Retirement Class of 2012 honored
The 19 men and women included in the University of Wisconsin-Parkside retirement class of 2012 certainly had staying power. Together, people like wrestling coach Jim Koch, History Professor Laura Gellott, HR Manager Peg Lawton, and their fellow retirees contributed 440 years of service to our university. They were honored Tuesday during a ceremony in the Galbraith Room of Wyllie Hall.
Chancellor Debbie Ford praised two-time Stella Gray Teaching Excellence Award winner and Faculty Distinguished Service Award recipient Laura Gellott as the campus' "go-to person" for teaching, leadership, and service. Ford said during Professor Gellott's 30 years at UW-Parkside, she was an exceptional educator, chaired the History Department for eight years, chaired the University Committee, wrote the university's Higher Learning Commission Self-Study in 2001-2002, and served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Studies. Ford also announced during the ceremony that Professor Gellott had been granted Faculty Emerita status.
Men's Soccer Coach and Clinical Professor Rick Kilps was honored for his 27 years with the university. Kilps, a UW-Parkside graduate, led his teams to 363 wins making him the single sport coach with the most wins in UW-Parkside history. His players also excelled in the classroom, earning 119 All-Academic awards in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Ford noted Kilps was a six-time NAIA District Coach of the Year, a three-time Area Coach of the Year, a two-time NCAA Regional Coach of the Year, and he is enshrined in the three Halls of Fame.
Wrestling Coach Jim Koch served the university for 41 years, making him the longest tenured collegiate wrestling coach in Wisconsin at the time of his retirement. During 37 of those years he also served as a clinical professor. Ford noted his athletes earned 128 All-American honors, 80 academic All-American honors, and 14 individual national championships. After being named National Collegiate Rookie Coach of the Year in 1971 by the Amateur Wrestling News, Koch was the Wisconsin or Midwest Regional Coach of the Year 10 times and his name is included in four Halls of Fame. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Ford noted that HR's Carolyn "Peg" Lawton came to UW-Parkside from UW-Stout in 1981 as a typist in the Computer Science and Engineering Department and would give 29 years of service to the university. She left the university in 1990 to pursue a teaching career and returned in 1991 with Human Resources. She would provide distinguished service there for two decades before retiring as a Human Resources Manager-Advanced.
Catherine Jameson's 17 years with the university involved budgets in one form or another and in one place or another. She started at the Student Center, she then became the university's controller, then the budget officer. Chancellor Ford noted that Catherine said she "treasures" the relationships she developed here at UW-Parkside, adding Steve McLaughlin and William Streeter were her mentors.
Ford welcomed Karen Reiher, retired university services associate in the office of University Relations and Advancement, back to campus. She noted that Reiher received a nomination for the Classified Staff Distinguished Service Award and that her nominators praised her friendly and compassionate demeanor, and her dependability. Ford said Reiher was known for offering a helping hand regardless of her work load and her service beyond the call of duty to help students, staff, and visitors. Reiher served the university for 16 years.
Facilities Management maintenance mechanic Ed "Fast Eddie" Fonk was noted for his ever-present smile, the tune he always seemed to be whistling, and his two-part philosophy. "He said: 'If you enjoy your work, it's not a job' and 'Doing a great job on a little job now, can make a big difference later,'" Ford stated. She added the note that those Fonk worked with at UW-Parkside said: "Our only regret is that he didn't stay longer."
In the photo, UW-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford, left, showcased the careers of, from left, Rick Kilps, Jim Koch, Peg Lawton, Karen Reiher, Catherine Jameson, Ed Fonk, and Laura Gellott.More information on all members of the Retirement Class of 2012 is available on the university web site.