Lakeland mourns death of longtime supporter Terry Kohler
Terry Kohler, a dedicated supporter of Lakeland University whose impact was felt across a wide range of his professional and personal interests, died Tuesday. He was 82.
In May of 2001, The Charlotte and Walter Kohler Charitable Trust gave $1.5 million to the Lakeland's endowment fund, which at that time was the largest single gift in the institution's history. The Trust is named for Terry's parents, former Wisconsin Governor Walter Kohler Jr. and his wife, Charlotte.
The gift funded Lakeland's Charlotte and Walter Kohler Charitable Trust Professor of Business and Economics, a position held by Scott Niederjohn, dean of the School of Business and Entrepreneurship, since its creation. The gift also established the Charlotte and Walter Kohler Distinguished Business Lecture Series.
"Terry Kohler will be remembered as one of the true giants of this community," said Niederjohn, who got to know the Kohlers through his position and his work managing the Kohler Lecture Series. "He made his mark on state and national politics, the business community, the sailing industry and through his philanthropic and conservationist efforts.
"He always had a soft spot for Lakeland. He and Mary are certainly among the most significant supporters the institution has known over its long history. He helped Lakeland secure internationally known speakers while also supporting many other programs to enhance the experience for Lakeland students.
"Lakeland will miss Terry. I'm proud to continue to serve Lakeland in this position named for the trust, and the institution is so grateful for his many years of support."
A 32-station computer lab in the Harold G. Laun Center for Business and Technology is also named as a result of a gift from The Charlotte and Walter Kohler Charitable Trust. Terry Kohler also financially supported student scholarships and experiences and Lakeland's aviation program.
Terry Kohler served as Lakeland's first Businessman in Residence in the late 1970s, launching a program that invited high-level executives to campus to lead sessions with students and offer them real-world lessons and networking opportunities.
At the time of the Trust's gift in 2001, Terry Kohler said, "As the first Businessman in Residence at Lakeland, I remember clearly the student commitment to learning about the economic world. The private enterprise system held an allure for them in that academic environment that was very edifying to me. Lakeland demonstrated its ability to interest and educate its students in the ways of the marketplace."
This past spring, the Kohler Business Lecture celebrated its 15th talk. Series speakers have included some of Terry's personal contacts, including former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and noted publisher and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes.
Faculty artwork is focus of first Bradley Gallery exhibit
Original work by members of Lakeland University's art faculty will be in the spotlight as Lakeland opens its 2016-17 Bradley Gallery season.
An opening reception will be held on Friday, Sept. 16, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Bradley Fine Arts Building on the Lakeland campus. The show will run through Oct. 28. Attendance at the reception and admittance to the Bradley Gallery are free and open to the public.
The Bradley Gallery is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, when the university is in session.
Among the artists will be Lakeland's two full-time art faculty members, longtime Associate Professor of Art and Bradley Gallery Director Bill Weidner and Monique Brickham, who's in her first year as an assistant professor of art.
The program's three adjunct faculty will also be featured. Denise Presnell-Weidner, who recently retired after serving as a full-time faculty member, and longtime adjuncts Pat Robison and Mark Weber will display their work.
Weidner came to Lakeland in 1989 and has helped lead development of the university's art program and taught virtually every studio art class in the major. He also served as an instructor of art at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center for several years.
He has previously taught at Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Mich.; Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, Wis.; Louisiana State University-Shreveport; Northwestern State University of Louisiana; Natchitoches, La.; Benedictine College; Atchison, Kan.; The Mercersburg Academy; Mercersburg, Pa.; and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The winner of numerous awards, Weidner's work has been featured in dozens of art exhibits over the years. His work is currently represented in River Edge Galleries in Mishicot, Wis., and he has previously been represented in galleries in Madison, Milwaukee, Elkhart Lake, Wausau and Northfield, Mich.
Weidner's work in this show includes nine sculptures, two pastels of the figure, a painting from the Golden Section Series and several figure studies all completed in the last two years.
