Chancellor Beverly Kopper’s inauguration makes new role official

Back to Article
Back to Article

Chancellor Beverly Kopper’s inauguration makes new role official

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


Email This Story






By Kimberly Wethal

News Editor

The yellow brick road has turned into a purple drive, the Wizard became Willie Warhawk and Chancellor Beverly Kopper says she’ll leave it up to everyone else to decide who the Wicked Witch of the West is.

Kopper, referring to her hometown of Chittenango, New York, the birthplace of “Wizard of Oz” author L. Frank Baum, gave her address at her inauguration on Sept. 11 to a packed Young Auditorium after officially receiving her Chancellor’s Medallion from UW System President Ray Cross.

Leaders from different areas of UW-Whitewater and the community stepped up to speak at the podium during the ceremony to speak about their aspirations for Kopper in her tenure as chancellor, and to give their best wishes to her.

“Chancellor Beverly Kopper is the right leader and the right person to lead this university,” Board of Regents President Regina Millner said. “We need thoughtful, inclusive and pioneering leaders. Leaders like Chancellor Kopper.”

Her inauguration wrapped up the Board of Regent’s two-day visit from Sept. 10 to 11 in UW-W. The Regents, who hadn’t collectively met on UW-W’s campus since September 2009, met with students, faculty and staff, toured the campus and held meetings in the University Center.

Members of the Regents, along with Cross, stated they were impressed with what they saw at UW-W, commenting on Whitewater’s diversity between students and the accommodations made for students with disabilities.

“I appreciated the efforts on the part of the students who spoke – as minority students – about the struggles they had and the strong support they were given, and their efforts to succeed,” Cross said. “Also, handicapped and disabled students; there’s a tremendous emphasis on them, and that’s something Whitewater is known for and proud of.”

An ongoing story

Cross has had the chance to inaugurate a few chancellors in his time as UW System president.

He says it’s always an honor, and even though it looks more like a coronation, it’s more of an investiture in the university.

“Today we not only recognize a leader, but we recognize the ongoing story and the success of an entire institution,” Cross said. “It’s about acknowledging the next chapter at UW-Whitewater.”

Cross also spoke about what Kopper will be bring to campus through her involvement and enthusiasm for the college.

“When you see the accomplishments – the drive that Kopper has – you know Whitewater’s future is bright,” he said. “You will see her braving the elements at the Stagg Bowl cheering on the Warhawks … She was out welcoming first-year students at the R U Purple rally. She is just as enthusiastic when she’s up at the Capitol, talking to legislators.

The inauguration lasted 90 minutes, with greetings from Whitewater Student Government President Allison Hetz, Board of Regents President Regina Millner, Faculty Senate Chair James Hartwick, Academic Staff Assembly Chair Denise Ehlen and University Staff Council Chair Denise Ehren.

The community also welcomed Kopper into her role, as Whitewater City Manager Cameron Clapper and Wisconsin Department of Administration Deputy Secretary Cate Zeuske took the podium to speak about what Kopper will bring to the Whitewater and Wisconsin communities.

Following the inauguration ceremony, the Warhawk Marching Band lined part of the pathway from the Young Auditorium to the reception in the University Center Hamilton Room.

Immediately following the placement of her chancellor’s medallion around her neck, Kopper gave her inaugural address, speaking to the college’s “rich tradition of excellence, spirit of service and legacy of success.”

“I vow to honor the trust you have placed in me,” she said. “[I intend to] continue this university’s drive to succeed at the highest level, provide our students with an education that is truly transformational and make a difference in our community, state, nation and the world.

“Succeeding is in the fabric of our university … succeeding when the odds are against you – that’s even better.”