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Four to be honored with Alumni Association awards

Four alumni and friends of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will receive Alumni Association awards on Friday, May 17.

Honorary Alumnus Award 

The Honorary Alumnus Award is presented to non-alumni or non-degreed alumni who have demonstrated great love of and service to UW-Eau Claire or the greater community.

John Rosenow

John Rosenow

John Rosenow

Rosenow is a Buffalo County dairy farmer and a “visionary leader” who has employed multiple workers from Mexico for many years, according to Dr. Kranti Dugar, assistant professor in marketing and supply chain management. Rosenow was instrumental in developing the Puentes/Bridges project that takes Wisconsin farmers to Mexico to learn about their workers’ culture and meet their families. Rosenow is co-developing an educational domestic immersion program with UW-Eau Claire centered around his dairy facility that will affect many Blugold majors.

“John’s life-guiding philosophy is advocating for those who do not have a voice that is heard here, sharing stories with others and connecting people to one another,” according to award nominators. “He keeps an open mind; he’s quiet, soft-spoken, and a man who genuinely listens to opposing views, ponders them as needed, and ultimately is not afraid to evolve as a result if he finds worth in those viewpoints.”

Rosenow has been on multiple statewide organizations and foundation boards, working for positive changes in rural Wisconsin. He is proud of his work over the past 20 years to better understand the culture, heritage and language of his workers from Mexico.

“In a politically charged arena of immigration discussion, I try to explain to others how much we have in common with others from a different part of the world,” Rosenow says.

President’s Award

The President’s Award recognizes outstanding professional and personal achievements and service to UW-Eau ClaIre.

Nancy Langer ‘85, bachelor’s degree in management information systems

Nancy Langer

Nancy Langer

Langer is CEO of Transact Campus, the award-winning leader in innovative campus technology and payment solutions, serving over 1,900 universities and medical campuses, and more than 12 million students. In her 35 years of experience in financial technology, she has been recognized as a transformative executive. Langer has driven significant transformation and growth solidifying Transact’s position as a leader in the industry. She led the first service bureau internet banking platform in the world and the second-largest electronic bill payment platform. She received the 2018 and 2019 Top 50 Women of Influence Award from Housing Wire Magazine and the 2016 and 2017 Female Executive of the Year recognition from the Stevie Awards.

“Nancy has focused on creating excellent work environments at Transact Campus, named the midsize finalist for the Phoenix Business Journal’s Best Place to Work,” according to her nominator. “Her leadership skills are well documented.”

Langer encourages Blugolds to “weave your path with threads of passion and do not settle for anything less than what sets your soul on fire.” She urges people to step out of their comfort zones and surround themselves with a mosaic of minds that challenge, teach and propel us to see things through different perspectives.

“Honor your word — integrity is your armor,” Langer says. “Accountability, coupled with empathy, constructs the foundation of lasting relationships and personal growth. Break down your goals into smaller ones — it’s a journey, not a sprint.”

Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award

The Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award is presented to alumni and recognizes distinguished service to the community, state or nation in a manner that brings credit upon the award recipient and UW-Eau Claire.

Gary Jacobus ’83, bachelor’s degree in marketing

gary Jacobus, alumni awards

Gary Jacobus

Jacobus is president of business development for the Americas for ASM Global, the world’s largest venue management company, with 400 venues under management worldwide. He has held senior leadership positions within global sports properties, agencies, startups and large global companies, including the NFL, NBA and U.S. Tennis Association. He recently shared his expertise, wisdom and advice with current College of Business students at the Business of Sports Symposium.

“Gary is willing to help guide and connect current Blugolds who are interested in his industry and generously supports UWEC through his time, talent and resources,” according to his nominator.

Jacobus says he has been fortunate throughout his career to have tremendous mentors, colleagues, friends and family to guide and advise him. He credits his successful business career to being open to exploring new career avenues, seeking new challenges and focusing on being a lifelong learner. Jacobus urges new Blugold graduates to “be fearless, be bold, be present and make things happen.”

“Always be the one to raise your hand at work and take on new projects,” Jacobus says. “Be the ‘go-to’ person that others rely on to get things done. Keep your head down, overdeliver, produce great work, be a team player, and very quickly, leadership will notice you. Whatever your position, be the very best at it. Promotions will come your way if you deliver in your current position.”

Lifetime Excellence Award

The Lifetime Excellence Award is presented to alumni who have demonstrated longtime and successful commitment to their careers and communities. These individuals have made a positive and dramatic impact through their enthusiastic dedication to service and living their lives as a testimony to UW-Eau Claire’s motto, “Excellence.”

Jerry M. Bauer ’74, bachelor’s degree in business management

Jerry Bauer

Jerry M. Bauer

Bauer has worked at the family-owned, Durand-based Bauer Built Inc., for almost 58 years. Bauer Built is one of the largest independent tire dealers and retread manufacturers in North America. Bauer became president in 1976 and added chairman of the board and CEO to his responsibilities in 1980. In 2013, as the family’s third generation got more involved in the business, his son was promoted to president, while he retained the titles of chairman and CEO, positions he still holds today.

After graduating from UW-Eau Claire in May 1974, Bauer says he went fishing with his father in Canada, then returned home to work at the family-owned business “and never looked back.” He has enjoyed working with multiple generations of family members in the business, saying his time at Bauer Built has been “a life for me, not a job. When it becomes a job, I will find something else I like.”

Bauer always has strived to do the basics better than the competition, and that has helped him accomplish the more difficult aspects of work and life. He recommends that people not be afraid to put both body and mind to work, and to do more than is asked of them.

“Avoid procrastination, when possible, whether it is the right decision or the wrong decision. Decide, because often, no decision is worse,” Bauer says. “I have during my career subscribed to the following philosophy: ‘Don’t put it off; do it now … then it’s done!’ Life passes by fast. Don’t spend a disproportionate time thinking and not enough time doing.”

Honorary doctorates

In addition to the alumni awards, Dr. Richard Helmers and Dr. Tim Nelson will be recognized as the fourth and fifth individuals to receive an honorary doctorate from the university. Helmers is regional vice president for Mayo Clinic Health System Northwest Wisconsin and Nelson, a 1998 UW-Eau Claire graduate, is director of innovation for Mayo Clinic Health System Northwest Wisconsin.