The Swan Center bears the name of legendary Clara Swan '33. A native of Princeton, Maine, Clara Swan grew up in Washington County. When she was born she weighed one pound one ounce and the doctor told her mother to take her home and keep her warm, as she would not live long. On April 28, 2014, Clara celebrated her 102nd birthday. She was valedictorian of the Class of 1930 at Brewer High School and went on to attend Husson University, then known as the Maine School of Commerce. After graduating, she taught for five years in Mexico and Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, and then earned her bachelor’s degree from American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts.
In 1939 she returned to Husson, and for the next 34 years she served the students of Husson in many capacities—as a teacher, administrator, and coach. She coached women’s basketball for 19 years and achieved a win-loss record of 240-34-7, including two undefeated seasons. She was very active with the Association of Women’s Basketball Coaches and was a national judge for the Women’s Basketball Coaches.
In 1951 she received her Master’s of Education from the University of Maine. As a Husson administrator, she rose to the position of Vice President. During her time at Husson, she had a wide range of responsibilities including Director of the Secretarial Studies Department, Assistant Principal, Academic Dean, Registrar, Corporate Officer, and Assistant to the President.
Husson honored Clara in April of 2002, on her 90th birthday, when they named the new Fitness Building the Clara Swan Center in the Newman Athletic Facility. She was inducted into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014. Clara, a pioneer of women’s athletics, continues to serve as a role model for female athletes everywhere. At the age of 104, Swan attended Husson basketball games and remained a faithful supporter of the University up until she passed away on January 7th, 2017.
Primary benefactors of the Swan Center were Husson alumnus Richard Trott '65 and his wife, Alice. Built in 2001 as a fitness and performance testing center for students, the facility houses the Kenduskeag Research Center and the Richard '65 and Alice Trott Fitness Studio. This facility offers research equipment for performance testing for the departments of Kinesiology, Physical Therapy and Physical Education. This research center was funded by Hilda Hutchins and allows multiple uses across the curriculum.