Photo provided by UWS Marketing and Communications
The University of Wisconsin-Superior Alumni Association hosted their annual appreciation dinner on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. The event, held in the Yellowjacket Union Great Room, honored both current and former students, faculty, and staff. Attendees included current students who had received scholarships, alumni donors, and current and retired staff members. Those in attendance were treated to dinner and a musical performance from the UWS Singers Group, directed by Dr. Michael Fuchs.
Four awards were handed out at the dinner. The Distinguished Alumni award, the Young Alumni Achievement award
the Honorary Alumni award, and the James Rainaldo Mentor award.
The Distinguished Alumni award was received by Eryca Card.
Card, a graduate from UWS in 2000 and double majored in elementary education and psychology, while minoring in elementary education-science and criminal justice. She currently serves as a sixth-grade science teacher at Elkhorn Area Middle School. In addition to teaching, Card serves as an adviser for her school’s STEM club, is a member of the school’s grading committee, and is a coach for the award-winning seventh and eighth grade Fluid Power Teams.
The Young Alumni Achievement Award was presented to an alumnus under the age of 40 who graduated within the last 15 years, Pamela Adie.
Adie earned a degree in business administration, with concentrations in finance and management, from UWS in 2006. Adie currently serves as the Executive Director at The Equality Hub. She is also a photographer and LGBT rights advocate. Her feature documentary film, “Under the Rainbow,” is Nigeria’s first lesbian-focused documentary.
The Honorary Alumni Award was presented to a person who is not an alumni of UWS, but whose success serves as an inspiration. Receiving the award this year was Tom Bergh.
Bergh was appointed as UWS’s Alumni Director in 2001. Over the next 16 years, Bergh worked with the Alumni Association to build connections with alumni and students. Additionally, Bergh was charged with overseeing the Hall of Fame induction process in collaboration with the athletics department. Bergh was appointed as a Development Officer for the UWS Foundation in 2017, a position in which he works to obtain major gift support from alumni and businesses.
The James Rainaldo Mentor Award recognizes current and retired UWS faculty or staff who have impacted the lives of UWS students.
William “Pope” Wright Jr. received the James Rainaldo Mentor Award. Unfortunately, Wright passed away July 22, 2015. He began teaching at UWS in 1971, and remained with the campus community for 44 years. Wright served as the first Black Student Union and Indian Student adviser on campus and was the first African-American professor at the university. He was named the director of the Minority Affairs Office in 1983. The Multicultural Center at UWS was renamed after Wright in November of 2018.
Following the awards ceremony, attendees were met with a message from chancellor Renée Wachter, in which she illustrated the economic and cultural impact from the UWS on the Superior region.