||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
Jim Bollinger To Be Honored|
As Outstanding Alumnus
MAILED: July 28, 1999|
For Jim Bollinger, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has been the center of his life for a long time. He attended UW-Eau Claire in the 1950s, he met his future wife while studying in the campus library, he worked for the university for 27 years and his four children have attended the institution.
Now he can add one more thing to his already lengthy list of Blugold memories.
Bollinger is the recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Service Award, the most prestigious award given to graduates of UW-Eau Claire. He will be presented with the award during a special luncheon the day of summer commencement, Saturday, Aug. 7.
"I was very surprised to have received this recognition," Bollinger said. "But I am extremely pleased and appreciative."
As a student, Bollinger majored in mathematics and played varsity basketball, baseball and football before earning his bachelor's degree in 1957. As an employee of the university, he was the assistant chancellor for administrative services, responsible for personnel, payroll, controller, business services, public safety and facilities planning and management.
Bollinger oversaw the completion of dozens of campus improvement projects before retiring in 1997. He supervised projects ranging from the construction of Hibbard Hall to the rerouting of vehicle traffic away from the campus' center to the $8.4 million remodeling of the McIntyre Library.
Among the most notable of his accomplishments was his success in turning a 40-acre sandy field along Stein Boulevard into a heavily used recreation complex for students, faculty, staff and community members. The complex was dedicated to Bollinger when he retired.
"I've had lots of fond memories come out of my relationship with the university," he said. "UW-Eau Claire is a great institution."
Under Bollinger's leadership, UW-Eau Claire became more pedestrian friendly than in 1970 when parking lots were scattered throughout the campus bringing thousands of vehicles through the center of campus every day. Today, parking lots are located on the fringes of the campus, keeping vehicular traffic through the central part of the campus to a minimum.
The elimination of parking at the center of campus meant more green space in those areas. The Central Campus Mall, for example, was a parking lot when Bollinger joined the staff. Now students study and socialize on the mall, and community members gather there for forums and concerts.
"When prospective students visit the university they often mention the beauty of the campus," Bollinger said. "From a facilities point of view, the campus is in a great location."
But the setting didn't have everything to do with the success of the university, he said. The leadership of the chancellors, the support of the thousands of students who have passed through the university, and the faculty and staff has made the university great, he said.
Bollinger's involvement with and commitment to UW-Eau Claire both as a student and as an employee amount to a lifetime of service to the university, said Suzanne Slota, director of Alumni Relations.
"Jim is a wonderful example of the type of person who makes UW-Eau Claire such a wonderful institution," Slota said. "The Alumni Association is pleased to recognize Jim for the many contributions he has made to UW-Eau Claire."
Bollinger earned a master's degree in school administration from UW-Madison in 1961 and started his professional career as a teacher and coach in Port Washington. He later taught and coached at Eau Claire Memorial and was principal of Wausau High School.
"The highlight of my career was when they named the (Bollinger) field in my honor," he said. "But this award ranks right up there. The fact that the Alumni Association recognized me is very special."
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 28, 1999