"A Real Gourmet": Colleagues Remember Professor Sven Arndt

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CMC’s beloved Professor Emeritus Sven W. Arndt, former Director of the Lowe Institute for Political Economy, passed away in March at age 81. Arndt, a chief member of the Economics Department at CMC, retired last year but continued research after his retirement. According to the CMC website, Professor Arndt was born on October 18, 1936 and grew up in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario and doctorate from UC Berkeley. Arndt taught at UCLA and UC Santa Cruz before joining the faculty at CMC.

The Forum sat down with Professor Tom Willett to talk about his dear friend and esteemed colleague, Sven Arndt. Willett first met Arndt at a conference in Claremont where their similar research interests quickly sparked a lifelong friendship. As the Director of the Lowe Institute at the time, Willett brought in Arndt as Deputy Director, and Professor Arndt eventually replaced Willett as the Director. Willett said this is where Arndt had some of his greatest impact, researching and working on projects with students.  “Arndt was best known for working in international trade and international money,” he said. “Most campuses would teach both, but a vast majority would specialize in one or the other... Sven focused on the interactions between them.” Arndt’s expertise made him internationally acclaimed. Willett added, Arndt was “internationally renowned and was always being invited to international conferences. He was particularly an expert on Europe and Asia.”

Arndt was a lover of the finer things, always seeking out opera, fine wine, and gourmet food.  When they would travel internationally for conferences, Willett recalls “I would always have him order for me… he was a real gourmet.”

Another close friend of Professor Arndt, Professor Gary Hamburg “met Sven on college committees and watched with admiration how he conducted business.” Hamburg added that Arndt “was very smart — he saw to the heart of issues facing our college.”

Hamburg said Professor Arndt’s dry sense of humor and tenacious drive will be missed. “He was always collegial, and was often funny; he knew how and when to disarm criticism.  He was firm in his own convictions without being abrasive,” he said. “I liked him almost at once and was glad to have him as a friend.”

Professor Sven Arndt’s absence is felt by students and professors alike. His contributions to the community will not be forgotten, and his impact will carry on through the family he raised, the friends he made, and the students he inspired.