"Work on sculpture has certainly dominated my studio time over the last two years," Weidner said. "And this is a big shift for me since my entire career as an artist has been dominated by the production of paintings."
Brickham is leading the graphic design portion of Lakeland's art major, and comes to the university with a wealth of classroom and professional experience. For the past three years, she has worked as a graphic designer at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., and she's worked as a freelance designer since 2005, serving a lengthy list of clients. She also worked in design roles at Convergent Marketing in Appleton, Journal Community Publishing Group in Waupaca, Wis., and at the Appleton Post Crescent.
She has a master of fine arts degree in graphic design from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, a web design certificate and a web development certificate from Fox Valley Technical College and a bachelor's degree in communication and the arts with a graphic design emphasis from the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay. She is also an Adobe Certified Expert in InDesign, one of a small handful of people in the state with this credential.
Presnell-Weidner came to Lakeland in 1989 as a member of the faculty and co-director of the Bradley Gallery with her husband, Bill. She served as chair of the Creative Arts Division and helped lead development of the graphic arts emphasis within the art major. A prolific professional painter, printmaker and pastel artist, her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions regionally, nationally and internationally. She is represented by professional art galleries in Milwaukee, Mishicot and Elkhart Lake.
Her pieces in this show are oil on canvas, oil on polyester, digital print/mixed media and ink monotype.
"I've come to realize that my artwork is the visualization of my inner psychology," Presnell-Weidner said. "It (my artwork) tells me things about myself that I had forgotten about or shows me there's a lot more to me than I have been paying attention to."
A veteran of more than 40 years in commercial graphics markets, Weber brings a diverse background to the classroom, having owned and operated a graphics business, worked as senior graphic designer for Kohler Co., assistant creative director at a local agency and graphics manager for Rust E&I managing 70 offices nationwide (identity, advertising, print, tradeshows, and promotional items), and represented two digital offset print firms as a sales and graphics manager.
His pieces in this show represent illustrations, graphic design, and print production management.
Robison is the owner of Two Fish Gallery in Elkhart Lake, and he is also a longtime instructor at the JMKAC.
Lakeland welcomes four new faculty members
Lakeland University is welcoming four new full-time faculty members this fall.
New to the university are Monique Brickham, assistant professor of art; John Guarente, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities; and Ana Galaviz-Echagaray, visiting instructor of Spanish. Kim Viglietti, who has been teaching at Lakeland part-time since 2011, is now a full-time instructor of business administration.
Brickham will lead the graphic design portion of Lakeland's art major, and comes to the university with a wealth of classroom and professional experience.
For the past three years, she has worked as a graphic designer at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., and she's also worked as a freelance designer since 2005, serving a lengthy list of clients. She also worked in design roles at Convergent Marketing in Appleton, Journal Community Publishing Group in Waupaca, Wis., and at the Appleton Post Crescent.
She has taught as an adjunct instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay since 2012, and was a graduate instructor at the University of Minnesota-Duluth School of Fine Arts while in graduate school.
She has a master of fine arts in graphic design from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, a web design certificate and a web development certificate from Fox Valley Technical College and a bachelor's degree in communication and the arts with a graphic design emphasis from the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay.
Guarente comes to Lakeland as an experienced conductor and educator at the collegiate level. He comes to Lakeland after service as director of vocal music at the College of Central Florida, where he conducted the CF Patriot Singers and the Musical Theatre Ensemble. He worked closely with the band director and theatre faculty to coordinate musical theatre performances, joint concerts with band and choir, voice/piano recitals and voice juries, and prepared and arranged performances for numerous campus events.
In his role at CF, he regularly networked with regional high school teachers and church directors, running workshops with choirs and planning collaborative events to help recruit talented singers and maintain the college's visibility within the community.
In 2012, Guarente received a teaching fellowship with the Miami Choral Academy, a community outreach program funded by Seraphic Fire. In working with MCA, he brought choral music to underprivileged schools in the Greater Miami Area and developed a music skills curriculum for elementary school students.
