Meet ‘the boxer’ Stan Milan

71-year-old grad fought through change to earn Master’s Degree

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   “‘I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter still remains.”

   These are the words Dr. S.A. Welch thinks of when she thinks about Stan Milam.

   “I gave him the nickname Boxer about three years ago, it’s from the song ‘The Boxer’ by Simon and Garfunkel,” she said. “He just kept coming back, he never quit.”

   Milam will graduate this semester with his Master’s Degree in Communications, at the age of 71, and for him, the motivation is still there.

   “I started out just taking a couple more classes, and I figured I might as well get credit for them,” he said. “It’s been difficult at times, with the changing requirements there were actually a couple of undergraduate classes I had to take to get into the graduate program. But in the end all that hard work is worth it.”

   Just as the song that describes him would suggest, the road to where he is now has been a long one.

   After graduating from Janesville Senior High School, he enlisted in the army, and served two separate tours in Germany and Vietnam. After returning home, he officially enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for the first time. On campus he worked for the UW-Whitewater radio station, and was even instrumental in rebuilding the Old Main Building after the fire in 1970.


“We broadcasted out of the Old Main Building, and then one day we arrived and it had burned down,” Milam said. “Since I was older than most of the other students, I worked with our adviser and administration to literally rebuild Old Main.”

   Milam received his Undergraduate degree in 1973, and since then has worked for many radio and news sources across the state, before deciding to return to school five years ago.

   Milam says he wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of his adviser, Dr. S.A. Welch.

   “She has been instrumental in helping me along this journey,” he said. “There was a long gap there, and it was hard to get back in the groove, and Dr. Welch has been very very instrumental, I would not be able to do this without her guidance.”

   Dr. Welch has been by his side for the last five years, and says she’s just as excited for him to walk across that stage as he is.

   “I’m just so proud that he kept at it, he never quit, I know a lot of people who have walked away with less challenges,” she says. “He is ‘The Boxer’.”

   As for what’s next for Milam, he says things won’t be all that different. He’ll continue working, hopefully someday retire, and spend some time with his 10 grandchildren.

   “I go to a lot of birthday parties.”

   After spending so much of his time here at UW-W in his life, “The Boxer” looks back on his time here fondly.

   “I’ve been committed to this University every since I graduated in 1973, I’m very proud to be an alumni,” he says. “Whitewater is a special place.”