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BU Photo Services Bids Farewell to Director

Fred Sway, retiring director of BU Photo Services, is among those being honored at tonight’s Service Recognition Dinner

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Fred Sway, director of BU Photo Services, will retire in May after 20 years of service. He is pictured with the late Fred Rogers (Hon.’92), the host of the PBS children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, who delivered the Commencement Day Baccalaureate sermon in 1992. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

After documenting the lives of more than five generations of Boston University students, Fred Sway, director of BU Photo Services, will retire in May. He is one of 157 faculty and staff members who will be honored at tonight’s Service Recognition Dinner at the George Sherman Union.

A former director of the New England School of Photography, Sway came to BU in 1988 — back when cameras still used a thing called film and before all of the darkrooms were converted into classrooms and office space.

Although he’s shot more BU Commencement ceremonies and move-in weekends than he cares to remember, Sway often traveled well beyond Commonwealth Avenue for an assignment. In 1988, he joined the Boston University Alumni Concert Band during its three-week tour through Yugoslavia. “It was a pretty incredible experience,” he recalls, “because we were able to see the country before it erupted in civil war.”

Other memorable assignments include shooting a BU football game in London and traveling to Germany to photograph students for BU’s International Programs.

Travel perks aside, Sway says the most rewarding aspect of his job has been working with his colleagues. “Photo Services is fortunate to have had a consistent staff of very talented photographers over the years,” he says. “They’ve allowed me to do my job amazingly well.”

He says his greatest accomplishment was helping usher Photo Services into the digital age. “It was an exciting and challenging time,” he says.

After leaving BU — his last day is May 2 — Sway plans to travel and focus on his own photography projects.

The Service Recognition Dinner honors employees who are retiring or who have completed 25 years of service by June 30, 2008. The dinner will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, in Metcalf Hall of the George Sherman Union. Click here for more information. Click here for a full list of faculty and staff members being recognized.

Vicky Waltz can be reached at vwaltz@bu.edu.

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