Pencils were for quitters.
She was an incredible singer from a young age, gifted with range and power. Jackie attended the University of Minnesota from 1937-1939, where she was a standout performer from the moment she walked on campus. In her letters, she writes of her love of the campus and her classes. In one, responding to a chide from his sister, she noted that “a C at Minnesota is an A at Wisconsin.” She majored in vocal music and starred in several productions.
Unfortunately, my grandmother did not have the funds to complete her degree. Her letters speak consistently of financial hardship, and include detailed plans to live on apples to save extra money for lessons. Her lack of finances and the outbreak of World War II prevented her from pursuing her dream to become a professional singer. By the time I came around, that dream had long since passed, but her voice retained its glory.
Jackie loved her family more than anything in this world, but the University of Minnesota and its teams were not far behind. She held football season tickets for more than fifty years, and my first memories of games are sitting next to her in the Metrodome. I would not be writing for this blog if I had a different grandmother.
Jackie also hated #RUTM. Oh how she hated #RUTM.
In her honor, my family has set up a scholarship for music students to help ameliorate the financial burdens of attending the University of Minnesota. That scholarship will be maintained for as long as the University stands.
While the scholarship is endowed, in the event that you have some extra funds and are considering additional charitable donations this year, there is also a crowdfunding page to be able to increase the yearly scholarship amount HERE. Any donation is more than welcomed.
If you do decide to donate, I highly encourage donations in EDSBS Charity Bowl style. For example, $51.14 is a wildly generous gift that would be deeply appreciated. Donation justifications do not need to be football related. Love music and hate North Dakota? $14.06. You get the idea.
If you choose not to donate, that’s fine too! I’m thrilled that I was able to share a small amount about an incredible woman with you.