KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — There’s nothing like a Sam Swan lecture, and this one, is something like a grand finale. The media professor is well-known around the University of Tennessee for his stories about his life adventures and his reputation for molding his students into talented journalists.

“It’s been the best part of being a professor all these years: is working with students, teaching students, helping them get jobs and seeing them succeed,” Swan said.

Swan is retiring after more than three decades at UT. Wednesday marked Swan’s “last lecture.”

Telling stories has been his passion for the better part of his adult life. He made a career out of teaching students all over the world how to be great storytellers. He joined UT in 1985, becoming the head of the department of broadcasting. During his tenure, he created the school’s first radio station and produced a weekly television program to be run by students.

“From the time I was a sophomore in college, and so really for more than 50 years, I’ve been working in radio and television,” Swan said.

For the last 50 years, Swan has devoted his life to travel and all things media. He has traveled to Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, Tanzania, Angola, Ethiopia, and Rwanda to conduct workshops for journalists and taught groups from Slovakia, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Nigeria, Kosovo, Bosnia, Latvia, and Serbia.

Now he’s entering a new chapter in his story.

“I’m excited in one sense, sad in another that one chapter is ending but another one is beginning. And so I’ll be doing these other things, my book and my podcast and a lot of other things. I don’t intend to just sit by and do nothing,” Swan said.

Swan’s plans for retirement include spending time with family, finishing and releasing his latest book and starting a podcast to be titled “Now we have a story.”