CLU to present Christus Award to couple

Swensons to be honored at Founders Day Convocation

Jim and Sue Swenson have a strong commitment to making an undergraduate education at an ELCA university affordable.

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., - Sept. 26, 2013) California Lutheran University will honor a couple who have provided substantial scholarships to hundreds of students at its Founders Day Convocation at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18.

CLU’s Founders Day is held annually to give thanks for the university’s heritage and pray for its continued success.

University benefactors Jim and Sue Swenson will receive the Christus Award. The award is presented to those who have made significant contributions to strengthening the partnership between CLU and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America because of their love for both institutions.

The Swensons have a strong commitment to making an undergraduate education at an ELCA university affordable. Through the Swenson Family Foundation, the Dana Point residents initiated the Swenson Scholars program at CLU in 1997. Each year, the program provides 50 percent of tuition and fees to 16 recipients for four years. The foundation also provides 15 Swenson Science Summer Research Fellowships each year.

The foundation provided $5 million for the Swenson Center for the Social and Behavioral Sciences, which is named in their honor, and $1 million for the Spies-Bornemann Center for Education and Technology. Jim Swenson is a longtime member of CLU’s Board of Regents. A native of Wisconsin, he worked as a research chemist before starting his own circuit board technology company, Details, Inc., in Anaheim. After his retirement, the couple established the Swenson Family Foundation to benefit education and religion through scholarship funds.

The Rev. Meghan Aelabouni, co-pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Collins, Colo., will be the keynote speaker. She is a 2001 graduate of CLU and holds a master’s degree in divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Aelabouni, who shares the Trinity Lutheran pastorate with her husband, Gabi Aelabouni, has served as pastor to congregations in the Chicago area and has been active in the Lutheran World Federation. She has written for The Lutheran and Gather magazines and The Huffington Post.

The service will also feature the commissioning of CLU’s Board of Regents and Convocation.

The event is free and open to the public. The chapel is located south of Olsen Road near Campus Drive on the Thousand Oaks campus.

For more information, call the Office of Church Relations at 805-493-3936.