Lakeland mourns passing of former President Richard Hill
Richard Hill, Lakeland College's 12th president, passed away Wednesday night in Florida. He was 87.
Services will be held in Florida and Wisconsin. Burial will take place at Immanuel United Church of Christ on June 2 in a private ceremony. A public celebration of Hill's life will be held at the Ley Chapel on the Lakeland campus at 1:30 p.m. on June 2.
Hill led Lakeland from 1977-89, a time that saw significant growth both physically and financially. The Todd Wehr Physical Education Center (1984), Bradley Fine Arts Building (1987) and the Verhulst Center for the Arts (1988) were all constructed during his tenure, and the library received a significant addition and was named for former trustee John Esch.
During his Lakeland presidency, Hill served on several local boards, and also was president of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
After leaving the presidency, Hill served as Lakeland's only chancellor from 1989-91 during the early years of the presidency of David Black. Hill was named president emeritus by the board of trustees upon his retirement, and in 1994, the trustees named two new apartments for Hill and former Lakeland President John Morland.
Hill received honorary doctorates from Lakeland and Carroll College (his undergraduate alma mater), and an endowed Lakeland scholarship in his name was created at the time of his retirement.
After leaving Wisconsin, Hill and his wife, Marilyn, often hosted Lakeland visitors at their home in Florida and were regular attendees at Lakeland’s annual Florida alumni gathering.
The early years of Hill's presidency saw the establishment of the Lifelong Learning Program, the state's first degree-completion program for working adults. Today, the Evening, Weekend and Online program has more than 2,000 students. Another highlight of the Hill presidency came in 1978, when the science center, which was dedicated in 1968, was named for former trustee Lucius Chase.
The Bradley was dedicated on Oct. 18, 1987, on a night that included a performance by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Bradley Gallery's first exhibit. The campaign to build the Bradley Building included a $500,000 gift from Lloyd and Jane Pettit, at the time one of the largest contributions in Lakeland's history.
The completion of the Wehr Center ushered in the modern era of Lakeland athletics, giving the Muskies a state-of-the-art facility which was expanded in 2005, and the completion of both the Verhulst Center and the Bradley signaled Lakeland's strong commitment to the fine arts.
Prior to serving at Lakeland, Hill was president of Huron College in South Dakota and assistant to the president and other roles at Carroll College. He received a master of divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, was an ordained Presbyterian minister and served churches in Wisconsin and Illinois.
West Foundation grant will help Lakeland expand computer science program
Lakeland College has received a $50,000 grant from the West Foundation in Manitowoc to enhance its computer science program and to fund efforts to increase graduation rates.
A total of $31,200 will fund several new pieces of equipment that students studying computer science can access. With the new equipment, the program will give every computer science student an artificial intelligence programming experience with modern robots, delve into computer forensics and perform hands-on 3D printing with resin.
Lakeland will purchase three new humanoid robots to go with the two it currently has to expand its artificial intelligence program. The new robots will allow for team exercises and open the door to Lakeland students competing in regional or national robotics competitions. The two existing robots have benefitted Lakeland students and hundreds of area high school and middle school students who have visited campus for hands-on computer science experiences.
A portion of the funds will be used to create a forensic computer lab, where students will learn hacking, engage in penetration testing exercises and allow Lakeland to host hackathon competitions.
"The skills necessary to fend off hacker and malware attacks are in high demand in the marketplace, but we cannot teach these skills without appropriately safeguarded systems," said Cindy Lindstrom, assistant professor of computer science. "This lab will allow us to significantly expand this portion of our program."
Students interested in technical design will now have access to a new, state-of-the-art, 3D resin printer, which allows design in unbreakable materials and additional designs.
Previous support from the West Foundation had allowed Lakeland to create a state-of-the-art classroom and a lab with leading-edge technologies, including the first 3D printer and the two robots.
