Arts and Letters Hall of Fame
The objects and purposes of the Arts and Letters Hall of Fame shall be to identify, research, elect, promote and honor faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, and friends as inductees into the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Arts and Letters Hall of Fame; to advance the interests and standards of the arts and letters at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville; and to promote a mutually beneficial relationship between the university and the greater university community.
Hall of Fame Inductees
Dr. A. Nick Johansen
Dr. A. Nick Johansen came to UW-Platteville in 1965 as its first financial aid director. In 1966, he developed the Counselor Education Master’s program, which began training school and agency counselors in 1967 and graduated over 1,400 students over the years.
As financial aid director, Dr. Johansen established a federal student loan, work study and grants program, and was the first director of the UW-Platteville Foundation. He began a day care center that later became the Children’s Center, providing affordable childcare for students. In the 1970s, he wrote a federal grant for the Student Support Services tutoring program, which continues with a staff of seven to this day.
In 1972, Nick became associate dean of students, directing, recruiting, admissions, advance registration and grant writing. He became chair of the Counselor Education Department in 1986 and received the Wisconsin Counseling Association award as Outstanding Counseling Educator of the Year prior to his retirement in 1999.
Dr. George E. Smith, Professor of Speech Communication (1977–2012)
Dr. George E. Smith taught at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for 33 years before retiring in 2012, after which he taught part-time for several years. He earned his doctorate from Northern Illinois University in 1978.
Throughout his career, Dr. Smith played an active role in faculty governance, particularly in support of General Education. In addition to teaching a wide variety of communication courses, he served as General Manager of WSUP Radio for 25 years, chaired the Department of Communication, and directed the university’s Teaching and Learning Center. He was awarded more than 20 grants while at UW-Platteville, including grants from the National Association of Broadcasters & UW System, as well as numerous local grants for assessment and curriculum improvement.
During his career Dr. Smith delivered presentations in eight states. He received a NACADA national faculty advising award in 2011, and UW-Platteville’s Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence in 2012.
David Van Buren, Professor of criminal justice, 1976–2013
A native of upstate New York, David Van Buren received his B.A. degree from St. Bonaventure University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Albany. He joined the faculty at UW-Platteville in 1976. A gifted teacher, he received both the ΦΚΦ Honor Society’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (1990) and the College of Liberal Arts and Education Teaching Excellence Award (1999). Van Buren delighted in introducing generations of students to the study of criminal justice as an interdisciplinary academic field. His teaching and research expertise included theoretical criminology, criminal prosecution and the courts, and the British criminal justice system. In 1987–88, he served as a member of the Faculty of Law at Cambridge University. In 1997–98, he researched peacemaking and the tribal courts of the Navajo Nation. A past president of the WI CJ Educators Association, he was appointed associate vice chancellor and dean of graduate studies in 2000. Deeply involved in developing programs with UW-Platteville’s partner university in China, he was instrumental in establishing the Confucius Institute at UW-Platteville, the first in Wisconsin.
G. Daniel Fairchild - Professor of Music
Dan Fairchild has been teaching music at UW-Platteville since 1970. He served as director of bands and conductor of the UW-Platteville Wind Ensemble for 26 years; director of orchestral activities for 17 years; and conducted the symphony band, brass choir, orchestra, marching band, musical theatre, summer music festival and the Rountree Ensemble. He chaired the Department of Performing and Visual Arts for 12 years and was a member of key committees, including the Center for the Arts planning committee. He received the College of LAE Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003 and continues to be active as a conductor, clinician and adjudicator for thousands of musicians at all levels. Fairchild directed Pioneer Summer Music Camp for decades and has directed and coordinated for 24 years the Wisconsin School Music Association State Solo and Ensemble Festival, which brings more than 2,000 students to UW-Platteville each year. He continues to be dedicated to teaching the understanding and enjoyment of fine music to students of all ages.
