Nine alumni to receive awards

The Alumni Association will be awarding nine alumni on May 20

Lisa Snyder

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Photo of Dr. Brady and Jeanne Foust by Gary Johnson

Multiple alumni and contributors will be awarded by the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association on May 20

According to the association’s webpage, they exist to “promote the general welfare and success of University of Eau Claire graduates.

After graduation, students automatically become a member of the association and join 93,000 others with access to benefits and opportunities to advance your career and grow your network. 

Several classifications of awards will be distributed including the Honorary Alumnus Award, the President’s Award, the Lifetime Excellence Award and an honorary doctorate. 

The Honorary Alumnus Award will be given to Dr. Brady Foust and his wife Jeanne Foust for their demonstration of service and love to UW-Eau Claire and the community.

Brady Foust was chair of the geography department at UW-Eau Claire for 38 years, and Jeanne Foust had a 35 year career in the geographic information systems field. 

Together, the couple has donated $1 million to UW-Eau Claire to establish a scholarship fund, and another $1 million to the Pablo Center and the Confluence. 

The President’s Award will be given to three alumni to “recognize personal and professional achievements and service to UW-Eau Claire”. 

Recipients of the President’s Award for May 2022 include Dr. Jennifer Rogalsky, Dr. Russell Mikkelson and Laura Talley. 

Mikkelson, professor of music and director of bands at The Ohio State University, said he graduated in 1983 from UW-Eau Claire with a bachelor’s degree in music education. 

Mikkelson said he spent seven years teaching music for public schools in the area before getting his doctorate and eventually leading one of the largest and most prestigious band programs in the country. 

“I was incredibly flattered by the recognition,” Mikkelson said. “It gave me time to reminisce and realize UW-Eau Claire gave me an amazing education that allowed me to flourish as a professional.” 

Mikkelson said the university played a big role in his career and he is honored to be recognized for his professional achievements. 

The Lifetime Excellence Award is given to four alumni who have “demonstrated longtime and successful commitment to their careers and communities.” 

Recipients of the award this May include Mark Cosby, Timothy H. Murphy, Michael O’Meara and Michael Rindo. 

Rindo had a nearly 25 year career in broadcast journalism and newsroom management before working at UW-Eau Claire as assistant chancellor for facilities and university relations. 

Rindo said working nearly 20 years at UW-Eau Claire was a privilege and it was beyond rewarding to be able to work with faculty, staff, students and members of the greater Eau Claire community to bring to fruition multiple new academic buildings. 

During his time at UW-Eau Claire, Rindo led planning and construction efforts to update the new W.R. Davies Student Center, Centennial Hall, Pablo Center at the Confluence, the Sonnentag Complex and more. 

“This year’s and past year’s awardees have accomplished amazing things and to be included among them is a bit surreal,” Rindo said. “It is a great honor and I am deeply grateful my alma mater is recognizing the contributions I made during my career.” 

According to the UW-Eau Claire website, Dr. CP Liu will be recognized in May as the second UW-Eau Claire graduate to receive an honorary doctorate from the university. For his work in founding and supporting companies curing disease, Liu will receive an honorary doctorate of science. 

The spring alumni awards presentation will distribute awards to alumni during a ceremony and dinner the evening before the May commencement ceremony. 

Snyder can be reached at [email protected]