Lee Swanson ’60, 2010 Leadership and Service Award

Lee Swanson, your leadership and generosity have benefited our alma mater and enriched the lives of innumerable students.

Lee Swanson '60
Lee Swanson ’60 (right) and Cornell Interim President Jim Brown.

Fifty years ago, you graduated with a degree in economics and business. In 1966 you began work at the State Bank of Cross Plains in Wisconsin, where you have spent more than 40 years, 15 of them as president, and are now chairman of the board. Your tireless advocacy for local banks and your diligent leadership were recognized last September when you received a Lifetime Service Award from the Community Bankers of Wisconsin.

Your service to Cornell includes membership on the Board of Trustees, on which you serve as Life Trustee. You and your wife, Jacqui, an honorary alumna, sent your late son, Mike, Class of ’83 to Cornell, and have generously supported the college in such varied initiatives as the Law Hall campaign, the Golden Rams, and the Cornell Fellows Program. You inspired the Beta Omicron Distinguished Alumni Visitors Program, which affords students the opportunity to learn from successful alumni in a variety of fields and drives home the value of a Cornell education.

Closer to home, you have been instrumental in bringing the first medical clinic and the first EMT facility, a state-of-the-art library, and the Wisconsin Ice Age Trail Foundation headquarters to your community. You have served as vice chairman of the National Elks Foundation and as director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. Your spirit of civic volunteerism has led you to serve on an array of boards and committees, as well as spend 15 years as an Emergency Medical Technician.

We count ourselves deeply fortunate that you have chosen to support Cornell so ardently, and we are truly grateful for your leadership. For all you have done, Lee, we award you the Cornell College Leadership and Service award.