Giving Back to the Institution He Loves
Greg Swindall grew up in Hokes Bluff, Ala., and was introduced to Jacksonville State University at the age of 9 as he watched his mother, Sherry Donna Swindall, walk across the stage to receive her diploma in 1985.
He decided then that he wanted to go to college and hoped his own family would be as proud of him as he was of his mom that day.
So after graduating from Coosa Christian High School, he began his own college career at Gadsden State and soon transferred to JSU. He took full advantage of the opportunities that were offered to incoming students and immediately got involved in the student government association and the Delta Chi fraternity. Greg says being a part of the Greek system and student activities were invaluable in teaching him the networking and social skills needed for his profession. He also credits the public speaking classes offered through the English department for helping him be successful.
Greg is now the managing director of Principal Financial Group in Birmingham, Ala. The firm focuses on small to medium-size businesses as well as individual clients. Greg assists clients in increasing after-tax wealth, generational wealth transfers and business planning.
"I attempt to lead and manage through biblical principles that were installed in me at a very early age," he says. "I truly believe having a servant's heart will help you and the people you come in contact with."
In May, 2010, Greg was seriously injured in a car accident. He came to realize that no day is guaranteed.
"We must make the most out of everything that is given to us and give back to those that helped mold us. I firmly believe it is our duty to give back, to serve, and help the next generation be better than the one that we are a part of now," he says.
He is doing just that at JSU. Greg serves as the chairman for the JSU Board of Visitors for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. The board is made up of alumni and community members who work to provide resources for the department's needs. Greg says this board would like to be the first to endow $1 million to the university. To do this, Greg says, "we have to have more people willing to give of their time, talents and treasures."
Greg believes JSU is being led by individuals with great vision.
"We must realize that change is inevitable. It is always better to look ahead and prepare than look back with regret."
He encourages anyone with the desire to get involved to reach out to the university and start giving back in any way they can.
His mom watched him walk across the stage at Jacksonville State University and receive his bachelor of arts in history and English degree in 1998. The man he is today started with his parents and continues to grow each day through the love and support of his wife, his passion for his career and his desire to serve. Future JSU students will benefit from men like Greg Swindall who are giving back to the institution they love.