Distinguished Service Award winners honored

July 29, 2014

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Dottie Johns
Todd Anderson, Presto Foundation
Wes and Jan Sisson
Marcy Heim, Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation
Tom Scanlan and Dawn Drake

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Foundation honored recipients of the Distinguished Service Award on July 26 as part of the Donor and Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.

The Distinguished Service Award was created in 1986 to recognize individuals, families, businesses, organizations and corporations who have significantly served UW-Platteville and its mission by enhancing its reputation and influence, or by substantially contributing time and/or gifts, or by influencing others to develop a similar relationship with the university.

Dottie and the late Mansel Johns, a 1948 graduate were recognized for their support of the Pioneer Gardens and Greenhouse when they were renamed the Dottie and Mansel Johns Pioneer Gardens in 2009. The facility provides a hands-on environment for students and faculty to interact, teach and learn.

In addition, a student workspace was named for Mansel in Engineering Hall.

The couple gifted property to the UW-Platteville Foundation in 2007 to support the Swine Center, Pioneer Greenhouse and Gardens, and the new engineering facility.

The Presto Foundation in Eau Claire, Wis., contributed $264,000 in 2012 to support 20 full tuition and housing scholarships. Todd Anderson, a 1990 graduate and president for AMTEC Corp in Janesville, Wis., a subsidiary of National Presto Industries Inc., was instrumental in the process for this gift to occur.

The scholarship fund is strictly for mechanical, electrical, or industrial engineering majors and is based solely on merit, a combination of grade point average, and demonstrated engineering aptitude. The recipient must be a United States citizen and a full-time student. Grade point averages for engineering and non-engineering courses must be maintained at or above specified levels and will be reviewed annually. If the recipient does not meet the criteria, the UW-Platteville College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science scholarship committee will select a new recipient.

The Presto Foundation also gifted $52,800 in May of 2013 for additional scholarships.

Wes and Jan Sisson from Milton, Wis., have a strong tradition of supporting UW-Platteville. In 2011 they created the Wendell E. and Janet A. Dreher Sisson Endowed Scholarship to assist future teachers. They also support the UW-Platteville Community Scholarships for Milton and Oregon, Wis., high schools.

Wes is a 1966 social science and history alumnus and Jan is a 1969 elementary education alumna. He is a retired teacher, coach and athletic director for the Department of Defense, Dependents Schools in Heidelberg, Germany. Jan is a retired first grade teacher from the elementary school at the same location.

“Both my wife and I think the education and experiences we had at Platteville were very important as far as our teaching careers and accomplishing the things that we have,” said Wes.

The Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation in Madison, Wis., has contributed more than $250,000 to support the Agriculture Scholarship Fund during the past 25 years. The WROF invests in the education of rural Wisconsin residents.

UW-Platteville has been a long-standing recipient of WROF scholarships.

The relationship between the WROF and UW-Platteville remains strong thanks to the involvement of board member Curt Hanson, a 1967 graduate.

Dawn Drake, a 1983 graduate and executive director of Alternative Delivery Systems at UW-Platteville, and Tom Scanlan, program coordinator and computer science professor at UW-Platteville, each have scholarships in their name at UW-Platteville.

Drake established the Dawn Drake Excellence in Distance Education Scholarship, while an alumnus established the Tom Scanlan and Joe Clifton Computer Science and Software Engineering Scholarship. Drake and Scanlan also support the Phi Kappa Phi Scholarship Fund, Basketball Boosters Fund and UW-Platteville Community Scholarship for Wauzeka/Steuben High School.

Written by: Dan Wackershauser, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, wackersd@uwplatt.edu

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