Patricia Green Swenson was born in Seattle and received a B.A. from Western Washington University, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a doctorate from New York University. She was employed by Portland Public Schools as General Manager of KBPS AM/FM, and for a decade served as the supervisor of television for the School District along with her position as supervisor of radio.
After 46 years as KBPS manager, she resigned in 1994 to help enable the station to continue funding the necessary on-air staff in the face of the unexpected withdrawal of school district dollars. Dr. Swenson continued working pro bono with the KBPS Public Radio Foundation as co-chair of development, fundraiser and grants writer, and as KBPS Foundation Endowment Chair.
Dr. Swenson pioneered television program productions in Portland, both for the classroom and for after-school teacher professional growth meetings. She sought and secured in 1983 the funds for the FM channel at 89.9 FM, bringing to Portland a unique 24-hour classical music and cultural arts resource.
Among the many honors Dr. Swenson received were: the National Headliner Award from the Association for Women in Communications and their Edith Knight Hill award for professional excellence; the Oregon Journal’s Women of Achievement Citation; her seven-year elected term to the National Public Radio Board; and professional broadcasting award plaques from the Consortium of Public Radio for Oregon and the Oregon Association of (Commercial) Broadcasters.
Dr. Swenson’s love of the salt-water beaches of the San Juan Islands was exemplified by her generous monetary bequest to the Preservation Trust.