Thomas Hickey - Professor of English (1963-2005)
Thomas Hickey taught English for 42 years at UW-Platteville, including courses in freshman composition, prose writing, grammar and usage, science fiction, American and British literature surveys, British novel, and British drama. He served as secretary of the Faculty Senate, chair of the English department review board, charter member of the Arts and Sciences Rank, Salary, and Tenure Committee, and as departmental scribe for 20 years. He became a director of the Grant County Historical Society, sang with the University Singers, and was a charter member of the adult Platteville Chorale, where he served as president, then as secretary of the Chorale Board. He acted in university theater, and for many years sang in UW-Platteville operas, operettas, and musical theater productions. A true Renaissance man, Thomas Hickey has enjoyed attending, participating in, and supporting the arts. After retiring in 2005, he continued to encourage student writers, singers, and actors by creating foundation awards for students in Creative Writing, Theater, and Music Theater.
Dr. Patricia Collins - Professor of Health and Physical Education (1960-1993)
Dr. Patricia Collins taught in the Department of Health and Physical Education for 33 years. Her specialties were physiology of exercise, kinesiology, and health education. She served on numerous university committees and was a member of the UW-Platteville Foundation Board of Directors and the Alumni Board of Directors. Pat’s efforts and vision increased UW-Platteville’s ability to serve a wider base of students and to prepare them for careers in a variety of health and wellness professions. A true pioneer in the development of girls’ and women’s sports in Wisconsin, Pat was instrumental in starting women’s athletics at UW-Platteville and served as the Pioneer’s first women’s athletic director from 1971-1984. She also served as the head coach for women’s volleyball, badminton, and women’s track and field. Pat was a charter member of the Wisconsin Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WWIAC) and served as its president. She was inducted into the UW-Platteville Hall of Fame in 1992, and in 2011 received the UW-Platteville Foundation Distinguished Service Award. In 2012, Pat was selected as a member of the inaugural class into the WIAC Hall of Fame.
Gregory J. Dennis - Class of 1969
Gregory Dennis taught choral and general music for 31 years in the public school systems of Flint, Michigan, and Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, in addition to nine years at UW-Platteville. He has directed seven community choirs, some concurrently, for a total of 68 years at this writing. Mr. Dennis has also directed, produced, and/or acted in over 50 plays, musicals, and operas, and is a frequent adjudicator and clinician in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa, with nearly 200 events to his credit. His other professional accomplishments include chairing the Wisconsin Honors Project of the Wisconsin School Music Association and serving on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Choral Directors' Association, the Wisconsin Music Educators' Association, and the Michigan School Vocal Association. Mr. Dennis was honored in 2008 with the coveted "Orpheus" Award by Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia for meritorious service as a professional music educator. Mr. Dennis holds a BS in Chorale and General Music Education from UW-Platteville and an MM in Choral Music Education from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
John Beutel - Class of 1965 and 1975
John Beutel spent his childhood in the Monroe, Wisconsin, area and graduated from Monroe High School in 1961. He received his BS Degree in Comprehensive Music Education in 1965 and his MS Degree in Secondary Choral Music Education in 1975, both from UW-Platteville. He taught music in the Fennimore Schools and choral music along with music theory and music history in the Stoughton Area School District for the last 26 years of his career, retiring in 2001. The Stoughton Choirs toured throughout the Midwest, Denver, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Boston, and Europe. In addition to an active concert schedule, the Stoughton Madrigal Singers presented an annual Madrigal Dinner. Mr. Beutel supervised student teachers and was an active member of the Wisconsin School Music Association, for which he served on many music selection and adult education committees, chaired the Middle Level Honors Choir Program, and still serves as an adjudicator for music festivals. He has conducted various community choirs and currently conducts the Stoughton Chamber Singers and the choirs at Christ Lutheran Church.
Eila (Brooks) Butterworth - Director of Teacher Placement (1968-1973)
Eila Brooks was born in western Iowa in 1913. In 1934 she graduated from Iowa State University. After receiving her M.A. from University of Arizona in 1938, she worked for the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C. In 1939 she married Arthur Butterworth and began her many years of life in Platteville. From 1965-73, she worked at UW-Platteville, becoming Director of Teacher Placement in 1968. In 1973-74 she served with VISTA in Oklahoma. Her loyal support of the arts and international education led to her hosting many visiting artists and British exchange students. Organizations to which she belonged include Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Nu, Delta Zeta, and P.E.O.
