Campus shaper 'Swede' Johnson dies

Compiled by Christina Woo

Arizona Summer Wildcat

Marvin D. "Swede" Johnson, a former UA administrator for 27 years, died July 5 in Colorado after a long battle with lung disease. He was 66.

Born in Wilcox, Ariz., in 1928, Johnson entered the University of Arizona as a freshman in 1946 and stayed for more than 30 years. When he graduated in 1950, Johnson got a temporary job as assistant graduate manager in athletics and became director of the Student Union Memorial Building in 1952. Johnson was named director of the UA Alumni Association in 1958 and became vice president for university relations in 1963.

As head of university relations, he was in charge of the news bureaus and the UA's lobbying effort in the state legislature. Many credit Johnson for bringing the medical college to the UA and for getting funding for the UA Library and McKale Center. He was considered as a candidate for the UA presidency in 1971.

In 1977, Johnson left the UA to become vice president of student affairs, alumni relations and development at the University of New Mexico, but he kept his close ties to Arizona and the UA. In 1981, again a candidate, he lobbied openly and unsuccessfully to become president of the UA. He accepted a job at Coors Brewing Company in 1985.

In 1993, the UA Foundation/Alumni Building was officially named for Johnson, who received an honorary degree during Homecoming festivities that year.

Johnson is survived by his wife Stella, two daughters, Lynn Engel of Foster City, California, and Karen Riebe of Tucson; a grandson, Marshall Riebe; and sister, Ann Johnson McPherson of Houston.

Johnson's funeral was held Tuesday.

Pathfinder will take autographs to Mars

Leaders of the UA team who built the $6 million Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) have invited everyone involved in the project to send his or her signature on the lander going to the red planet.

Peter Smith, Lunar and Planetary Lab (LPL) senior research associate and head of the IMP team, and LPL's Daniel Britt, project coordinator, say just about everyone involved in the project one way or another was invited to sign. That includes a number of Arizonans on the science team, personnel at several UA labs who made parts for the camera, those who built the Mars Garden next to LPL for testing the camera several LPL support staff, UA President Manuel Pacheco, the College of Science dean, the LPL director, a staff member from News Services, colleagues from Denmark, two Max Planck Institutes in Germany, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and Martin Marietta.

The signatures collected over the last two months now will be forwarded to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, where they will be inscribed by an electron beam onto a microchip that will be mounted on the Pathfinder lander. Pathfinder is scheduled to be launched in December 1996 for a July 4, 1997, Mars touchdown. The mission is designed to operate for at least a month, but project leaders say they hope it may last a year. Since there are no plans to retrieve the lander, the signatures on the microchip will remain on Mars indefinitely.

Departmental offices relocate

The Department of Media Arts is getting a new home in the Harvill Building. The departmental offices, currently located in the Modern Languages Building, were closed effective July 7. The department hopes to open in its new location (Harvill 226) by August 2.

During the closure, the Media Arts Departmental phone number (621-7352) will be answered by Media Arts staff during normal business hours (8 a.m. to noon, 1 to 5 p.m., weekdays). Voice mail will be available on all individual faculty phone numbers.

UA fraternity receives award

The Zeta-Beta chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity at the University of Arizona was among those honored for outstanding chapter programming during the fraternity's international leadership conference held recently.

The Arizona chapter received the Membership Recruitment Award, presented annually to Lambda Chi Alpha chapters having the most outstanding operations in the areas of membership recruitment, chapter growth, publicity, and non-alcoholic programming during recruitment.

According to Fred Suggs, Jr., the fraternity's international president, "The chapter at Arizona has proven itself as a leader on campus and within Lambda Chi Alpha. By exceeding the minimum standards of the fraternity, the members are offering outstanding fraternal experiences which emphasize leadership development, academic achievement, service, and fellowship."

Lambda Chi Alpha international fraternity is one of the largest men's general fraternities with 219 chapters and colonies on college and university campuses throughout the United States and Canada and more than 215,000 initiated members since its founding 85 years ago.

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