In 2015, he became the artistic director for the Marion Civic Chorale, the area's oldest and largest community chorus. He was also recently featured conductor for the second annual Marion County All-County High School Honor Choir, and was the featured choral clinician for the Ocala Summer Music Camp.
He received a doctorate of musical arts in choral conducting with a doctoral cognate in vocal pedagogy from the University of Miami, and a bachelor of arts and a master of music degree with a concentration in choral conducting from Rutgers University.
Viglietti has been an adjunct instructor at Lakeland since the spring of 2011, teaching Business Information Processing, Management Information Systems, Management Principles and Marketing Principles.
She brings a wealth of professional business experience to the classroom. She worked nearly 20 years at Kohler Co., including time as product manager for kitchen faucets and retail faucets in global marketing and as associate channel manager and senior marketing analyst in North American faucets marketing.
Viglietti has a master of business administration from Concordia University and a bachelor's in business administration with specializations in economics and business from UW-Madison.
Galaviz-Echagaray comes to Lakeland after two years of service as a teaching assistant in intermediate and advanced undergraduate Spanish at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where she received a master of arts degree. She has a bachelor's in Hispanic languages and literature from Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa in west-central Mexico.
As part of her master's degree studies, she took a service learning class entitled The Latino Youth Biliteracy Project, which included her committing to 30 hours of service learning projects in Arkansas schools during the semester.
Lakeland graduate returns in new athletics role
Leslie Laster, a two-time Lakeland graduate and a member of the university's Athletic Hall of Fame, has been named Lakeland University's first director of student-athlete development. Her first day at Lakeland is Sept. 12.
Laster, who received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Lakeland in 1998 and her master of arts in counseling from Lakeland in 2010, will work with various areas of the campus community to ensure student-athletes have the tools and resources necessary to succeed in the classroom and in personal and professional development.
She will focus primarily on first- and second-year student-athletes, but will provide overall support and guidance as necessary to support retention and graduation of all student-athletes. She will report to the dean of students and work closely with the director of athletics.
Laster will also advise Lakeland's Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), work on enhancing Lakeland's game-day experience and coordinate with the Lakeland alumni office to engage alumni in mentoring and networking opportunities with student-athletes.
Laster returns to Lakeland after working more than 15 years with young people, primarily in counseling roles in the Sheboygan Area School district. She most recently was a counselor at Horace Mann Middle School.
She came to Lakeland as an undergraduate from Iron Mountain, Mich. The former Leslie Jerks was a two-sport standout, earning numerous honors in both basketball and volleyball. She was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.
Laster lives in Sheboygan with her husband, Santino Laster, a 2005 Lakeland graduate, and their three sons.
Iris Moran, a 1961 Lakeland College graduate and a strong, lifelong supporter of the school's music program, died last month after a fall while visiting the Hoover Dam in Nevada.
Moran, of Mountain View, Calif., decided to attend Lakeland in 1957 after watching a performance by the Dis-Chords, a Lakeland singing quartet, in her hometown of New Salem, N.D.
"Receiving a scholarship and the promise of a part-time job made my college education possible," she said in 2012. "Lakeland College opened up my world and has motivated me to contribute to Lakeland all these years."
Iris grew up in the United Church of Christ and loved to sing, which made her a perfect fit for Lakeland and legendary music professor Henry Ellerbusch.
Iris and her husband, Tom, made a significant pledge to Lakeland's choir program in 2014, and the family asks that memorial gifts are made to Lakeland's Professor Ellerbusch Music Scholarship Fund, W3718 South Drive, Plymouth, Wis., 53073; or to Foothills Congregational UCC Church, 461 Orange Ave., Los Altos, Calif., 94022.
"Iris lived life to the fullest," said her obituary. "Her energy was legendary, her love was expansive, and her ebullience infectious. She gave selflessly to her family, friends, church and other organizations. No task was too great if it benefited her family and others."
Read the full obituary online.