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UW-Stout community mourning death of former chancellor Robert Swanson


MENOMONIE, WI (WTAQ) - UW-Stout is mourning the death of one of its most innovative leaders.

Robert Swanson – who headed the Menomonie campus from 1972 through ’88 – died Sunday 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 5,200 students in 1972 to 7,500 in 1987. Enrollment for the current year exceeds 9,200.

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.