((Image courtesy of UNC Ath. Comm.))
McSwain, a native of Morganton, began academic counseling for
student-athletes at Carolina in the early 1960s. For the past 20-plus years,
she worked closely with the Tar Heel men's basketball program.
Her responsibilities include teaching, scheduling, registration, structured
study halls, recruiting, tutorial services and monitoring progress toward
degrees for the student-athletes in those programs.
"Her passing is a huge loss," says Roy Williams. "Burgess was an integral
part of the University and the Carolina Basketball Family. She was concerned
about each and every student-athlete in the program. She didn¹t care about
the number of points they scored. Instead, she cared about their lives off
the court and, primarily, their academic endeavors. Burgess will truly be
"Burgess was a devoted teacher and good friend," says former Tar Heel coach
Bill Guthridge. "She was the epitome of a teacher, who was dedicated to her
students. For more than 20 years she was always here to work with our
players and she worked them day and night. There were many times we'd get
back from a road trip at 1 a.m. and Burgess was there waiting for us because
one or more of the players had a test in the morning and she wanted them to
prepare more. No one associated with Carolina Basketball through the years
was loved more than Burgess. We will all miss her very much."
"I'm so sad," says Jackie Manuel, a rising senior. "She helped us out a
whole lot my freshman year, with much more than just academics. She helped
Jawad (Williams), Melvin (Scott) and me work through some tough times that
year and was like my second mom. I¹m really going to miss her."
Former Carolina basketball forward Will Johnson, a Morehead Scholar and
Academic All-ACC honoree, said, "Burgess was completely committed to making
sure the players earned a good education. She always put our needs above her
own and that¹s why she meant so much to us."
She is survived by her father, Daniel Murphy, 87, of Chapel Hill.
The Burgess McSwain Fund has been established in her honor. Contributions
may be made in care of the UNC Department of Geography, Saunders Hall,
Campus Box 3220, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27599-3220.
The funeral will be held on Monday, July 12, at 2 p.m. at the Chapel of the
Cross (304 East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill). A reception will be held in
the church parlor following the service.