Friends University names Swain as first executive-in-residence

Friends University has named Woody Swain as its first executive-in-residence. Swain will serve as a mentor to business students and will organize programming, such as lunch-and-learn events, student mentoring and consultations, guest lecturing, and visits to local employers.

“Friends University developed the executive-in-residence program to provide additional learning and mentorship opportunities for our business students by developing opportunities for them to spend time with and learn from an individual who has succeeded at the highest levels of business and is now in a position to share his experience and wisdom with the next generation,” said Dr. Kenneth Stoltzfus, academic dean of Friends University. “Mr. Swain spent many years as a business executive. He is also humble, approachable and committed to helping develop the next generation of business leaders. The combination of his business experience and personal attributes makes him the ideal person to serve as our first executive-in-residence.”

Swain has 36 years of experience working with Koch-owned companies. Positions he has held include director of business development at INVISTA, vice president of international business development and vice president international at Koch Materials Company (KMC). At KMC, he has also been the vice president of Asia Business Development and manager of Business Development. Previously, he served at Koch Industries and Koch Fuels Inc. He was also a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and a flight test engineer at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft in St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University and has completed 15 hours of MBA studies at Wichita State University.

Since retiring from Koch Industries in June 2014, he has served on two nonprofit boards – Kansas Global Trade Services and Friends University Global MBA.

“Our students will benefit by having the opportunity to learn from, and be mentored by, someone who has helped to lead one of the most successful businesses in the world,” Dr. Stoltzfus said. “I believe this will be an invaluable, and a potentially career-shaping, opportunity for our business students.”

Friends University, a Christian University of Quaker heritage, equips students to honor God and serve others by integrating their intellectual, spiritual and professional lives.