Vice President Carole Swain leads the Office of Mission, overseeing the campus Mission and Ministry Center, the chaplain for Athletics, the director of the Catholic Liturgical Arts Committee, and provides leadership in expanding Saint Mary's contributions to Lasallian higher education and forging a deeper development and contemporary expression of our traditions while also promoting these foundational principles to the world. The deeper understanding, integration and sharing of Lasallian principles are an integral part of the College's strategic plan, launched in 2014. A direct outcome of this focus was the creation of a mission leadership team, a working group of faculty and staff leading discussion on Saint Mary’s Lasallian Catholic heritage and the call to serve students. They have planned a vocational retreat, a research conference during De La Salle Week, and a symposium in the coming year.
A key element in the animation of the mission is the energetic crew of students, staff, and faculty involved in the Mission and Ministry Center , which offers opportunities for students to immerse themselves in service and social justice projects, engage in regular planned and impromptu conversations, as well as retreats to focus on spirituality, sponsor a monthly Fair Trade Friday on campus, and become a Lasallian Peer Minister.
The Mission and Ministry Center is a robust heart of Catholic student life on campus, but also welcomes other faiths, with student leaders and staff who reflect the students' faith traditions. A prayer space for Muslim students was recently added. These efforts broaden the appeal of the Mission and Ministry Center as a spiritual resource for all students while also maintaining a focus on Catholic students who wish for a vibrant, inviting liturgy.
Swain is a member of the President’s Cabinet and chairs the Mission Integration Council and serves on a variety of SMC committees, councils and task forces such as “Hiring for Mission.”
In Swain's role as vice president for mission, she also serves the broader Lasallian and Catholic communities as board chair for Saint Martin de Porres School and board member of the Lasallian Opportunities Center (LEO) in West Oakland. She chaired the boards of De Marillac Academy in the Tenderloin of San Francisco and of De La Salle High School in Concord. Her work extends to the Region of North America and Canada as a founding member of the Lasallian Education Council.
The Lasallian charism is a life-giving force for Carole. In recognition of her affinity and dedication to the Brothers and their works, the Brothers of Saint Mary’s College presented her with The Lasallian Award, the Alumni Association recognized her with Signum Fidei Award and the College named her Professor of the Year.
Swain earned her bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Berkeley in Psychology and Education. As a professor at SMC, she chaired the Elementary Education program and is currently directing the Masters of Arts in Education with an emphasis on Lasallian Students and the Lasallian Educator Fellowship programs.