Homecoming week fun for all; STEPS for Girls honored

Homecoming a real treat

The blog post after homecoming always is hard to summarize because so much happened over the course of the week that it’s impossible to mention everything I experienced. The week started Tuesday with stopping outside the Memorial Student Center to watch the Soapbox Derby cars being put together, and it ended Saturday with the homecoming football game.

In between I spent a lot of time Friday at the Stout Summit, enjoyed the Golden Reunion dinner Friday night and walked in the homecoming parade. It was a fun-filled week and a great way to help the campus celebrate its 125th anniversary.

Just as it is impossible to sum up the week’s activities, I’m not even going to try to thank everyone who helped make the week possible. However, I do know how much work went into this week. The effort is truly appreciated.

Photos and videos are available at our Facebook page. Our 125th anniversary homecoming celebration made me very StoutProud.

Parade winners announced

The winners of the parade judging were:


Chi Lambda and Delta Zeta

  • Best in Show Overall: Chi Lambda and Delta Zeta
  • Best in Show Community: District Attorney Andrea Nodolf
  • Best in Show Department: University Library
  • 1 Student Organization Float: HKMC HEC
  • 2 Student Organization Float: Sigma Sigma Sigma
  • 1 Student Organization Walking Unit:  International Relations Club
  • 2 Student Organization Walking Unit: Food Science Club
  • 1 Student Organization Vehicle: Housing Leadership and ROTC
  • 2 Student Organization Vehicle: Gender and Sexuality Alliance

Our Discovery Center Fab Lab made the parade trophies.

There were 40 units in the parade this year.

Regents hear about student job success

The UW System Board of Regents meeting coincided with our homecoming celebration. The event was hosted by UW-Eau Claire on Thursday and Friday. During the Thursday afternoon session, I had the opportunity to discuss with the Regents our successful efforts to help graduates find rewarding jobs either before or shortly after graduation.

I touted our Cooperative Education program, the efforts of the Discovery Center, our program directors and program advisory board members -— all key components of our 97.3 percent employment rate for recent graduates.

UW-Stout will host the Regents Oct. 5-6, 2017, so we will have a chance to showcase the campus to the UW System’s governing body.



I have a special place in my heart for the STEPS for Girls program at UW-Stout, which began two decades ago as a way to encourage more girls to enter the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Both of my daughters participated in STEPS, which stands for Science, Technology and Engineering Preview Summer program, and both are pursuing careers in a STEM field.

So I was overjoyed when I learned recently that STEPS has been honored by the STEM Forward organization as one of its 2016 Excellence in STEM Awards winners, the so-called STEMMY. STEPS won in the education category, sharing the award with Waukesha’s Catholic Memorial High School Propel Project.

The awards will be presented at the 13th annual sySTEMnow Conference Tuesday, Oct. 25 in Milwaukee.

The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram published a nice story in July on the 20th anniversary of STEPS, and a benefit concert featuring Canadian duo Dala is coming up in November at the Mabel Tainter.

I’d like to congratulate everyone who has helped develop this program over the years and to the current STEPS director, Jo Hopp, for a well-deserved award.