School navigation

Giving to the College

Kent Swanson Sr. and Trish Swanson

October 06, 2010

Kent Swanson Jr. loved to ski fresh slopes at first light. A biology major, he loved to guide hikers through the Sierra Nevadas, taking in faraway vistas and revealing the secrets of nearby plants. Completing a minor in ceramics, he loved working with clay and experimenting with glazes. While celebrating Christmas with his parents in 1996, he talked of going to medical school. The following month, while training for avalanche rescues, he was killed in a helicopter crash.

Kent, class of 1995, continues to inspire others. In 1997 his parents established the college’s first scholarships in biology and ceramic arts, helping Swanson scholars pursue graduate-level science experiences as undergraduates, study ceramics and other arts, immerse themselves in cultures overseas, engage in community leadership projects, and embrace outdoor adventures.

Their many pursuits reflect the very passions that made Kent what Professor Emeritus of Biology Ed Florance calls “a Renaissance student.” Their endeavors are encouraged and supported by faculty members including Associate Professor of Art Ted Vogel and Associate Professor of Biology Ken Clifton. And their exuberant quest for learning, friendships, and adventure mirror Kent’s own zeal for exploring life.

Through a planned gift of retirement fund assets, Trustee Kent Swanson Sr. and his wife, Trish, will help ensure that future generations of students are able to pursue a vital education and dynamic experiences just as Kent Jr. did.