Campus mourns dean of students: Dean Mary Beth Mackin died due to natural causes this weekend

By Kimberly Wethal

Nov. 11, 2015


UW-Whitewater lost a “passionate and dedicated Warhawk” this week, Chancellor Beverly Kopper said announcing the loss of  Dean of Students Mary Beth Mackin, who died on Saturday, Nov. 7.

A long-time employee of UW-W, Mackin was 57 and her death is listed as due to “natural causes.”

“She loved UW-Whitewater deeply and was always so proud of all we accomplished,” Kopper wrote in an email to the university.

Mackin’s tenure at UW-Whitewater began nearly 30 years ago. She came to UW-W in 1988, hired first as a residence hall director, working her way up to the position of assistant dean of students and ending her career as the dean of students. Her years of service to the university in part leaves her colleagues so “heartbroken,” said Thomas Rios, vice chancellor of student affairs.

“It’s difficult to put into words the profound impact she had on the lives of many many people — both on our campus and through her involvements in national professional associations,” Rios wrote in an email on Monday. “As a university, UW-W espouses several values that are core to who we are; Mary Beth Mackin’s life and personhood were the embodiment of those values.”

Members of the administration met Monday afternoon to discuss how to continue serving students through the Dean of Students office, said Rios. He anticipated talking to Kopper on Tuesday about the administration’s plans to fill Mackin’s void, and said a campus-wide email would be sent out to inform the community once a decision was made.

Assistant director of University Housing Terry Tumbarello was appointed as interim dean of students Tuesday afternoon.

UW-W will be holding a memorial service at 4 p.m. Wed., Nov. 11 in Timmermann Auditorium in Hyland Hall. Flags on campus will fly at half-staff on Wednesday, and the university is encouraging students and faculty to wear purple in memoriam. A reception following the service will be held in the atrium afterwards, where attendees are encouraged to leave cards and notes of condolence.

A separate visitation will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Albrecht Funeral Home on Janesville Street in Milton.