Remembering Regent Delgado

University of Wisconsin System Regent Regent Jose Delgado

On January 24th, 2021, the UW-System Board of Regents lost one of its most important members Jose Delgado. While attending a workshop in Texas, Delgado suffered a massive stroke during the night. He was then admitted to a hospital in Austin where he died a week later with friends by his side.

“Regent Delgado was a Wisconsin leader, creating the American Transmission Company and serving as its initial President and Chief Executive Officer. While serving on the Board of Regents since 2014, Regent Delgado was a champion of higher education as a way to improve lives and communities in Wisconsin while holding the UW System accountable. He was continually looking for ways to stay involved in his community and his state. We will all miss his charm and grace at our meetings and extend our heartfelt condolences to his family,” said University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson.

Delgado was born November 23, 1946 in Cuba before emigrating to the United States at age 14. He lived in Chicago with his parents and siblings while attending Trinity High School.  After high school, he came to Wisconsin to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at Marquette University. Delgado then went on to earn a Master’s in Electrical Engineering and went on to earn an MBA at UW-Milwaukee.  

In his professional career, Delgado worked for 27 years for Wisconsin General Electric and founded American Transmission Corporation, the first multi-state transmission company, where he served as CEO for 11 years until his retirement in 2010. 

Delgado was also a long-time advocate for education, serving on the Greater Milwaukee Committee, the Marquette University School of Engineering and Advisory Council and first started serving the UW-System as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chancellor’s Council of Corporate Sponsors and the School of Business Advisory Council. In 2014, former Governor Scott Walker appointed Delgado as a University of Wisconsin regent – a position he held until his death.   

Board of Regents President Andrew Petersen started a Feb. 4 meeting with a few words in remembrance of Delgado.

 “Regent Delgado’s charm, his grace, and commitment to his role as regent were extraordinary. His passion, his exuberance, and his experience will all be deeply missed by all of us who served with him. Regent Delgado was a public servant. Who always advocated for Wisconsin students and the integrity of public, higher education,” said Petersen. “Jose never forgot where he came from. He appreciated the opportunities that he experienced in coming to the United States and he cared deeply about extending similar opportunities to others.”

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