Joshua Boots joined the University of Wisconsin-Platteville as the assistant vice chancellor for Development and Alumni Engagement last November. An Ely, Iowa native, he earned his undergraduate and MBA from Loras College, where he previously worked as the associate vice president for advancement. He now works with alumni and friends of UW-Platteville to connect them with the university and find ways they can make a difference.
How long have you worked in the field of development and fundraising? What drew you to a career in this field?
I have been in the fundraising profession for 13 years. I came into the field by accident. I completed my undergraduate coursework with the intention of working in sports. After about three years in the industry, I realized it wasn’t a good fit. I took the aspects of what I loved while working in sports – working with people to help – and began a position at United Way. I have loved fundraising ever since.
What qualities did you see in UW-Platteville that made you want to join the university?
There are so many, it is difficult to pinpoint. Initially, it was the great reputation the university has. Then I fell in love with the people. Pioneers are extremely bright and caring individuals. Working for an esteemed university while working with great people was an opportunity I could not pass up.
What inspires alumni to give to their alma mater, and how do you make and foster those connections?
People usually give because they want to make a difference. They value the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and the impact it had on their lives, or the lives of loved ones. You foster those connections by promoting the value and impact the university continues to have – oftentimes 50-plus years after graduation. You also communicate that their support makes an immediate difference.
What have you enjoyed most about your position at UW-Platteville thus far?
Alumni and friends love the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. They constantly have their Pioneer pride on display. UW-Platteville is truly a special place that people are proud of.
Within only your first six months here, the university community – along with the rest of the country – has faced an unprecedented crisis. How have UW-Platteville alumni stepped up to help out and what has surprised you about the Pioneer community during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The entire Pioneer community has gone above and beyond to pitch in during this crisis. We have alumni and friends generously donating to Pioneers Helping Pioneers to aid students incurring financial hardship. The College of EMS has been utilizing 3D printers to create facemasks for those on the frontlines at Southwest Health. There is a faculty member who is creating hand sanitizer in his lab. These are just a couple examples of Pioneers stepping up to pitch in. I wouldn’t say I am surprised, but rather proud to be a Pioneer.