MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Board bestowed its highest honor upon Dr. Rolf Wegenke, retiring president and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU).
The Futuremaker Partner Award was established to honor businesses and individuals who champion WTCS colleges and students. The award was presented to Dr. Wegenke during the WTCS Board meeting January 18 in Madison.
WAICU represents the 23 private, nonprofit institutions of higher education in the state and its leader has been a champion for all students, including students at the Wisconsin Technical College System’s 16 colleges.
Wisconsin Technical College System Board Vice President S. Mark Tyler said, “We appreciate Rolf for his steadfast commitment, as President of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, to recognizing the value and quality of Wisconsin’s technical colleges, maintaining a steady focus on students, and creating meaningful higher education pathways.”
Dr. Morna K. Foy, President of the Wisconsin Technical College System, introduced Dr. Wegenke, saying “Rolf’s early and constant advocacy for WAICU/WTCS transfer programs helped set the gold standard for program-to-program transfer opportunities and the expansion of WTCS Associate of Arts/Associate of Science programs. Whether it’s advancing postsecondary attainment, expanding student financial aid, or leveraging Wisconsin’s higher education role in workforce and economic development, Rolf has always included WTCS as an equal and valued partner.”
Dr. Wegenke addressed the board saying, “In my 30 years in this position people have been good to me, and that includes everyone in the room. I didn’t realize when I decided to retire there would be plaques and continuing friendships.” Before his 30 years in higher education Dr. Wegenke worked for what was then the Wisconsin Department of Development where he often had to describe Wisconsin’s assets, and he said he “always shared that we have the best system of technical colleges of any state. There are more opportunities for students by working together. Keep thanking each other and recognizing people who are making a difference.”