Stout Proud Party

A little time away is good for the soul

No matter what job you perform at UW-Stout, it is important to find balance between your professional responsibilities, your family obligations, your community and what you like to do for fun. That’s why I took a couple of days off last week to trek to our cabin in far northern Minnesota for a little time away from meetings, email and the other facets of the chancellor’s job. It was great spending Valentine’s Day with two of my three Valentines—my wife Debbie and my oldest daughter Erica (unfortunately, my youngest daughter Melly could not make the trip from Houston, Texas, to join us) We spent time reconnecting, enjoying the spectacular beauty of the winter, relaxing in the cabin we have built on Birch Lake, and even catching some fish through the ice.

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I was lucky enough, using some new electronic technology, to catch a couple of lake trout and a beautiful rainbow trout, which supplied some nice meals. We all work extremely hard at our jobs, and I truly believe that we will perform at our best if we take some time away to catch our breath and reconnect with our family and friends, as well as nature.  

An exemplary partnership

My wife Debbie and I were fortunate to be the guests of Rajiv and Swati Lall, the owners of Vets Plus, for a wonderful meal Monday night at Jake’s Supper Club. Vets Plus makes pet health and nutrition products. The Lalls are great supporters of UW-Stout and have generously provided resources in a numbers of ways, including a recent upgrade to our microbiology laboratory in Jarvis Hall, which is now named after the couple. Debbie and I enjoyed our time with the Lalls and others at the dinner.


Ted Maday, director of human resources and project management at Vets Plus, presented Rajiv and I with identical, beautiful pieces of artwork that celebrated our partnership. Vets Plus employs more than 30 UW-Stout graduates and is enjoying rapid growth. I want to thank Vice Chancellor Mark Parsons and his staff for helping to coordinate the evening, and for their work, along with Dean Chuck Bomar, in helping to build this exemplary partnership that benefits all of the parties involved.

Please attend the Stout Proud anniversary event Thursday

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We are in the second month of our year-long celebration of our 125th anniversary, and I want to invite everyone to the Stout Proud anniversary event from 1:25-2:50 p.m. Thursday in the Memorial Student Center’s Great Hall.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends are invited to celebrate Stout pride with cake, giveaways, photo booth fun, a dance team presentation, time capsule and selfies with Blaze.

Funding for the event has generously been provided from an endowment that is specifically designated per the trust of Wawa June Thorson, alumna. I hope that everyone on campus, as well as everyone else with an interest in UW-Stout, can find time to join us for this wonderful event.

Details about this and other 125th anniversary events are available at this website.