Mary Hill Swope, class of 1955

Mary Hill Swope grew up in Wayne, Pennsylvania, with three sisters and a brother. Her father was an electrical engineer, and her mother was a housewife. When she was ten years old, her father got a job at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the family moved to Newton, Massachusetts. Swope attended a mix of public and private schools for her primary education, graduating from the Cambridge School in Weston, Massachusetts. She enrolled in the Women’s College at the University of North Carolina in 1951. After two years there, she transferred to Pembroke College, majoring in art. Upon her graduation in 1955, Swope worked as a library assistant at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In 1960, she moved to San Francisco, working a number of jobs, traveling, and receiving a Master’s degree in art at San Francisco State University. At the time of the interview, Swope was teaching at an all-girls school in San Francisco.