Richard F. Grunow - Class of 1967
Richard F. Grunow is Professor of Music Education at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. A 1963 graduate of Mineral Point High School, he attended the University of Wisconsin - Platteville from 1963-67, completing the Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education. From 1967-74, he taught instrumental music in the Beloit Public Schools. He received the Master of Music and Ph.D. in Music Education from The University of Michigan prior to joining the Eastman faculty in 1979. A frequent presenter at state, national, and international venues, he is also a much sought after clinician in institutions throughout America. Dr. Grunow is the author of numerous articles and co-author of the Instrumental and Choral Score Reading Programs, Instrumental Score Reading Test, Creativity in Improvisation, and Developing Musicianship through Improvisation. He is principal author of Jump Right In: The Instrumental Series, a comprehensive beginning instrumental series for winds, strings, and percussion.
Paul E. Hemmer - Class of 1966
Paul Hemmer, of Dubuque, IA, grew up with a fascination for both broadcasting and music that led him to a combined career in both fields. As a UW-Platteville student, he majored in vocal and instrumental music and organized a dance band that became the foundation of the UW-P Jazz band. After completing work on his Master’s degree in 1967, he began a lifetime career as a morning radio personality in Dubuque. In 1994 he built 97.3 KGRR-FM and in 2000 partnered with two other broadcasters to purchase Dubuque stations KAT-FM and KDTH-AM. He has composed three original musical comedies: Get the Lead Out! (1976), Joe Sent Me (1978 - revived in 2006), and Steamboat Comin' (1991). Paul has held leadership roles in many Dubuque organizations, including Rotary Club, Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, and Dubuque Arts Council. He was named “First Citizen” (1976) by the Telegraph-Herald and in 2006 was appointed “Official Pops Arranger” for the Dubuque Symphony.
Erva (Loomis) Merow - Class of 1943
Erva (Loomis) Merow was born September 23, 1922 in a log cabin in South Alma, which is between Hixton and Black River Falls, WI. Mrs. Merow graduated from the Black River Falls High School in 1941 with a $25.00 scholarship to the Platteville Normal School. After graduating from there in 1943, Mrs. Merow taught in rural schools in Elk Grove and Elmo and then returned to Black River Falls to teach on the Ho-Chunk-Ra Indian reservation. In 1945 she married Lloyd Merow, and they attended UW-LaCrosse, graduating in 1948. Mr. Merow secured a teaching position at Bain School in Kenosha, and Mrs. Merow taught children with severe mental disabilities for 29 years. Mrs. Merow has two sons: Terry, an artist, and Douglas, a registered nurse. After the death of her husband in 1987, Mrs. Merow became a volunteer missionary to Africa, Bolivia and Israel. In 2002 she received an Easter Seal lifetime achievement award for 50 years of state and local volunteer work. Her hobbies include reading, writing and dancing.
David Ott - Class of 1969
David Ott ranks among the most prominent of the post-World War II American composers. Symphony magazine named him as an American composer who has had an impact on American symphonic music. Ott was born in Crystal Falls, Michigan and spent his youth in Janesville, Wisconsin. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1969. His Masters Degree in Piano Performance was earned at Indiana University in 1971 and he received his Doctorate in Music Theory and Composition at the University of Kentucky in 1982. He was appointed the Pace Eminent Scholar at the University of West Florida in 2002-2003. He has held teaching appointments at Houghton College, Pfeiffer College, and DePauw University. From 1991 to 1997 he was Composer-in-Residence of the Indianapolis Symphony. Presently he is Music Director of the Philharmonic of Northwest Florida. He and his wife Susan have three children and three grandchildren.
C. Ellsworth Hood - 1965-2000
C. Ellsworth Hood received his A.B. from Syracuse University, his B.D. from Duke University, and his Th.D. from Pacific School of Religion. His doctoral thesis was entitled Freedom as Rational Spontaneity in the Philosophy of Immanuel Kant. With Prof. Stanley R. Moore, Dr. Hood created the major in philosophy at UW-Platteville. He participated in founding both the North American Kant Society and the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. Honors include F?? in 1956, the F?F Teaching Excellence Award in 1994, and the UW-Platteville Teaching Excellence Award in 1998. He published numerous articles and papers nationally and internationally. He summed up his philosophy as follows: “As a teacher of Philosophy, the love of wisdom, my goal was to elicit the powers of thought inherent in each student and to inspire each to the love of wisdom, which would enable them to create a world of justice, truth, goodness, and beauty."
