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UW-Fox Valley Commencement 2000

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The University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley has announced plans for its annual commencement program. Scheduled for Wednesday, May 17, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the Fieldhouse, 80 graduates are expected to walk across the stage to receive their diplomas.

Although the University of Wisconsin - Fox Valley has had a presence in the Fox Cities since 1933, two-year degrees first began to be awarded to students in 1974. The 2000 Commencement marks the 27th year that the freshman-sophomore University of Wisconsin campus in Menasha has been awarding the two-year degree to qualifying students. Of the 80 students graduating with an Associate's Degree this year, 7 have earned "Honors" status; 4 have earned "High Honors;" and 1 has earned "Highest Honors."

The commencement speaker is Dr. David Ward, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Deputy to the President of the UW System.

Dr. Ward joined the UW System 31 years ago as an Assistant Professor of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He received his B.B.A., M.B.A., and Ph.D. degrees in finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During the time he has been with the UW System, he served seven years on the faculty at UW-Green Bay and 18 years on the faculty at UW Oshkosh.

Most of the time that Dr. Ward has been in the UW System has been focused on teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level. His teaching career includes work in distance education. He is the author and host of two nationally distributed telecourses in the 1970's. While a professor at UW Oshkosh, his colleagues at that campus recognized his teaching efforts by selecting him for the University's Distinguished Teaching Award.

Dr. Ward's area of scholarship is risk and returns in defaulted bonds. His work has been recognized by a number of leading investment-banking firms. He has recently had an article published in the Financial Analyst's Journal, dealing with investment opportunities in defaulted bonds.

After 25 years on UW System campuses, he joined the UW System administration in Madison, in August of 1994, in his present role. He currently serves as the chief academic and student affairs officer for the UW System and is responsible for systemwide planning of information and instructional technology. Dr. Ward's administrative career in the UW System also includes five years as Vice Chancellor and one year as Acting Chancellor at UW Oshkosh.

Two long-time UWFox faculty members are being recognized at the Commencement ceremony as they move into retirement from the UW System.

Mike Spencer, Associate Professor of Physical Education, has been a faculty member in the UWFox Athletic Department since 1971. He earned his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and his M.S. from U.C.L.A. He has taken numerous additional professional courses, which eventually earned him the "Specialist Certification" through the Institute for Aerobic Research in 1995. He has conducted research into many aspects of teaching golf, individual fitness, wellness over 50, and alternative health practices.

Spencer's coaching record at UWFox is exceptional. His men's basketball team won the conference championship in 1974. His men's tennis teams were conference champions seven times. His women's tennis teams were conference champions twice. Mike was selected State Junior College Golf "Coach of the Year" four times, and tennis "Coach of the Year" eight times.

Dr. Larry White, Professor of Political Science, has been at UWFox since 1982. He has been in the UW System since 1969. Larry earned his B.S. and M.S. from Pittsburg State College (KS) and his D.A. from Idaho State University.

In addition to teaching, White has served as Chairperson of the UW Colleges Political Science Department twice, and has served on numerous committees and councils, including several leadership roles. He has been published in a variety of publications, that include the National Social Science Journal, the Social Science Perspective Journal, Viewpoints, The Community College Social Science Journal, and Rendezvous. In 1993, White was presented with the prestigious UW System "Arthur M. Kaplan Award in recognition of innovative and dedication to classroom " instruction.

Besides the graduates and retiring faculty receiving their respective recognition, other UWFox students are being recognized for their academic excellence. Departmental awards are being presented to various students in the fields of Art, Biology, Communication and Theatre Arts, English, Geography and Geology, Mathematics, and Music.

45 UWFox students are being recognized for having received financial scholarships in three categories: 13 New Student Scholarships, 23 Continuing Student Scholarships, and 9 Scholarships for Departing Students.

Other awards that are being presented at the ceremony include:

  • The Appleton Breakfast Rotary Club President James Vandenberg is presenting its annual Cutting Edge Award to a UWFox student.
  • UWFox Student of the Year.
  • Teacher of the Year.
  • Staff Member of the Year.
  • Larry D. White Classified Staff Award.
  • Marilee White Instructional Academic Staff Award.

UWFox Associate Professor of Music Dave Jordahl is leading the Fox Valley Concert Band as they provide music for the program. Liz Calabria, a UWFox student, is providing a solo rendition of America the Beautiful as part of the program.

Posted 5/10/2000