Hall of Fame Inductee – Reunion 2003
Many Drew graduates claim that their lives were changed by legendary coach and Professor of Classics Sherman Plato Young, and Bob Lundberg is proud to be among them. Lundberg, who lettered in five sports at Walden (N.Y.) High School, came to Doc Young’s attention through his local Methodist minister. A few months later, in the fall of 1941, he was a scholarship recipient at Drew, where “Swede” Lundberg made a name for himself in baseball and basketball.
Lundberg’s Drew career was interrupted by World War II. He spent his junior year in the V-12 program at Princeton, where he was the second leading hitter in the Eastern Intercollegiate League, batting .362. His return for senior year in 1946-47, following Marine Corps service in the Pacific Theater and Japan, was a boon to Drew baseball. As shortstop and lead-off batter he led Drew’s team in on-base percentage in three winning baseball seasons (1942, 1943, and 1947), achieving .600 in his senior year. In his freshman year, the Acorn spoke of his “dynamite” hitting, not to mention “the heads-up running and the speed that make life less joyous for the opposing battery.” By his senior year, the Acorn considered him, the team captain, “one of the great shortstops of Drew history.” In basketball, he played one year of JV and two years on the varsity team, receiving JV scoring honors in February 1942 with 61 points that season; the Acorn spoke of his “very stellar game at guard and his brilliant set shooting.” He also played a year of varsity tennis, a game he still enjoys.
Graduation (cum laude, with a classics major) meant a decision: a minor league baseball contract, or graduate school? He chose to study history at the University of Virginia, emerging to work first in public relations in Baltimore and then in Philadelphia with the Pennsylvania Railroad. He moved back to the Madison area to join Prudential Insurance, serving 34 years (interrupted when the Marines called him back for 18 months in Korea), and retiring as corporate personnel director. Inactivity in retirement did not suit him, so he has been involved in real estate in the Madison-Chatham area for 18 years.
Lundberg, who was active in student life, has remained involved in Drew affairs. While in Philadelphia he was instrumental in forming Drew’s first regional club, still going strong. He has served on the College Alumni/ae Board on three separate occasions, including a term as president from 1978 to 1980. This and much other alumni/ae involvement earned him the Drew Alumni/ae Service Award in 1985. His many activities in Madison range from three years as a Councilman to presidencies of the PTA, the Little League, Kiwanis, and the Madison Golf Club, plus service on numerous boards and committees.
Lundberg married Wilma (Billie) Spink C’49, also active in real estate and a 1992 Drew Alumni/ae Service Award recipient, 53 years ago. They have two children and four grandchildren. The Lundbergs are now semi-retired, as half-year residence in Florida cramps their business style, though not their enjoyment of life.