Thomas P. Collins - 1970-2000
Thomas P. Collins earned his M.A. from the University of Washington in 1968 and his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1972. In 1976 he co-founded the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival as a nonprofit, non-Equity professional theatre company. His research took him from Ashland, Oregon, to Stratford, Ontario, to Stratford-upon-Avon and London, England. The WSF productions not only featured Equity Guest Artists and a company of nationally recruited semiprofessional actors and technicians, they also provided acting opportunities for UW-Platteville students and for citizens of Platteville. With the conclusion of the 23rd and final season, Collins had personally directed 24 productions of 19 Shakespearean plays and produced all but 8 plays of the Shakespearean canon for the WSF and altogether nearly 100 plays for the university. He retired in May, 2001, to live in Prescott, Arizona and conduct research on the subject of the theatre in the Arizona Territory.
Wendy W. Collins - 1970-2001
A graduate of the University of the Pacific with a B.A. degree in speech and drama, Wendy W. Collins designed costumes for more than 165 productions at UW-Platteville. She served as resident costume designer for the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival from its inception, setting Shakespeare’s plays in every historical period from classical Greece and Rome to the Gay Nineties. In preparation for her design work she traveled to professional theatres all over America as well as Stratford, Ontario, and Stratford-upon-Avon and London, England. Her costume shop employed aspiring costume design professionals, UW-Platteville students, and citizens of Platteville. In the course of her work with the WSF she designed beautiful and innovative costumes for 29 of Shakespeare’s 37 canonical plays as well as dressing the characters in the plays of Marlow, Sheridan, Moliere, and Eugene O’Neill. She retired in May, 2001, and moved to Prescott, Arizona.
Thomas S. Goltry - 1970-2000
Thomas S. Goltry received his Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his 30 years as a professor of theatre at UW-Platteville, he served as chairperson of the Department of Fine Arts (1995-2000), Director of Theatre (1976-2000), Technical Director-Scene Designer (1970-1995), co-Director of the UWP Summer Love Theatre (1971-1975), and Drama Advisor for the Wisconsin High School Forensics Association (1983-1990). His theatre production credits at UWP include 103 titles under Technical Direction and Design and 43 titles under Direction. Dr. Goltry also served as co-Director of the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival (1977-1999), for which he designed six major set units that were used over 23 seasons. He accumulated an impressive 23 direction credits before the Festival ended its long run in 1999.
Monte Muller - Class of 1975
Monte Muller earned a B.S. degree in Music Education from UW-Platteville in 1975 and a Masters degree in 1987. He has over thirty years of experience as a public school band director (Monticello, WI. 1975-76, Lancaster, WI. high school 1976-93, and middle school 1993 - present). He received the UWP Fine Arts Educator Award in 1989 and the Lancaster Plus Award in 1992. As a trombonist, he has performed with many professional bands in the Tri-State area, including twenty-five years with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra. He has been a teacher and conductor at numerous Pioneer Summer Music Camps and a co-operating teacher for the UW-Platteville Department of Clinical Experiences. In 1985, Monte co-founded the Lancaster Community Band, an adult concert band that has performed extensively in Southwest Wisconsin and Europe.
Dona (Jahn) Muller - Class of 1976
Dona Muller received a B.S. degree in Comprehensive Music Education from UWP in 1976 and a Master of Arts in Education from St. Mary’s University in 1994. She has taught vocal music in Platteville (1976-1981) and elementary music in Lancaster (1982-present). Dona’s Fine Arts Fling program, outlined in “Programs of Promise,” was designed for community arts volunteers and middle and high school arts students to share their music, art, dance, and theater experiences. Dona has played flute and piccolo for the Lancaster Community Band since 1985. She has enjoyed her UW-Platteville connection as seamstress for the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival, flute instructor for Pioneer Band Camp, piccolo player in Symphony band, and cooperating teacher for future music educators. Dona received the UW-Platteville Fine Arts Educator Award in 1989.
Thomas B. Lundeen - 1953-1999
Thomas Lundeen received his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Iowa. He was a professor of history at UW-Platteville for forty years. As University Historian, Tom researched and wrote on campus and regional history. He was also active in many campus, state, national, and international organizations, as well as several historic preservation societies. In 1968, he was elected the Outstanding Professor of the Year by UWP faculty and students, and in 1995, he was honored by the Teaching Excellence Award of the College of Liberal Arts and Education. He was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1975. In 2003, the campus Little Theater where he lectured for many years was renamed the Thomas B. Lundeen Lecture Hall.
