Steve Swayne Named Interim Director of Montgomery Program

The professor of music will serve a one-year, part-time appointment as head of the program.

Steve Swayne, the Jacob H. Strauss 1922 Professor of Music, will serve a one-year, part-time appointment as interim director of the Montgomery Fellows Program, beginning Jan. 1, Provost Joseph Helble announced today.

Swayne, a concert pianist whose expertise is in opera, art music, Russian music, and musical theater, succeeds Senior Lecturer Klaus Milich, who has led the program for three years.

“Steve’s long tenure and deep background in the arts will serve the Montgomery program and Dartmouth well in the coming year,” says Helble. “I also want to thank Klaus for his work leading the program.”

It is anticipated that Dartmouth will begin the process to identify the next permanent director before the middle of 2019, Helble says.

Swayne, who will continue with his teaching and other faculty responsibilities, says he’s looking forward to working with the Montgomery Endowment Steering Committee to discuss nominations for future fellows and to working with the provost’s office in the coming year.

Swayne and others involved in the program will collaborate with Professor Donald Pease and the members of the committee planning events for Dartmouth’s 250th anniversary celebration year, which begins in January. Pease, the Ted and Helen Geisel Third Century Professor in the Humanities, is chairing the sestercentennial planning committee.

Swayne, who is in his 20th year at Dartmouth, was one of the first Dartmouth faculty members to teach a massive open online course—his first on Italian opera, and second on German opera. He has led study abroad in Vienna, is a member of Dartmouth’s Society of Fellows, and for three years, through 2016, was chair of the Department of Music.

Established in 1977, the Montgomery Fellows Program brings distinguished visitors—scholars, artists, authors, historians, politicians, and more—to campus for residencies ranging from several days to an entire term. More than 230 fellows, including Yo-Yo Ma, Cornel West, Louise Erdrich ’76, Alan Alda, Joan Didion, and Gerald Ford—have taught, spent time creating new works and scholarship, delivered public lectures, and connected with students and the greater Dartmouth community.

Jake Sullivan, an Obama-era policymaker who worked on counterterrorism in the U.S. State Department, will be in residence as a Montgomery Fellow in the coming winter term.

Susan J. Boutwell can be reached at