Margaret Boeye Swanson


"Margaret is a great example of the impact volunteers can make and the benefits to be gained through volunteerism." — Carolyn Scholl, 1990

Margaret Boeye Swanson has been called Des Moines’ best known and most beloved volunteer by The Business Record, a Des Moines newspaper. Since moving to Des Moines in 1949, she has been a tireless community supporter, volunteer, and philanthropist. She has given golden anniversary years of service to both the Red Cross and Girl Scouts, silver anniversary years of service to Iowa Lutheran Hospital, and thousands of hours to over twenty local, regional, and national organizations. Swanson has been recognized by numerous organizations including the YWCA, Iowa Lutheran Hospital, National Conference for Community and Justice, East Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, National Tri-Delta Sorority, Sertoma Club, and Red Cross. Swanson has also received a Doctor of Laws degree from Grand View College. A lodge at the Girl Scouts’ camp in Boone bears her name. She was instrumental in creating the Botanical Center, the first woman in Iowa to serve on a draft board, a founding member of Union Park Neighborhood Association, and active with the League of Women Voters and American Association of University Women. Swanson was born in Webster City in 1919. She was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 2000.