First Fiscal Administrator
George Louis Swartz was the College's first Fiscal Administrator, a role he retained for 28 years, from 1947-1975. When he retired, the Associated Students Organization (ASO) made a plaque to honor his service.
"In those days, the ASO owned and operated both the college bookstore and the cafeteria," according to Kathy Oborn, a long-time Pierce faculty member and Chair of the Political Science department from 2007 to 2016.
"Students would work closely with the fiscal administrator, so they got to know him, and in this case showed their appreciation by making him a plaque."
George Swartz was born in Montana in 1912 and came to Los Angeles from Blaine, Montana in 1924. He graduated from Loyola High school and then attended the Metropolitan School of Business. In 1943, while in the Navy, Swartz married Mary Emanuel Wolfskill, and together they raised three children.
After serving as the financial manager for Venice High School, he joined the Clarence W. Pierce School of Agriculture in its inaugural year as financial manager for a campus which consisted of about 70 male students.
Swartz's career developed with the school. At first he was the bursar, and the business office was based in a barn along with the Student Store, Library, Horticulture, Poultry, Dairy and Beef departments.
Later he was named fiscal administrator of Los Angeles Pierce College as it grew to 25,000 students.
In May, 1970, Swartz was interviewed by the L.A. Times on the college's move to charge tuition of $3 a unit, which was hailed by the paper as threatening to create a financial crisis for student-sponsored programs.
In addition to his active career in the academic community, Swartz served as Presidente of Los Fiesteros de Los Angeles, a group dedicated to the historical background of Los Angeles, as well as participating in countless civic and community endeavors. He was also known for starting and actively supporting a group called the Pierce Old Timers, commonly known as POTs.
Upon his retirement in 1975, Swartz received a City of Los Angeles Resolution to honor his service. He then left Encino to return to the Wolfskill ranch in Riverside County and enjoy his love of farming and horses. He died in 1978.
His daughter, Alicia Finn, said, "He always had a smile on his face and a good joke to tell or something nice to say about whomever he was meeting or greeting."
The plaque is located in the patio area outside the old Library Building near the Mall.
George L. Swartz
College Fiscal Adm.