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Swensen to receive the University’s highest honor

May 8, 2008

For the first time in over 12 years, an individual will be receiving an honorary degree from UW-River Falls.

David Swensen, an institutional fund investment expert at Yale University, will be presented a honorary doctorate degree in humane letters during the May 17 commencement. He will be honored at both the 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. ceremonies.

Chancellor Don Betz said the number of people who have received honorary doctorates in the past is not clear.

“We have three that we can identify,” he said.

Swensen graduated from UWRF in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He was also honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996.

Swensen’s family also has ties to UWRF. His father, Richard, is one of the former deans of the College of Arts And Sciences. He also has two brothers and one uncle who have been recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Public Affairs Web site said.

“I am humbled by the extraordinary honor conferred on me by the University of Wisconsin at River Falls,” Swensen said in a Public Affairs press release. “The education that I received from the University’s extraordinary faculty provided a strong foundation for my post-graduate studies and contributed immeasurably to my lifelong love of learning. I owe UWRF a great deal.”

“While this is his first honorary degree, it certainly won’t be his last one,” Betz said. “Others will be in the future because of his record.”

Attempts to reach Swensen by phone and e-mail were unsuccessful.