Scott Swensen

“For me, the most moving thing is watching commencement...”

Meet Scott Swensen, a leadership‐level donor for the Gianforte Academic Center

As a Stevens Trustee, Scott Swensen looks forward to a certain moment every spring. “For me, the most moving thing is watching commencement and seeing thousands of students getting their bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, and knowing they are well-prepared to make a difference in the world and build a solid life for themselves and their families. That makes me feel good about the time and money I’ve put in to help this institution grow.”

Scott’s history with Stevens dates to when he grew up hearing stories from his father, John ‘51. “My father raved about Stevens, and he was quite successful, so I ended up applying. I went for early admission, and they took me.”

During his own time at Castle Point, Scott stayed busy, including serving as editor-in-chief of the Stute student newspaper. He also worked one semester in a fusion lab, and during his senior year he and a team stratified-charged a Wankel engine to gauge its impact upon thermal efficiency. “When I was here, we all had to go through mechanical labs. I really believe the practical, hands-on experience Stevens students get differentiates us from other universities.”

After earning his degree, Scott launched a successful career in finance that started at Chase Manhattan and culminated in his founding Conduit Capital Partners, which has managed equity funds focused on energy and infrastructure in Latin American markets. Coinciding with winding down his business dealings, Scott became a Trustee in 2014 after getting to know President Farvardin and feeling motivated from reading the university’s current strategic plan, The Future. Ours to Create. “The Board developed a plan, it’s being implemented, and we’ve made tremendous progress in getting to where we want to go.”

As someone who travelled extensively during his career and worked in a number of fields, Scott has a broad view of how an empowered Stevens can benefit the world. “There’s no question that the United States fails to graduate enough engineers. Engineers create, they invent, they produce things, and by giving to Stevens and helping to create many different types of engineers, we’re benefitting our students and the U.S. economy.”

He is bullish about Stevens reaching new heights. “I would like Stevens’ reputation to be at the top. If we focus on being a student-centric, innovative educational institution, Stevens will be one of the top universities in the United States.”

A Vibrant Campus

During the early days of the Power of Stevens campaign, Swensen made a leadership-level gift to help create a Vibrant Campus and build the Gianforte Academic Center, a planned pair of four-story brick buildings set to become a featured new entry point to campus while adding 10 smart classrooms, 11 advanced labs and 45 faculty offices. “It’s a modern facility. We’ve got old infrastructure, and we can’t attract the best students by offering an aged platform. We need to modernize this whole campus, and the Gianforte Academic Center is an important next step.”