"Last year, every traditional computer science graduate found employment in their field," Lindstrom said. "With the support of the West Foundation, we are earning a reputation as a leading program and provider of quality computer science graduates, and this additional equipment will allow us to do even more. I'm excited for our students and the opportunities we will have for them."
The additional money will also fund a software program, Starfish from Hobsons, which will support Lakeland's student success and retention initiative.
The new software will provide a single communication platform for all student information including alert and intervention status. It will allow for advisors, faculty, staff and student success coaches to monitor students assigned to their classes, monitor student goals, create action plans and coordinate intervention strategies. This platform will be deployed for both traditional and non-traditional Lakeland students, serving nearly 3,000 students in the first year.
Nate Lowe named dean of School of Humanities and Fine Arts
Lakeland College President Dan Eck today announced the appointment of Nate Lowe as dean of Lakeland University's School of Humanities and Fine Arts, rounding out the institution's new academic leadership team.
As part of the transition to Lakeland University, which begins July 1, the college's existing seven academic divisions will be restructured into three schools – a School of Business & Entrepreneurship; a School of Science, Technology & Education; and a School of Humanities and Fine Arts.
Lowe, a member of Lakeland's faculty since 2007, will lead academic majors within the School of Humanities and Fine Arts and the development of new programming. He will also be responsible for supporting curricular alignment between the traditional and Evening, Weekend and Online delivery models. He will teach two courses annually.
The School of Humanities and Fine Arts will house Lakeland's undergraduate majors and minors in art, broad field social studies, communication, English, history, music, religion, Spanish and writing. Pending approval by the Higher Learning Commission, it will also offer a bachelor of fine arts degree in creative writing.
Lakeland previously announced that Meg Albrinck has been named Lakeland University's provost, Brian Frink will be dean of the School of Science, Technology & Education and Scott Niederjohn will be dean of the School of Business & Entrepreneurship.
All roles are effective Aug. 1.
Lowe currently serves Lakeland as chair of the Creative Arts Division and as associate professor of writing. He has served many administrative roles in the creative arts, interdisciplinary studies and academic assessment. He teaches creative writing, composition, interdisciplinary core and honors courses. In his classes, students are encouraged to share their knowledge, experience and writing with each other, where they find and learn from commonalities and differences.
Lowe's essays have been published in journals such as Ascent, Blood Orange Review, Beecher's Magazine and The Chattahoochee Review, honored with two Pushcart Prize nominations and listed among the year's "notable" in Best American Essays 2007. This May, the Council of Wisconsin Writers will award him an honorable mention for their annual Kay W. Levin Award for Short Nonfiction.
He is currently at work on a book of essays set in the many farm and ranch trucks in which he grew up, witnessed the lives of adults around him and eventually drove for himself.
He received a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Idaho.
Record crowd enjoys Movers & Shakers Gala
A record crowd of more than 650 people gathered for Lakeland College's ninth annual Movers & Shakers Gala on May 14 for a spectacular evening of dancing, multi-course gourmet food, fellowship and philanthropic fundraising.
This year's event, which benefited Lakeland College, marked the return of dancing as eight community leaders and their professional partners were showcased.
The Rev. Matthew Widder, pastor of Holy Name of Jesus and St. Clement parishes, won the Movers & Shakers Gala championship, which goes to the dancer with a combination of the best judges' scores and the most purchased votes. Widder, the last dancer of the night, performed a Texas two-step routine. Widder was sponsored by Friends of Father Matthew Widder.
As a result of Widder's victory, his charity of choice, St. Vincent de Paul Society of Sheboygan, will be the 2017 partner charity and receive $10,000.
The 2017 Movers & Shakers Gala, the 10th anniversary of the event, is set for May 20.
Winning the “Judges' Choice” award was Brooke Van Asten, a territory director at ACUITY, who danced a swing routine. Van Asten was sponsored by ACUITY.
Lakeland's Todd Wehr Center was transformed into a majestic ballroom, which included an elegant dance floor framed by wall-to-wall carpeting, professional lighting and multiple large video screens.
