Thursday, November 17, 2011

Scandinavian Studies professor dies of cancer

By Courtney Donlin, News Editor

Retired Professor of Scandinavian Studies Audun Toven passed away Tuesday after a long battle with cancer, said the Office of the President Wednesday evening.

syttende-mai217-5-17-11Professor Audun Toven smiles as the Svare-Toven Professorship in Norwegian and Scandinavian Studies at Pacific Lutheran University is announced during the Syttende Mai Norwegian Constitution Day celebration May 17. Photo courtesy of John Froschauer.

Toven was born in Norway and joined Pacific Lutheran University’s faculty in 1967.

According to an email sent from the Office of the President Wednesday evening, Toven brought Norwegian guests to campus many times and was even honored with the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit in 2000.

“Norway’s ambassador, His Excellency Knut Vollebaek, conferred the honor Knight of the First Class on behalf of King Harald V,” the email from the President’s Office said.

When presenting the honor to Toven, Vollebak said, “The Norwegian authorities are very grateful for all the work Professor Toven has done.”

Toven was also awarded the President’s Medal by President Loren Anderson at the second annual Syttende Mai breakfast in 2010, according to the Oslo International Summer School.

In May 2011, PLU created the Svare-Toven Norwegian and Scandinavian Professorship in honor of Toven’s work to help complete funding of more than $1 million in financial support, according to the statement from the Office of the President.

A date for Toven’s memorial service has not yet been decided. Condolences for the family can be sent to the Office of the President.