Founding Donor for Concordia's Nursing School a Finalist for Satellite Executive of the Year

Founding Donor for Concordia's Nursing School a Finalist for Satellite Executive of the Year

What do Concordia’s nursing program and interplanetary travel have in common? Victor Nelson!

The visionary founder and president of Sector Microwave Industries (SMI) was an early believer in Concordia’s nursing program, and the College’s nursing lab is named for his late wife, Patricia Nelson. Their daughter, Dr. Marijean Nelson Buhse ‘76, co-wrote the nursing program’s curriculum. The two were honored in April when Concordia celebrated the tenth anniversary of the original cohort’s graduation. At the gala, President Nunes pointed out that by sending 450 nurses into the world to date, Mr. Nelson’s generosity has likely touched over 650,000 lives. Mr. Nelson is pictured at right with Concordia Professor Sandra Dave, Director of the Patricia Nelson Nursing Learning Center.

Mr. Nelson holds 18 patents (one pending) and SMI has seen 44 years of success in the ultra-competitive components market. SMI switches designed by Mr. Nelson have been on missions to Mars (including on several active Mars Rovers), Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto. They have traveled to asteroids and helped observe the sun. The New Horizons mission is over 4 billion miles away, and his switches are still streaming data back to Earth. In 2018, SMI switches landed again on Mars on the successful Insight mission, and will be back for the upcoming Mars 2020 mission. Missions fail when switches fail, and thanks to Mr. Nelson’s quality design and engineering, that has never happened.

Mr. Nelson has been recognized by the Department of Defense for helping save American lives, and as a WWII veteran, he is especially proud of that.

Now 94, Mr. Nelson is a finalist for Satellite’s prestigious 2018 Executive of the Year Award, rising from a global pool of nominations. The final portion of the decision process includes a public vote, and we know who WE’RE voting for. We hope you will too: Voting ends Tuesday May 7th at 12 noon.