Classroom Named after Doug Hallatt, Founder of Leadership Institute
By Christina Parilek
A leader is "someone who feels something needs to be done and gets others to work toward that goal," according to Ken Vance, an Eau Claire automobile dealership owner. When defining what a leader is, Vance could be describing his long-time friend, Douglas Hallatt, founder of the UW-Eau Claire Leadership Institute. "Doug Hallatt is one of the natural leaders," said Vance, "He saw a need for UW-Eau Claire students to develop leadership skills and got others involved to help him accomplish his vision."
"A leader is someone who feels something needs to be done and gets others to work towards that goal."
- Ken Vance
Hallatt, who came to UW-Eau Claire in 1969, was named director of housing in 1970. Because he believed dormitory life should enhance a student's educational experience, he began offering cultural and educational programs to residents, including an evening leadership class. This popular class grew into the Leadership Institute, a summer leadership development program for incoming freshmen which has touched the lives of thousands of UW-Eau Claire students.
To recognize Hallatt's legacy and contribution to students, Ken and his wife, Roberta, have given the College of Business funds to remodel Schneider 310 and named the room after Hallatt. The Douglas Hallatt Business Classroom will be dedicated October 6, 2006 at a special recognition event for university and business community members. This is the second time the Vances have provided funds to remodel a classroom in Schneider Hall. In 2001, they donated funds to remodel Schneider 311.
The Douglas Hallatt Business Classroom will be used by faculty and staff in the department of Management and Marketing. The room which features tiered seating and special videotaping equipment, was designed by the marketing faculty to facilitate student role plays, team-building exercise, group work, and student presentations.
Vance sees these rooms as a stepping stone to empowering young professionals with stronger leadership skills. These skills, once learned, can be utilized throughout their careers. "Develop leaders, empower them, and then stay out the way," said Vance. Vance empowers his employees to be better leaders and try new things just as Hallatt did for young professionals. With the help of resources like the Douglas Hallatt Business Classroom, future leaders can try new things, make mistakes and fall, then get back up with the knowledge of how to avoid falling again.
Christina Parilek is a senior accounting student from Antigo, WI. She wrote this article as part of a BCOM 306 class project.