Whitewater loses an icon: Kachel was key asset to campus development

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Kachel family has many buildings and facilities named in their honor. David was a UW-Whitewater graduate and along with his wife, Lolita, is in the Athletic Hall of Fame.

As buildings and different aspects of campus are upgraded, some may wonder where the money comes from to construct such things during tough economical times.

While state and national governments face massive debts, UW-Whitewater is still able to improve the looks and functions of its campus.

Without the help of David L. Kachel, the UW-Whitewater campus would not look like it does today.

“The support [Kachel] and his wife, Lolita, and the family have provided has been really instrumental in helping make [UW-Whitewater] a better place,” Chancellor Richard Telfer said. “We would be much poorer without that kind of support both in terms of service as well as in terms of financial support.”

Kachel contributed to many visible facets of campus, including the Kachel Fieldhouse, the Kachel Gymnasium, the Kachel Center dance studio in the Young Auditorium, and the Kachel Center for Innovation and Business Development in Hyland Hall.

Kachel and his family also provided scholarships for many students, Telfer said.

Chris Clements, dean of the College of Business and Economics, said she always felt a close connection with Kachel.

“The minute I applied for the dean’s position, Dave and his wife, Lolita, took me out for lunch to talk to me,” Clements said. “He was a really good friend to me personally. He helped me develop in my dean’s role.”

Clements said Kachel let her know about things going on in state schools or other business schools that would be important to her college.

Kachel would often call and go out for lunch to talk about what was going on with the college, Clements said.

“He was pretty good at telling me what he liked and what he didn’t like about what we were doing,” Clements said. “Occasionally if I’d slip up or make a mistake, he’d set me straight, but he was always very quick to forgive.”

Professor Richard Haven, former dean of the College of Arts and Communication, and Clements both said Kachel was a community leader and supporter of UW-Whitewater.

“The Kachel Center [in Young Auditorium] is a multi-purpose room that hosts many different kinds of programs from banquets to talks,” Haven said. “That facility, as a part of Young Auditorium and as a part of the college, really helped expand our programming and make our programming that much better here in the university.”

Clements said the visible contributions in her college have been nothing short of great.

“[The Kachel Center for Innovation and Business Development] was a key strategy for the college to bring together our community and regional outreach unit with the academic side of the school,” Clements said. “I think it really strengthened who we were … There is no way we could have done that without the Kachel family gift.”

Clements said Kachel also sat on the advisory board in the college and cared deeply about the college’s success.

Telfer, Clements and Haven all said lessons could be learned from Kachel’s life.

“The way he cared about the students and the university is tremendous,” Telfer said.

Clements said Kachel represented hard work, and if you’re willing to work hard, that accomplishment will come.

“With hard work comes success, and he worked hard,” Clements said. “He was also a man of humility and integrity.”

Haven said Kachel used his success as a businessman to help more than just himself.

“His success not only was beneficial to himself and his family, but it’s important to remember that he shared that success,” Haven said. “In the end, it’s not always what we do for ourselves, but what we do for others. That is the measure of a person.”

As buildings and different aspects of campus are upgraded, some may wonder where the money comes from to construct such things during tough economical times.

While state and national governments face massive debts, UW-Whitewater is still able to improve the looks and functions of its campus.

Without the help of David L. Kachel, the UW-Whitewater campus would not look like it does today.

“The support [Kachel] and his wife, Lolita, and the family have provided has been really instrumental in helping make [UW-Whitewater] a better place,” Chancellor Richard Telfer said. “We would be much poorer without that kind of support both in terms of service as well as in terms of financial support.”

Kachel contributed to many visible facets of campus, including the Kachel Fieldhouse, the Kachel Gymnasium, the Kachel Center dance studio in the Young Auditorium, and the Kachel Center for Innovation and Business Development in Hyland Hall.

Kachel and his family also provided scholarships for many students, Telfer said.

Chris Clements, dean of the College of Business and Economics, said she always felt a close connection with Kachel.

“The minute I applied for the dean’s position, Dave and his wife, Lolita, took me out for lunch to talk to me,” Clements said. “He was a really good friend to me personally. He helped me develop in my dean’s role.”

Clements said Kachel let her know about things going on in state schools or other business schools that would be important to her college.

Kachel would often call and go out for lunch to talk about what was going on with the college, Clements said.

“He was pretty good at telling me what he liked and what he didn’t like about what we were doing,” Clements said. “Occasionally if I’d slip up or make a mistake, he’d set me straight, but he was always very quick to forgive.”

Professor Richard Haven, former dean of the College of Arts and Communication, and Clements both said Kachel was a community leader and supporter of UW-Whitewater.

“The Kachel Center [in Young Auditorium] is a multi-purpose room that hosts many different kinds of programs from banquets to talks,” Haven said. “That facility, as a part of Young Auditorium and as a part of the college, really helped expand our programming and make our programming that much better here in the university.”

Clements said the visible contributions in her college have been nothing short of great.

“[The Kachel Center for Innovation and Business Development] was a key strategy for the college to bring together our community and regional outreach unit with the academic side of the school,” Clements said. “I think it really strengthened who we were … There is no way we could have done that without the Kachel family gift.”

Clements said Kachel also sat on the advisory board in the college and cared deeply about the college’s success.

Telfer, Clements and Haven all said lessons could be learned from Kachel’s life.

“The way he cared about the students and the university is tremendous,” Telfer said.

Clements said Kachel represented hard work, and if you’re willing to work hard, that accomplishment will come.

“With hard work comes success, and he worked hard,” Clements said. “He was also a man of humility and integrity.”

Haven said Kachel used his success as a businessman to help more than just himself.

“His success not only was beneficial to himself and his family, but it’s important to remember that he shared that success,” Haven said. “In the end, it’s not always what we do for ourselves, but what we do for others. That is the measure of a person.”