The Oregonian story had this little tidbit that caught my eye -
After graduating from Wy'East High School in 1957, Mortensen earned a full scholarship to Willamette University in Salem. There, Mortensen was one of the first students to pursue a bachelor's degree in economics with a mathematical approach to it, said Stewart Butler, who was Mortensen's classmate and roommate at the university.
I am sure Willamette University and its economics department are very proud (though I imagine the professors at that time are long gone), and well they should be. In the late 50s, mathematical economics was in its infancy and, even by the late 80s when I attended Lewis & Clark, it was often shunned in undergraduate curriculum. In fact, I spent a large part of my time as a Public Policy student at Wisconsin overloading on math classes. I took two straight years of math, starting from trigonometry, going through calculus and ending with real analysis just to prepare for graduate school in economics because I was completely unprepared even though I had an undergraduate economics degree.
So kudos to Willamette University and the economics department for being on the cutting edge and producing a Nobel laureate.