In its previous eight years, Movers & Shakers raised more than $3 million, including a four-year total of $263,500, for more than 30 nonprofit organizations.
All 2016 Gala proceeds will support student scholarships.
Major sponsors of this year's Gala were the Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Family Foundation; Sargento Foods, Inc.; Festival Foods; Studio Gear Technology; Zimmermann Printing; and Canopies Events with Distinction. Additional work was provided by Khrome, Blue Moon Studios and Salon Sasé.
The other 2016 dancers included:
- Sara Brotz, who works in research and development at Plastics Engineering Company, danced a cha-cha and hustle medley routine. Brotz was sponsored by Plastics Engineering Company.
- Dr. Carolyn Baxter, a board-certified psychiatrist for Prevea, danced an East Coast Swing routine. Baxter was sponsored by Prevea.
- Barbara Gannon, vice president of corporate communication at Sargento Foods, Inc. and chairperson of the Lakeland Board of Trustees, danced a rumba/cha-cha medley. Gannon was sponsored by Sargento Foods.
- Lola Roeh, general manager of The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake and a Lakeland graduate, danced a Latin routine. Roeh was sponsored Wisconsin Bank and Trust.
- Anne Schroeder, founder of Aprivé, danced a swing routine. Schroeder was sponsored by the Grover Family Foundation.
- Justin Webb, owner of Sun Graphics and founder of the BevCarts app, danced a hip-hop routine. Webb was sponsored by Sun Graphics and BevCarts.
Complete biographies of each dancer are available on the Movers & Shakers website, http://moversandshakersgala.org.
Each celebrity was paired with a professional dancer, and they spent months of training as they competed to win the support of three judges and the sell-out crowd.
Emcees for the evening were Mike Langan and Ike Dyksterhouse. Judges were Sandi Vasatka, Nellie Schmitt and Jenna Roeske.
Photos from this year's event are the Movers & Shakers Gala Facebook page: http://moversandshakersgala.org/facebook.
750-plus earn degrees during Lakeland's 154th commencement
Lakeland College awarded degrees to more than 750 students on Sunday at the college's 154th commencement.
A total of 764 students graduated, including 508 undergraduates and 256 graduate students. Lakeland held separate ceremonies for its graduate and undergraduate students in the Wehr Center fieldhouse on Lakeland's main campus.
It was the final graduation ceremony as Lakeland College, as the institution will become Lakeland University on July 1.
President Dan Eck told the students they join graduates of Mission House College, the institution's name prior to 1956, as important parts of the Lakeland story.
"We will still be the Lakeland you know and love," Eck said. "We will remain connected and honor our history and all of those people that have built this institution and witnessed its evolution from Mission House, to Lakeland College, and forward into the future."
Callie Olson, the winner of the Lakeland's Koehler Campus Senior Award and a double major in nonprofit organization management and religion, challenged her classmates to look up from their portable devices and invest in those around them.
"While I wish for you all to set out and follow your dreams and accomplish the many goals you have set for yourself, I wish even more for you to invest in and have meaningful relationships with others that continuously encourage you and uphold you during your times of need," Olson said. "Always strive to be a blessing to those around you every day, and never lose sight of those individuals who have helped you get to where you are today."
Benjamin M. Salzmann, president and CEO of ACUITY Insurance, delivered the commencement address for the undergraduate ceremony.
In addition to being an employer of dozens of Lakeland graduates, the college and ACUITY are partners in a program at Sheboygan South High School that allows South students to take computer science courses that earn both high school and college credit and creates work-based learning opportunities at ACUITY.
"We have hired more graduates from Lakeland than any other college or university in the nation," Salzmann said. "Lakeland graduates are absolutely vital to ACUITY's success."
Dale Vos, a Lakeland graduate and district sales manager for Great Lakes Hybrids, delivered the commencement address for the graduate ceremony. Vos received a master of business administration degree from Lakeland in 2012. His daughter, Grace, received her bachelor's degree in psychology with honors on Sunday.