$25,000 donated to ARHS, fueling breakthroughs, by Tech Medalist

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  • Eric Swanson, winner of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, has donated $25,000 to his alma mater, Amherst Regional High School, to fund engineering programs.
  • This donation will support students in their engineering studies and help them to gain valuable skills.

A high school graduate who was recently awarded the prestigious National Medal of Technology and Innovation has donated $25,000 to his former school to fund engineering programs. Eric Swanson, who received the medal from President Joe Biden, earmarked the gift for Amherst Regional High School’s (ARHS) engineering and technology department. The funds will be applied in a way that best benefits the students, and Swanson has given the department head freedom to use the donation as they see fit.

Swanson has a long history of innovation, having worked on various technological advancements throughout his career. He began his work on optical coherence tomography (OCT) in the early 1990s, which has since become a widely used imaging technology in the medical and industrial fields.

Swanson described his experience receiving the National Medal of Technology and Innovation as “surreal” and cherished the opportunity to meet and chat with President Biden during a private meeting before the ceremony. He expressed optimism about how his donation will be used to support engineering at ARHS and help teachers in their work.

Swanson also reflected on his own educational journey, noting that he was an average student in high school but committed himself to working hard in college. He encouraged graduating seniors to view college as a fresh start and emphasized the importance of working hard, being curious, and embracing lifelong learning.

In addition to his financial support, Swanson offered advice and encouragement to current ARHS students, urging them to seek out bosses and mentors they trust and admire, and to be kind to others. He emphasized the importance of K-12 education and the challenges faced by teachers and administrators today, expressing hope that his donation will make a difference.

Overall, Swanson’s donation to ARHS will support the school’s engineering programs and help students gain valuable skills in the field.

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