Chancellor Shields to meet with alumni through virtual ‘Fireside Chats’

Written by Ruth Wendlandt on |
Fireside chat

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is hosting a new series titled Fireside Chats with Chancellor Dennis J. Shields where alumni from across the country can connect with the campus community. Throughout the next few months, Zoom events will be taking place in multiple states starting with Florida and Arizona on Friday, Jan. 29.

The Fireside Chats will feature an update from Chancellor Shields, plans for 2021 and an opportunity for alumni to ask questions. In past years, the alumni events in Florida and Arizona were in-person, but due to COVID-19 attendees will be meeting virtually this year.

“The Fireside Chats allow us to connect readily with the power of virtual meeting spaces and better equip us as a university to prepare for the next round of challenges we face,” said Aaron Athas, Alumni Association Board President and 2010 UW-Platteville graduate. “I can’t wait to see how our Pioneers are making impacts across the US and the world. These are the stories that bind us through our shared experiences at UW-Platteville. It’s amazing what happens from this corner of Southwest Wisconsin.”

UW-Platteville Foundation Board of Directors member Rick Burgermeister said he and his wife annually attend the Florida events. Burgemeister, who graduated from UW-Platteville in 1969, encourages alumni to stay engaged. He hopes many will participate in the Fireside Chat.

“It’s a nice way to stay connected to the university and to get together with alumni not only who we know from our days in school, but alumni from more recent years,” said Burgermeister. “We look forward to getting an update from Chancellor Shields on what’s happening on campus and how we are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. [It’s] a chance to interact with the chancellor and ask him questions.”

Alumnus Darin Pauls, who also serves on the UW-Platteville Foundation Board of Directors, echoed Burgermeister’s sentiment. Pauls noted how he enjoys hearing Chancellor Shields speak about the university’s direction and learning how the school has developed since his graduation day in 1993.

“The university’s growth and diversification are something that alumni should be very proud of as Pioneers,” said Pauls. “Each year, the chancellor covers the new exciting initiatives that are born and others that have been completed. These discussions allow us to stay connected to this great institution. Seeing and hearing about these fantastic strides drove me to get more involved with the university and do what I can to continue the tradition.”

To register for the Florida Fireside Chat on Jan. 29 starting at 9 a.m., visit

To register for the Arizona Fireside Chat on Jan. 29 starting at 10 a.m., visit

UW-Platteville Development and Alumni Engagement is also planning Fireside Chats in Colorado, California, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. To learn more about the upcoming events, visit