Why are YOU celebrating 50 years of UW-Fond du Lac? - UW Oshkosh Today
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A celebration marking UW-Fond du Lac’s 50th anniversary on Nov. 2 brought together almost 200 alumni; current and former faculty and staff; students; county board members and community supporters.

Why are YOU celebrating 50 years of UW-Fond du Lac?
Anniversary celebration attendees share their reasons for spending a Friday evening on campus


“I wanted to connect with people and see familiar folk from good times. (The campus has) gone through various challenges and always managed to land on its feet with collective effort and a spirit of teamwork…a lesson I learned over  30 years of work here.” Mike Nofz, sociology professor, retired 2014.

“I have a connection to the university that goes back 48 years. I’m still involved as co-chair of the scholarship committee of the Foundation. I put off the start of a trip to be here.” Jack Heil, physics/chemistry/computer science professor 1970-2006; current UW-Fond du Lac Foundation Scholarship Committee, personally funding a STEM scholarship in perpetuity.

“UW-Fond du Lac is something special. We live here in Fond du Lac and we came to meet friends and see people. Fifty years is a great accomplishment for an institution.” Khaled Hussein, math professor and former associate dean, 2000-present.

“It’s like a close family: Students know all of the professors and have good relationships. The small class sizes mean we know each other one-on-one. I see my students here and out in the community.”  Joseph Fenrick, associate lecturer in geography-geology, 2013-present; and Fond du Lac County Board Supervisor, 2015-present.

“This has been my home for 15 years. My daughter was four months old and slept in a car carrier under a desk when I interviewed. I came here (to work) on purpose: I chose the (UW) Colleges over four-year schools because I knew I could make a tangible difference. Students come here and we launch them—we are a launching pad to do extraordinary things. I’ve worked with the best people here; the students, faculty and staff keep me here. And the Chancellor is committed to keep us what we are: an access campus.” Alayne Peterson, English Professor, 2005-present.


“I love coming back. I have real relationships with faculty. People cared from the get-go and they continue to. They care about students.” Micaela Holland, completed associate’s degree 2017; arrived on campus as a home-schooled high school senior; worked on campus and earned a UW-Fond du Lac Foundation scholarship.

“I found most of my friends in the music department. I met my husband, he’s my best memory from here.” Victoria Mayes, 50th anniversary instrumental performer, 2013 campus commencement student speaker.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 50 years. My cousin came the first year it opened, when I was 10. I was on campus 1976-78 and met Kathy (’75-’77); we’ve been married 38 years and have three kids and four grandsons. I’m on the Foundation board—it’s a labor of love. I’m proud of this institution that contributes so much to the community and state.” Joseph Tasch, student 1976-78, current UW-Fond du Lac Foundation board member.

“I attended two years, lived at home, had two jobs. I had lots of fun here. There might have been some skinny dipping in the pond.” Jerry Johnson, student in first class in 1968, retired Green Lake County Sheriff.


“I wasn’t going to miss the 50th anniversary. I started at the 35th anniversary, and there has been so much progress after that. We changed not just the physical campus, but the sense of worth and value. It was quite remarkable. The October [2000] night celebrating the rededication of the campus, I stood on the upper level of the Commons and saw all the happy people fill the room…I looked out the windows at the ponds, trees and sculptures and thought how lucky we are to have this and be given the opportunity to continue. It was an amazing moment that took my breath away. I love that campus.” Judy Goldsmith, UW-Fond du Lac Dean, 1993-2002; Interim Dean, 2009-10; Fond du Lac County Board Supervisor 2001-present.

“I volunteered tonight, because this is such a great place. I’ve been on campus 18 years in two positions. It’s an awesome place to be. People support each other through changes.” Fran Holzmann, campus administrative specialist.

“This is an access campus—I love getting to know our students. We stop and talk, and know their hopes and dreams.” Rhonda Stucky, academic technology specialist; member of campus staff since 2013.

“What has it taken to create and to continually work on a relationship that stretches between a state organization and a county, and has lasted 50 years as strong or stronger: That takes special people.” Martin Rudd, UW Oshkosh Assistant Chancellor for Access Campuses, UW-Fond du Lac / UW-Fox Valley


“I’ve been on the (UW-Fond du Lac) Foundation Board for a three-year term. I do not have an academic connection here, but this campus is a jewel in our community. It’s in good hands with the leadership here.” Marty Ison-Kocos; former FDL Area United Way Executive Director.

“I support my wife in her board work for affordability of post-secondary education…to make our community better.” Stan Kocos; in a campus class in 1992; current co-owner of a consulting business for non-profits with spouse Marty.

“I’m a supporter of the campus.  I’m a county board member and I went one year here in 1974. I associate fond memories here, and have friendships that lasted beyond campus.” Thomas Kitchen, student 1974; Fond du Lac County Board Supervisor, 2017-present.

“The best part of my job is celebrating events of the people of Fond du Lac County. I’m here to add my congratulations….We recognize the significant positive impact on so many people who attended school and on our community….We need to celebrate all the things  UW-Fond du Lac has done for the county—not just education, but also the cultural and social impact. I’m very proud of the place.” Allen Buechel, Fond du Lac County Board Executive, 1993-present.

Photo Gallery: UW-FDL 50th Anniversary

Related Story: The Constant in Change: Local Access to Higher Education


Laurie Krasin