By Lillian Boyd

A philanthropist and former member of the Ocean Institute’s Board of Directors has passed away at age 81. James Swenson died in his home in Dana Point after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Swenson’s successful business – Details Inc. – was founded upon the goal of bringing high-tech printed circuit boards out of research and into the marketplace. The company grew from four employees to 500 and developed a client list that included Apple, IBM, Motorola and Compaq. After selling the company, Swenson used the profits to create the Swenson Family Foundation. The organization helps fund students’ tuition and provides treatment for the sick.

While serving on the Board of Regents at California Lutheran University, Swenson saw to helping fund the education for hundreds of students. He and his wife, Sue Swenson, also donated $12 million toward the university’s building campaigns.

“Swenson made it possible for so many students to chase after their dreams,” University President Chris Kimball said. “He saw how important the sciences were and he energized students to pursue that field.”

A celebration of Swenson’s life will be held on Monday, Oct. 22 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Dana Point. A viewing will be held at 10 a.m. and service will begin at 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon.

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