UCLA has been developing relationships across continents and cultures for decades. One key advocate for those international efforts was Elwin Svenson ’48, MA ’50, EdD ’54.
Throughout his tenure as vice chancellor of institutional relations, coordinator of overseas programs, and other roles at UCLA, Svenson sustained a vision that spanned continents. He helped start international education programs in diverse countries, ranging from Chile to Nigeria, and he led UCLA’s first faculty delegation to China, establishing one of the earliest American university exchanges there. He also brought the world to Los Angeles, spearheading a building campaign for the Fowler Museum at UCLA to share global arts and cultures with the campus and community.
A New Fund for Foreign Study
And UCLA’s global outreach will continue to grow, thanks to a fund created in Svenson’s memory to honor his life’s work. Initiated by his children, the Elwin “Sven” Svenson Memorial Fund for International Studies and Engagement will enable students and faculty to study and research abroad, advance collaboration with foreign universities, and support other programs that enhance UCLA’s global connections.
Broadening Horizons, Bettering UCLA
“Sven was an early champion and builder of the institutional relationships that helped transform UCLA into a recognized global university,” says Chris Erickson, director of UCLA International Institute, which hosts the fund. Fittingly, the institute itself owes much to Svenson, who laid the foundation for its predecessor, International Studies and Overseas Programs.
All over the map, Svenson’s many ventures formed a unified result: He elevated UCLA’s international profile while opening new opportunities for students and faculty. His memorial fund — and the generosity of globally minded friends — will further that legacy.
Published June 2018