Campus News

WAA President announces retirement after 41 years at UW

Wisconsin Alumni Association President Paula Bonner announced Monday she will retire from her roles at UW-Madison effective Oct. 31, 2017.

Image By: Courtesy of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association

After over four decades of service at UW-Madison, President of the Wisconsin Alumni Association Paula Bonner announced Monday she will retire effective Oct. 31.

Bonner also served as chief alumni officer for the Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association. She said it has been her privilege to have worked in support of UW-Madison for nearly 41 years.

“I have worked with hundreds of dedicated campus leaders, students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and friends,” Bonner said in a Monday press release. “I am incredibly thankful for their friendship and support.”

Bonner came to UW-Madison in 1976 to earn her master’s degree in education. From 1977 to 1989, she directed 11 women’s intercollegiate sports programs as associate athletic director for the UW Athletic Department. She joined the WAA team in 1989, as associate executive director before being named president and CEO in January 2000.

“Paula is leaving us an enduring legacy of alumni around the world who are engaged with the university and with each other,” Vice Chair of the WFAA Board of Directors Jeff Wiesner said in the release. “It would be hard to overstate the impact of her energy and leadership on everything she touched, from athletics to the alumni association and beyond.”

Bonner told The Daily Cardinal even though she may no longer hold a formal position at the university come November, she will remain active in educational communities.

“I want to see what all I can do to help continue and be active in efforts that are about communicating and advocating for public education, public higher education and for our university and others,” Bonner said. “Education means so much to me and we need citizens to speak up for the importance of education.”

She said not being in the midst of the day-to-day happenings of the university will be an adjustment.

“The impact of 43,000 students and thousands of faculty—this place just kind of levitates with energy and a sense of forward purpose that feeds my soul,” Bonner said.

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