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Eugene Lang ’38


Eugene Lang ’38 has been named Citizen of the Year by the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) in honor of his lifelong commitment to civic participation. “Eugene Lang is a shining example of what an individual citizen can do to strengthen our country,” NCoC Chairman Michael Weiser said. “The son of immigrant parents who came of age during the Great Depression, he became an extraordinarily successful businessman—and he shared much of his success by ensuring that countless others were given an opportunity to succeed.” A philanthropist, industrialist, and generous supporter of higher education, Lang created the now nationwide I Have a Dream Program in 1981, which has guided many thousands of lower-income students through their K–12 years with an assured college opportunity after high school graduation. More recently, he founded Project Pericles, which encourages colleges and universities to teach social responsibility and participatory citizenship and in which Swarthmore and 19 other colleges play an active role. In 1996, Lang was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton and, in 1990, he was designated as one of President George H.W. Bush’s “thousand points of light.”

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