February 22, 2021

Roger Nelsen

2020
Donald G. Balmer Citation

Roger has been involved with Lewis & Clark for 51 years, and many of his fondest memories are getting to know students outside of the classroom by leading five overseas programs, and serving as faculty advisor to the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Roger served as Phi Beta Kappa chapter president twice and represented the college at its Triennial Council four times. After retiring in 2009, Roger served on the selection committee for the President’s Scholarship for Student Engagement for three years, and is currently the faculty representative for the Albany Society.

As Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Roger believes there are three aspects to the job of a faculty member at Lewis & Clark: teaching, research, and service to the profession and the college. While service can engage everyone on the faculty—including advising, committee service, and departmental duties— it’s the activities outside that list that Roger remembers best.

Roger led five overseas programs for Lewis & Clark: Denmark and Norway in 1972, France in 1980, and three to Spain in 1999, 2003, and 2009. He found the best part of those programs was getting to know many wonderful students in an entirely different way than in a mathematics class. The same is true of the time he served as faculty advisor to the chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity on campus.

For many years, Roger helped with the college’s applications to obtain a chapter of the honor society Phi Beta Kappa, finally succeeding in 1997. Later he served as chapter president twice, and represented the chapter and the college at the society’s Triennial Council four times.

After retiring in 2009, Roger had the opportunity to be one of the three emeriti faculty to serve on the selection committee for the President’s Scholarship for Student Engagement for three years. He is currently serving as the faculty representative for the Albany Society, which promotes renewed and strengthened connections between senior alumni and the college.