(1/29/13) U-W Stout is mourning the death of one of its most innovative leaders.
Robert Swanson – who headed the Menomonie campus from 1972-through-'88 – died yesterday in Rochester Minnesota from complications of Alzheimer's. The 88-year-old Swanson spent over 40 years at Stout. Current chancellor Charles Sorenson said Swanson brought the campus into the "modern age of higher education." Swanson oversaw a number of major academic, enrollment, and physical changes – and school officials said he redefined Stout's historic focus on applied learning. Despite state enrollment caps, Stout grew from 52-hundred students in 1972 to 75-hundred in 1987. Enrollment for the current year exceeds 92-hundred. Swanson's family plans a private memorial service in Rochester Minnesota – and what the school calls a "celebration of Bob's life" will be held later on the Stout campus.