Dr. Melvin C. Swann, Jr. was a native of Alabama City, AL. The son of a Parish Minister in the AME Church and US Army Chaplin, Swann traveled extensively throughout his childhood, attending elementary school in several states, including North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Kansa, and California, as well as Germany. He received his high school diploma from St. Emma’s Military Academy in Rock Castle, Virginia. He held a BS degree from Hampton University, Masters of Education in Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill and an L.H.D. Doctors of Humanities degree from North Carolina A&T. He had also done further study at UNC-Greensboro. Swann served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Military Police. He attended and graduated from Provost Marsall Generals School and the U.S. Army Airborne School.
Dr. Swann began his career in education as a health and science teacher in 1960. Seven years later, he became assistant principal at J.C. Price Junior High School in Greensboro. In 1969, Swann became principal at Price, holding that position until 1971 when he was promoted to director of student affairs. In this position, Dr. Swann was instrumental in managing the student desegregation program for the Greensboro City Schools. During his tenure with the Greensboro City School system, Dr. Swann also served as assistant superintendent for pupil personnel services, assistant superintendent for professional support services, assistant superintendent for elementary schools and community services and associate superintendent for administration and management.
When the Greensboro, High Point, and Guilford County school systems merged in 1993, the school board selected Dr. Swann to serve as their first ever deputy superintendent; the second highest ranking position in the Guilford County School System. He retired from that position in July 1997 and was esteemed highly in the community for improving the quality of education in Guilford County.
For 36 years, Mel Swann had made a mark on public education in Greensboro that has reverberated throughout the nation. His distinguished career included servicing on the boards of such prestigious organizations as the North Carolina Community College System, The North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission, Magnet Schools of America and the National Association of Pupil Personnel Administrators.
Dr. Swann was the recipient of numerous honors and awards that recognize his contribution to education and education policy development. Among those are Guilford County Association of Office Personnel Administrator of the Year in 1997, the NC Order of the Long Leaf Pine, presented by Governor Jim Hunt, and the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for Outstanding and Invaluable Service to the Community, presented by Congressman Mel Watt. Dr. Swann was selected as the Hayes Taylor Memorial YMCA Man of the Year in November 2002, In March 2003, the Greensboro News and Record and Triad Stage selected him as Out Town Hero, and in May 2003 the YMCA of Greensboro chose him as Volunteer of the Year. In June 2003, Governor Mike Easley appointed Dr. Swann to the Board of Trustees for NC A&T State University.
Dr. Swann was married to Gloria Jean McCollum Swann and they have one daughter, Phyllis Veranchia, now deceased, and one granddaughter, Leah. In his spare time, he was active in the community, having served as chairman of the Church Council of St. Matthews United Methodist Church, Chairman of the Greensboro Coliseum Commission, and Chairman of the Board of Management of Hayes Taylor Memorial YMCA. Greensboro Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Beta Epsilon Boule, and a radio broadcaster for NC A&T Aggie football and basketball.