Beloved English Professor Passes
Western Nevada College students, faculty and staff are fondly remembering retired English Professor Marilee Swirczek, who died suddenly on Sunday, July 17, in Carson City. Swirczek taught English at WNC for 23 years, and was beloved by her students and colleagues.
She was the driving force behind the college’s nationally acclaimed “Always Lost, a Meditation on War” Humanities Exhibition. The exhibition, which began as a creative writing class project, would bring voice to the costs of war. It was displayed at more than 50 venues across the nation.
WNC colleague and friend Kevin Burns said that many students took her classes multiple times to absorb her vast knowledge of writing. “We joked that she was so dynamic in her classrooms that the chairs needed seatbelts.”
Marilee started the Lone Mountain Writers group in 1991 at WNC, and it continues to this day.
“She was more than a teacher, more than a friend, and more than a colleague to the WNC family. She was our sister,” Burns said.
He summed up his feelings for Marilee this way: “She was a giant in a small body, and she was my friend.”