Phil Benson ’62 Inducted 2001

Swimming & Diving

A freestyle specialist for legendary swim coach Vic Gustafson, Phil Benson was a seven-time conference champion from 1959 to 1962. Benson claimed individual titles in the 220-yard freestyle (1960), the 440-yard freestyle (1959) and 1500-yard freestyle (1960) while the Gusties were winning their fifth and sixth consecutive MIAC team titles in 1959 and 1960. He would win the 1500-yard freestyle again 1961. In 1962, Benson turned in one of the finest performances of all time by a Gustavus swimmer when he won the 220-, 440- and 1500-yard freestyle titles at the MIAC Championships. He set conference and school records in each event. (All three records still stand due to the fact that the event distances were changed following that season.) Benson qualified for the NCAA Small College Championships that same season in the 1500-yard freestyle and went on to finish third in the nation.

Graduating with a major in business administration, Benson pursued a career in the insurance industry where he has remained for the past 39 years. In July of 2001, he became the manager of the Oregon Fair Plan, a quasi-governmental organization formed by the Oregon legislature to provide property insurance for individuals who have trouble finding insurance in the common market. Phil lives in Beaverton, Oregon, with his wife, Marion (Jaeschke '65). They have three children, Christopher (30), Stephanie (28), and Amanda (26).