Vermont Humanities

Victor R. Swenson

Rep. John Lewis and Andrew Aydin with students in front of a schoolbus

Our History

Victor R. Swenson, the founding Executive Director of Vermont Humanities, died on July 25, 2019 at the age of 83.

His family wrote in his obituary, “His leadership qualities and his respect for people of all ages made him the perfect person, with support from a few dedicated others…to bring the Vermont Humanities Council into being.”

They continued, “Victor believed that books open the doors to the richness of human culture. To him, the Humanities—history, literature, music, art, religion and philosophy, thought—were a feast meant to be shared. Particularly dear to him were programs that reached out to those not yet seated at the table—young children, people in prisons, and adults who could not read.”


Aiming High from the Start

In the spring of 2019, we sat down with Victor to hear his recollections of the Council’s early years.

Read Victor’s recollections

Victor R. Swenson in front of old Humanities Council building

Victor retired from Vermont Humanities in 2002. Since 2003, we have honored an outstanding Vermont teacher in grades 6-12 with the Victor R. Swenson Humanities Educator Award. The award and $1,000 prize are presented each fall. Read more about the Swenson Award.

Vermont Humanities*** January 7, 2022