Thomas H. Swain
Biography (At time of award presentation in 2008)
Thomas H. Swain earned his bachelor's degree in Business and Accounting from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota in 1942. Without a doubt he is considered one of our most eminent public servants. He has served as chief of staff to Governor Elmer Andersen; as chair of state commissions; as director or board chair for nonprofit cultural and human services organizations; and as an exemplary executive at St. Paul Companies and state Fund Mutual Insurance. In his current role as Mayor of Lilydale, he developed the first long-term community development plan in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. He is also an impassioned supporter of higher education and the University of Minnesota. He is the recipient of the National Governors Association Award, the University of Minnesota Alumni Service Award, the honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Minnesota, and the David W. Preus Leadership Award. In 1998, Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine recognized him in its "Volunteer Hall of Fame." He has been honored by friends through the establishment of the Thomas H. Swain Fellowship in Public Leadership in the Executive Master in Public Affairs Program at the Humphrey Institute. One person wrote, "Tom Swain is a great Minnesotan who has served his entire career with distinction. His strong ethical and moral leadership have made this a better state. His example has been a beacon for us all."