September 20, 2019

Scholarship recipients honored at Swenson Scholars Dinner

The Swenson Scholars Dinner is an annual event held to honor the Swenson Scholars and the Swenson family.

The University of Wisconsin-Superior Foundation hosted a recent dinner celebration in the Yellowjacket Union to recognize 34 Swenson Scholarship recipients and pay tribute to Jim and Sue Swenson of the Swenson Family Foundation.

The Swenson Scholars Dinner is an annual event held to honor the Swenson Scholars and the Swenson family. Each year, all Swenson Scholars are invited to attend along with members of the Swenson family. Also included are natural science and math and computer science faculty, Chancellor’s Staff and UW-Superior Foundation staff and board members. UW System President Ray Cross and Jeff Burandt, Senior Director for State Relations, also made the trip from Madison to attend.

“UW-Superior is so very grateful to Jim and Sue, through the Swenson Family Foundation, for their generosity and friendship,” said Chancellor Dr. Renee Wachter. “Swenson Family Scholarships, just one of many initiatives they have funded at the university, allow us to recruit and retain high-quality students – students who otherwise might not be able to afford a college education. It is the gift that lasts forever. Over the years, Swenson Scholars have gone on to do amazing things. I know that the lasting impact means a great deal to the Swenson family. The role they play in helping to shape the lives of so many deserving students is second to none.”

Representing the Swenson family was Sue Swenson, along with her daughter Cheryl Lentz and husband Christopher Lentz. Copies of Christopher Lentz’s recently published book, “Opening Doors: Jim Swenson's Life of Grit, Gratitude and Giving,” were given to Cross and each Swenson Scholar.

Jim and Sue (Locken) were born and raised in Superior. Sue graduated in 1960 with an elementary education degree and Jim attended UW-Superior, transferred to UMD and graduated with a chemistry degree in 1959. Their family connections to the Superior campus have spanned nearly a century. Since 1918, more than 20 family members have attended the university.

Jim and Sue, and their Swenson Family Foundation, have been extremely generous supporters of UW-Superior and its students. The Swenson Family Scholarship program is the most prestigious scholarship offered through the UW-Superior Foundation, funding nearly 40 full-tuition four-year scholarships each year. Their philanthropy also goes beyond scholarship support. They funded the university’s newest academic facility – Swenson Hall, as well as Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF), academic programs and so much more. Jim passed away October 5, 2018.



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