December 21, 2004

UCLA Vice Chancellor Emeritus Elwin Svenson Receives Finland’s Highest Honor

UCLA Triple Alum Currently Serves as Executive Director and Founding Member of UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Global Access Program


Order of the White RoseLOS ANGELES—UCLA Anderson School of Management announces that Dr. Elwin Svenson, a former UCLA vice chancellor who currently serves in a leadership role in the school’s Fully Employed MBA (FEMBA) Program, was honored recently by the Finnish government with the Knight, First Class, of the Order of the White Rose of Finland.  Finnish Ambassador to the United States Jukka Valtasaari bestowed this honor on Dr. Svenson on Dec. 11, 2004, at a reception held as part of the culmination of this year’s Global Access Program (GAP), which is a key component of UCLA Anderson’s FEMBA Program.

Elwin Svenson receives Order of White RoseThe ceremony, which was held at the Los Angeles residence of Finnish Consul General Manu Virtamo, was attended by Dr. Svenson’s wife Polly, three of his four children, four of his five grandchildren, and many of his colleagues from UCLA, along with 200 FEMBA students and 50 representatives of companies and partners participating in GAP.

The Order of the White Rose was instituted January 28, 1919, by then Regent Carl Gustav Mannerheim and revised May 16, 1919.  December 6th, the independence day of Finland is the ceremonial day of the Order.  The Order is awarded to foreign and Finnish citizens to recognize services to Finland, and for bravery in combat during wartime.  The Orders of Finland are administered by a board consisting of a chancellor, a vice-chancellor and at least four other members. The Finnish president is head of the Order.

Elwin Svenson receives Order of White RoseDr. Svenson received the Order of the White Rose in recognition of his efforts, through UCLA Anderson’s Global Access Program, to help Finnish start-up companies expand into markets abroad, including the United States.  Dr. Svenson currently serves as executive director of GAP, with responsibility for maintaining and developing institutional relationships with international partners from trade and technology development agencies located in Finland, Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Ireland and Chile.  He is also developing new partnerships with organizations in China, India and Spain.

Elwin Svenson receives Order of White Rose“The Global Access Program is a key element of FEMBA, and Dr. Svenson’s efforts in building institutional relations with so many organizations abroad has truly been beneficial in giving our FEMBA students a unique opportunity in gaining international field study experience,” said Dr. Victor Tabbush, associate dean and director of UCLA Anderson’s FEMBA Program. 

According to an announcement on the Embassy of Finland’s Web site, Dr. Svenson received this decoration “in acknowledgement to (his) hard work and investment in the improvement of Finnish technology companies’ competitiveness throughout the years.” “We’re proud of all that Dr. Svenson has accomplished,” said UCLA Anderson Dean Bruce G. Willison.  “His service to our school and UCLA is unparalleled, and his efforts have truly helped make our FEMBA Program unique.”

Bio Brief on Dr. Elwin Svenson
Elwin SvensonDr. Elwin Svenson is currently executive director of international programs for UCLA Anderson’s Fully-Employed MBA (FEMBA) program and senior advisor to the school’s Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.  Although he formally retired as UCLA’s vice chancellor of institutional relations in 1991, he continues to serve UCLA.  Dr. Svenson has more than 40 years of experience in international cooperation and educational programs at UCLA.  All of his management positions since 1957 have included responsibilities for international activities covering cooperative programs with universities and governmental agencies in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.

Elwin Svenson receives Order of White RoseAs vice chancellor, Dr. Svenson led the first delegation of UCLA faculty to China in January 1979.  UCLA was one of the first American universities to establish academic ties with China after normalization of relations with the United States. UCLA faculty established four ESL centers that focused on preparing Chinese leaders to expand their knowledge in science, technology, economics and business in order to work and study in the United States.  Dr. Svenson worked closely with UCLA faculty and administration and the Chinese government and university administrators to ensure the success of these centers.  Due to this involvement, he helped UCLA Anderson faculty develop a number of programs in China, including one with the Shanghai Institute of Finance and Economics to promote understanding of accounting and taxation systems in the United States and China.

As part of the central administration of UCLA from 1970 to 1991, Dr. Svenson participated in and contributed to the spectacular growth and creativity of UCLA’s emergence as a top-ranked research university. Dr. Svenson received all of his degrees from UCLA: B.A. in political science, M.A. in education and Ed.D. in adult education.

About UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management is perennially ranked among the top-tier business schools in the world.  Award-winning faculty renowned for their research and teaching, highly selective admissions, successful alumni and world-class facilities combine to provide an extraordinary learning environment.  UCLA Anderson students are part of a culture that values individual vision, intellectual discipline and a sense of teamwork and collegiality.

Established in 1935, UCLA Anderson School of Management provides management education to more than 1,400 students enrolled in MBA and doctoral programs, and some 2,000 executives and managers enrolled annually in executive education programs.  Recognizing that the school offers unparalleled expertise in management education, the world's business community turns to UCLA Anderson School of Management as a center of influence for the ideas, innovations, strategies and talent that will shape the future.

Contact Information

Philip Little, Director of Media Relations, (310) 825-9983, philip.little@anderson.ucla.edu

Media Relations