Thursday, August 29, 2013

Move-in day!

Meeting a student during day one of 2013 residence hall move-in.
I was excited to experience my first Blugold residence hall move-in day today, right along with some of our new freshmen who will live on campus this semester. Move-in is one of my favorite times of the year: It’s rejuvenating to see and feel the anticipation among new students. Today, hearing their stories about their hopes and dreams reminded me of the university community’s important role in nurturing, guiding and nudging young people as they embark on the next chapter of their lives. I love my job!

I had some wonderful conversations this morning with students and their parents about why they chose UW-Eau Claire. I even was treated to a chorus of “Happy Birthday” from some of the more than 400 returning students serving as volunteer “Hall Raisers.” Thank you for that! I couldn’t ask for a better birthday present than to meet all these outstanding members of the Blugold family. Welcome to campus, new and returning students!

Friday, August 16, 2013

A visit with an esteemed predecessor

UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt and Chancellor Emeritus Larry Schnack
Chancellor James Schmidt and Chancellor Emeritus Larry Schnack

It was my great honor to meet yesterday with Dr. Larry Schnack, who served as UW-Eau Claire’s chancellor from 1985-97, and who also served here on the chemistry faculty as well as in several other leadership roles before becoming chancellor. I enjoyed conversing with an individual so respected for his contributions to our university, the UW System and higher education in general. I look forward to many more conversations, Dr. Schnack!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Blugolds breaking ground

Jason Wudi, chief cultural officer for JAMF Software and a 2001 UW-Eau Claire management information systems graduate, addressed the crowd gathered Aug. 14 at the groundbreaking for JAMF Software's  new corporate offices in downtown Eau Claire.
Congratulations to JAMF Software, a company with strong UW-Eau Claire connections, on the groundbreaking for their new corporate offices in downtown Eau Claire! I had the pleasure of attending the ceremony on Wednesday.

JAMF was co-founded by Eau Claire native and 2004 UW-Eau Claire graduate Zach Halmstad, and the new corporate office is just the latest example of the company’s commitment to the city of Eau Claire.  The company has grown from four employees to more than 100 in Eau Claire alone, and their new 72,000-square-foot, $10 million building will enable them to grow their workforce here to 300 (I’m told JAMF also has about 100 employees in the Twin Cities, as well as offices in Cupertino, Calif., New York City, Hong Kong and Amsterdam). Currently, 35 percent of JAMF’s worldwide workforce are Blugolds! 

The groundbreaking was well attended, with many JAMF employees, members of the city council and business community present.  It was gratifying to hear so many of the speakers talk about the importance of JAMF’s new project to downtown Eau Claire redevelopment, and also the support expressed for the proposed Confluence Project, a $78 million public-private partnership to build a new community arts center, student housing and retail and office space at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers in downtown. JAMF has pledged $500,000 to the community arts center portion of the project and is supporting it because of the cultural amenities it will offer to employees and the Eau Claire community.

I’m proud to see Blugolds taking this important leadership role in helping to shape the future of our community!
Discussing the future of downtown Eau Claire with Blugold alumnus Jason Wudi at the groundbreaking for a new downtown corporate office for JAMF Software.