Gerald Darrow - 1960-1992
Gerald Darrow received his Masters and Doctorate from the Indiana University School of Music. His dissertation, Four Decades of Choral Training, was published in 1975. At UW-Platteville, he taught music history, education and performance. For 32 years he was music director of the Madrigal Dinner. His choirs sang six times for state conventions. In 1982 he gave the address at the banquet of the College of Arts and Sciences and in 1991 received the Teaching Excellence Award. He directed the Platteville Chorale and the Summer Music Festival, with concerts broadcast over Wisconsin Public Radio. The Wisconsin Choral Directors Association awarded him the Hayes Award in 1996 for his contributions to choral music. From 1992 to 2003 he served on the Wisconsin Arts Board.
Scott Fromader - Class of 1977
Scott Fromader received his BS in Elementary Education and Vocal Music from UW-Platteville in 1977. He participated in many vocal ensembles, musicals and operas at UW-Platteville and was also a member of the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity. Scott taught elementary school in Illinois and Wisconsin from 1977 until 1986. In 1987, Governor Thompson appointed him Director of Operations for the governor’s office. Following twelve years of service to the governor, Scott became an educational consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. His primary responsibility is to oversee the Workforce Investment Act Youth Program, a program for at-risk youth aged 14 to 21.
William Dennis - 1942-1982
In his 40 year career at UW-Platteville, William Dennis at one time or another directed every performing organization and taught every class in the music department. He also served as chairman of the department. In 1987, the music alumni established a scholarship in his name. William Dennis wrote lyrics to the institution’s “Alma Mater” (a literal transcription of the Welch national anthem, “Men of Harlech”) and reduced it from 30 to 20 bars. He also composed the UW-Platteville fight song, incorporating references to orange (the traditional color of engineering) and blue (education). He recorded the Alma Mater and the Pep Tune for the campus carillon.
Michael Duncan - Class of 1976
Michael Duncan’s professional theatre career, spanning more than 30 years, has included extensive work as an actor, director, designer, artistic director and producer. He has acted professionally in over 100 productions. In addition to 14 seasons with the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival, he has performed with the Milwaukee and Madison Repertory Theatres, First Stage Milwaukee, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, and the Utah and Oregon Shakespeare Festivals. He has held theatre management positions with the Skylight and Florentine Opera Companies of Milwaukee and the Great American Children’s Theatre Company. He served as Artistic Director of the Sunset Playhouse in Milwaukee from 1993-2003, resigning to form Archangel Productions, a professional theatre company based in Milwaukee. Among the company’s first productions: “I Could Go On Singing...The Music of Judy Garland,” co-written, directed and staged by Michael Duncan.
Barbara Parsons - 1969-2003
A native of Illinois, Barbara Parsons received her A.B. degree from Rosary College, M.A. from St. Louis University, and Ph.D. from Tulane University. She came to UW-Platteville in 1969 and for the next 34 years developed and regularly taught over 10 philosophy courses–from Introduction to Philosophy to “Conscience and the State.” After co-founding UW-Platteville’s Women’s Studies Program in 1975, she created “Philosophy’s Feminist Future: From Powerism to Personalism,” which she taught for 20 years. In addition to giving the college of Arts and Sciences’ first Humanities Address in 1979, she presented over 50 scholarly papers at state and national conferences, served on more than 40 university governance bodies, and received the College of Liberal Arts and Education Teaching Excellence Award in 2000.
Jeffrey E. Post - Class of 1976
Jeffrey E. Post received B.S. degrees in geology and chemistry from UW-Platteville, and his Ph.D. in chemistry, with a specialty in geochemistry, from Arizona State University. Prior to joining the Department of Mineral Sciences at the Smithsonian Institution in 1984, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Geological Sciences at Harvard University. From 1989 to 1994, he was Chairman of the Department of Mineral Sciences, and since 1991 has served as Curator of the U.S. National Gem and Mineral Collection. Dr. Post served as lead Curator for the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals. His has published numerous scientific articles in the fields of mineralogy, gemology, geochemistry, crystallography, and electron microscopy.