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Jonathan Swift, PhD

April 26, 1932 April 11, 2017
Jonathan Swift, PhD
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Obituary for Jonathan Swift, PhD

Born in Scotland in 1932, Jonathan Swift came to the United States in 1948. He was educated in Great Britain, France, and the United States. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Wayne State University, a PhD from Michigan State University, and a certificate in music from Conservatoire National de Musique, Paris, France. Over the years, he received many honors among which were a Fulbright Scholarship, the International Teacher of the Year (Applegate-Dorros) Award from the Hometown National Television Award, the Philo Farnsworth Television Award, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors Award, and two tributes from the Michigan State Legislature.

From 1957 to 1964, he taught in the Science and Arts Program at Mumford High School. During those years and beyond, he was also adjunct faculty at Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and Oakland Community College. He was a pioneer in Global Education in the United States and, in 1976 became the founding Director of the High School of Global Education in Livonia, Michigan, a position he held until 1997. His most recent position was Director of the Center for International Studies at Madonna University, Livonia, Michigan.

His various careers spanned singing in opera, concert, night club, and music hall, as well as recording albums of songs and arias. He was one of the first tenors to sing leading roles with the Michigan Opera Theatre. For many years, he sang throughout the United States with the Piccolo Opera Company. In the mid-60’s, he resided in Europe where he sang in theatres, on television, and for recordings. As a singer and public speaker, he criss-crossed the globe. In recent years, he hosted and produced three television series – “Global Connections”, “Dining Out with Jonathan Swift”, and “Time Out for Opera” this latter with the Michigan Opera Theatre, a program he co-hosted with Karen DiChiera. These programs, produced at Bloomfield Television, were seen on both WFUM-TV (PBS-Flint) and WTVS-TV (PBS-Detroit).

A long time parishioner of St. Regis Catholic Church in Bloomfield, Dr. Swift was instrumental in launching the St. Regis Concert Series, Active in many Church events, Jonathan Swift was also a Eucharistic Minister. In Bloomfield Township he served as a member of the Oakland Hills Subdivision Board of Trustees.

Dr. Swift was also the author of several dozen articles, revues, poetry, and other contributions to professional books and journals. He was a consultant, evaluator, and avid worker in educational television and school curriculum.

Jonathan is survived by his dear friend, Jackie Collins and family in Scotland, England, and the United States. He is preceded in death by his longtime companion, Thomas St. Charles.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Regis Catholic Church, 3695 Lincoln Road, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48301, Wednesday, April 19th at 11:30am. Friends may visit at church beginning at 10:30am.


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