Alumni Resources

BGS: Committed to Contribute


When Cathy Low Swendsen, ’79, left BYU with her husband, John, and a new baby, she still needed 16 credit hours to graduate. Committed to completing her degree, she spent the next two-and-a-half years taking institute and Independent Study courses and attending a local university, thereby qualifying for a BYU bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics.

“Having a degree means a lot to me, because it took me so long to get it,” says Cathy, who, along with John, heads the Calgary, Alberta, Canada, BYU alumni chapter. Cathy has decided one of her chapter contributions will be to encourage women who did not finish their degrees at BYU.

“We have many stake members and friends who are near graduates,” she explains. “And when I heard about the Bachelor of General Studies program, I thought I had found a place where I could make a difference where I live. Many of these women are closer than they realize to earning their degree. Most of my friends in this situation have a little more discretionary time because their children are starting to grow up and leave home. They have expressed a great deal of regret for not completing college. This is a cause to which I can be devoted.”