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Paying Dividends for Eternity

December 2021 – Year-end Fundraising Appeal Message

Can you imagine working at the same job, for the same employer, in the same location, for 57 years?

All sorts of reactions come to mind. “What loyalty!” “Couldn’t they get a job anywhere else?” “Talk about stuck in a rut!”

However, it was no rut for Evan Swanson (or ‘Swanee’ as his students lovingly call him), who retired last spring after 57 years of teaching history and science at the same Adventist academy in the Midwest.

That, my friend, is 57 years of dedication! Here was a man who loved what he did. And he was loved by his students, as told in the Mid-America Outlook Magazine.

His former students are fiercely loyal and still seek him out when they visit campus for Alumni Weekend or camp meeting. Typically, they find him in a lawn chair in his driveway on the north side of campus, always with a matter-of-fact smile as if he expected the unannounced company. Notably, some of Swanee’s most devoted fans are former students who confess to having been “troublemakers” or “lazy students.” Mrs. Swanson explains, “He treated every student with respect. He believed in second chances.”

There’s a pretty simple explanation of why Swanee stuck with it for so long.

Swanee has always said, “If you love your job, you never work a day in your life.” He certainly did love his job, along with his students and the unique calling of Adventist education.

The Swansons say, “As far as we’re concerned, Christian education is about the best investment we know of. It pays dividends for eternity.”

That’s it! Paying “dividends for eternity.”

If you asked any teacher at PAA why they are here, no doubt you would hear a similar answer – it’s for the promise of eternity for their students.

While everyone at PAA looks toward those eternal days, we must also dedicate our efforts to the longevity of:

  1. Financially enabling students to be here

  2. Providing quality facilities for those students AND our faculty/staff

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