University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

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UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association
To Present Awards Aug. 2

 MAILED:  July 18, 2003

EAU CLAIRE - The UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association will present awards to five alumni and friends of the university Aug. 2 at a special luncheon and ceremony in conjunction with summer commencement.

Dennis Schwab will receive the President's Award, which recognizes outstanding professional or personal achievements or service to UW-Eau Claire. Schwab, a 1965 accounting graduate of UW-Eau Claire, has been a business leader and educator in the Oshkosh community for four decades. He has been the owner and operator of the Oshkosh Coldwell Banker real estate office since 1973 and previously was a full-time instructor in real estate and accounting at Fox Valley Technical Institute, where he since has been a guest instructor.

Schwab, who was honored in 1990 as the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Small Businessperson of the Year, has applied his real estate and development expertise to redeveloping properties in the Oshkosh area to promote new uses for those properties and to encourage better housing and business opportunities. He currently is working in cooperation with campus leaders at UW-Oshkosh developing plans for a learning and living community adjacent to the campus. He also was instrumental in revitalizing the campus neighborhood through the development of a housing and commercial complex there.

Schwab has a notable record of service to the Oshkosh community. He served as director of the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce and is a past president and director of the Oshkosh Commercial Development Corporation. He has served on several boards of directors, been prominent in realtors' organizations and has supported the work of many community service organizations, including the Oshkosh Public Library and the Oshkosh Hmong Lao American Association.

"Dennis' many achievements have directly benefited the quality of life in his community," said John Bachmeier, UW-Eau Claire director of alumni relations. "We're proud to honor him as an alumnus whose leadership and good works are making a difference."

Betty Cowley, Eau Claire, will be one of two recipients of the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award, which recognizes distinguished service to the community, state or nation in a manner that brings credit upon the recipient and the university. Cowley received both a bachelor's degree in education and a master's degree in teaching from UW-Eau Claire, in 1964 and 1971 respectively. Her 35-year career in education included teaching social studies at Altoona High School from 1966 to 1999. She also was an instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College and a guest lecturer at UW-Eau Claire.

Cowley was recognized with four national awards and also received a fellowship for study in Japan during her teaching career. She also served as a member of the CESA 10 Social Studies Curriculum Task Force and the UW-Eau Claire School of Education Task Force.

Following her retirement from teaching, Cowley completed research and writing on a book that documents the history of prisoner of war camps in Wisconsin during World War II. "Stalag Wisconsin: Inside WWII Prisoner of War Camps" was published in February 2002 and is now in its fourth printing. Since the book's release, Cowley has been interviewed by media and invited to give presentations throughout Wisconsin. Cowley also continues teaching history through a one-woman play she wrote after extensive research on former first lady Mary Todd Lincoln. She presents "Mary Todd Lincoln - Unveiled" to audiences throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota.

"While Betty Cowley officially 'retired' from teaching in 1999, her work as a historian and teacher clearly is still going strong," Bachmeier said. "With this award we recognize her for both an outstanding career in the classroom and her continued contributions to the teaching of history."

Larry and Marcia Weber, Durand, both will receive awards. Larry Weber, who graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1968 with a degree in accounting and sociology, will receive the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award. Larry Weber will step down in October after three years as chairman of the board of directors of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. As board chairman, he has provided leadership for the Foundation's first comprehensive fund-raising campaign, Fulfilling the Promise of Excellence, which seeks to raise $35 million in private support for the university.

Larry Weber is co-owner of Bauer Built Inc., a family-owned tire sales and retreading company based in Durand. He has helped lead Bauer Built to become one of North America's largest independent tire dealers. Before joining Bauer Built in 1970, he worked for two years with the Minneapolis office of Touche Ross (now Deloitte Touche), a national accounting firm.

Larry Weber was inducted into the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants 2002 Business and Industry Hall of Fame, and he is a past president of the Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He also has been an active volunteer in support of causes in the Durand area, and he has served on the UW-Eau Claire Foundation's Investment Committee and the UW-Eau Claire Business Advisory Committee.

"Larry has shown great dedication to family, career and community, and through it all he maintains the highest integrity," Bachmeier said. "We have been fortunate to have his leadership as the UW-Eau Claire Foundation undertakes its first comprehensive campaign to seek private support for the university."

Marcia Weber will receive the Honorary Alumnus Award, presented to a non-alumnus who has demonstrated great love of and service to UW-Eau Claire. She has played an integral role in nurturing - along with her husband, Larry - a family of UW-Eau Claire graduates. Of the couple's eight children, seven have attended UW-Eau Claire, and most of their spouses hold UW-Eau Claire degrees as well.

"Growing up we didn't really talk too much about whether or not we were going to go to college but instead where we were going to go," said Jessi (Weber) Annis, the Webers' sixth child and a 1995 UW-Eau Claire graduate along with her husband, Matt Annis. "For me, seeing most of my brothers and sisters go to Eau Claire, it was just the natural choice. I hope we do as well raising our children as my parents did raising me."

Annis was quoted in a centerspread story about the Weber family in the summer 2003 issue of The View, UW-Eau Claire's alumni publication. That article "attests to the Blugolds Marcia and Larry have created over the course of their marriage," said Carole Halberg, UW-Eau Claire Foundation president.

"Additionally, Marcia is Larry's support system in their personal and professional endeavors and is very active in the Durand community," Halberg said. "Marcia embodies the Blugold spirit and is a most deserving recipient of UW-Eau Claire's Honorary Alumnus Award."

Douglas Chickering, Stevens Point, will receive the Lifetime Excellence Award, presented to UW-Eau Claire alumni who have demonstrated longtime and successful commitment to their career and community, who have made a positive impact through dedication to service and whose lives are a testimony to UW-Eau Claire's motto, "Excellence." Chickering, who has been executive director of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association since 1986, is a 1963 mathematics and physical sciences graduate of UW-Eau Claire. He went on to earn a master's degree in school administration from UW-Superior in 1971.

Chickering began his career as a teacher-coach at Gilman High School, where he later was named principal, athletic director and eventually district administrator. He was named district administrator of schools in Marathon in 1974. Before becoming the WIAA's executive director, he served on the association's board of control from 1979-85, including terms as vice president in 1980-81 and president in 1981-82.

As WIAA executive director, Chickering facilitated the assimilation in 2000 of schools from the Wisconsin Independent Schools Athletic Association into the WIAA following WISAA's disbandment. He also oversaw the expansion of state tournament opportunities in all sports, which has allowed student-athletes from schools of all sizes to compete at the state level. Chickering has received numerous honors during his career. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administration Association in 2002, and he was inducted into both the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (1999) and Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2001). He also received special recognition for service to Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators in 2001.

"Doug Chickering is known as an administrator of the highest quality, and he is widely respected for his outstanding leadership at the helm of the WIAA," Bachmeier said. "Clearly he has made a longtime commitment to the young people of the state of Wisconsin that is deserving of UW-Eau Claire's Lifetime Excellence Award."

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JP


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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741
newsbur@uwec.edu

Updated: July 18, 2003