Alumni Council - John F. (Fritz) Schwaller

John F. (Fritz) Schwaller '69

East Greenbush, N.Y.
Grinnell Major: History
Stewardship Committee - Chair, Executive Committee

John F. (Fritz) Schwaller '69 is professor of history at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY).

Dr. Schwaller's career in higher education spans more than 30 years. Most recently, he served as president of SUNY Potsdam. Prior to that, from 2001 to 2006, he was vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean, and professor of history and languages, at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

Schwaller began his teaching career as a faculty member and eventually associate dean of the Schmidt College of Arts and Humanities at Florida Atlantic University. He also was on the teaching faculty at the St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Fla. Dr. Schwaller was director of the Academy of American Franciscan History at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif.. He then served as associate provost and associate vice president for academic affairs at the University of Montana, Missoula, and later as vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of the University of Minnesota, Morris.

A nationally-recognized scholar of early colonial Latin America, of the Catholic Church in Latin America, and of Nahuatl and the Nahua (the Aztec language and people), Dr. Schwaller is the author of six books and the editor of three others. Additionally, Dr. Schwaller is the author of 50 articles in leading scholarly journals, and of numerous encyclopedia entries and book reviews, . He also has more than 100 professional papers and presentations to his credit. Schwaller also writes an occasional blog for the Huffington Post on issues confronting higher education today. He earned a bachelor of arts in history from Grinnell College, a master of arts in Spanish from the University of Kansas, and a doctorate in colonial Latin American history from Indiana University. In 2009, Grinnell recognized his contributions to higher education with the award of an honorary doctorate.

Schwaller and his wife, Anne (Taylor) '71, have two sons (both Grinnellians): Robert '03 and William '09. They are members of the Episcopal Church. For many years, Schwaller also has been an active volunteer in various Episcopal churches and for the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida. In Florida, California, Montana, and Minnesota, Schwaller also was active in Boy Scouts, as a cubmaster, scoutmaster, and chairman of the district committee. Both sons earned the rank of Eagle in Scouting.

Posted July 14, 2014.