Warhawk Almanac: U-Rock’s Longest Serving Dean, Dr. Thomas Walterman

“Sunshine Welcomed with Beer and Brats”, The Matrix, April 25, 1974, 6. https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.34666595

Thomas Walterman, grew up in the Quad Cities area to a lower-middle class, German family. After high school, he began working in a factory in Bettendorf, Iowa, before enlisting in the Marines. Walterman spent two years in Korea then returned to his work in the factory. [1] Eventually, Walterman, attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. He then started working as a high school history teacher and simultaneously worked on achieving his master’s degree at the University of Iowa. He later attended Washington University in St. Louis and achieved his doctorate degree. [2] He then used his education to help him get a position as Associate Professor of History and Assistant to the President at Central Washington University.[3]

In 1973, UW-Center Rock County named the Walterman Dean, succeeding Dean George Condon. [4] Upon his arrival, Dean Walterman quickly settled into the campus culture and communicated his desire to build a stronger presence in the community and expand the opportunities that the university had for non-traditional students. Walterman said, “We should do all we can for as many as possible, but still maintain the status of an educational institution for basic college instruction.[5] In April of 1974, the Vets for Vets Club honored Dean Walterman and other veterans with the “First Annual Beer and Brat Day”. The event raised funds for the club and included a performance by the Jazz Ensemble, frisbee contests, and hoop-rolling.[6]

“U-Rock Dream Coming True”, The Janesville Gazette, January 25, 1980, 10.

Walterman was a major player in the development of campus facilities. The county denied initial requests for funding to help grow campus facilities. Walterman understood that improved campus facilities would improve the experience of students and could improve campus enrollment.[7] In 1978, Walterman’s advocacy proved successful and plans to build a gymnasium and fine arts building began building steam.[8] On February 14, 1980, the Rock County Board approved $2.6 million to fund the new buildings.[9]

Dean Tom W. Walterman, Janesville, 1981. https://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/LIRT6XXJQV3BM8O

In 1990, Walterman accepted a position at UW-Whitewater as the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. At Whitewater, Walterman would develop projects, create and review courses, update the course catalog, and serve on the campus space committee.[10] In his parting remarks, Walterman disclosed his appreciation for the UW-Rock County Center saying, “This place is a jewel of great value, and comparatively few people recognize that.”[11] Walterman spent five years at UW-Whitewater, then retired in 1995.[12] UW-Whitewater President, H. Gaylon Greenhill exclaimed, “I would describe Dr. Walterman as an extremely conscientious and hard-working individual. He is a professional who always expends the necessary time and effort to get a job done and to be certain that it is done well.”[13] He was nominated for the rank of Associate Vice Chancellor Emeritus, upon his retirement.[14]

Dean Dr. Thomas Walterman, Janesville, 1973/1990. https://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/BY3XVXJJO6LDA9E

Dr. Thomas Walterman’s dedication to accessibility paved the way for UW-Rock County and his awareness of the needs of students solidified his significance to UW-Whitewater. Walterman serves as an early example of the collaborative relationship between UW-Whitewater and UW-Rock County and his impact lives on throughout both campuses.  

[1] Rebecca Woosley, “Dean leaving ‘life on the lightning rod”, Janesville Gazette, August 31, 1990, 1.

[2] Ibid, 1.

[3] “Dean Walterman Arrives Today”, The Matrix, September 13, 1973, 1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.34666582

[4] Ibid, 1.

[5] “Dean Wants Student Feedback”, The Matrix, February 7, 1974, 4. https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.34666590

[6] “Sunshine Welcomed with Beer and Brats”, The Matrix, April 25, 1974, 6. https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.34666595

[7] Mark Lindrin, “Enrollment drop delays expansion”, The Matrix, November 5, 1976, 6. https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.34666620

[8] F.M. Roach, “”Very Much Alive”, The Matrix, November 13, 1978, 1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.34666635

[9] Pat Soeder, “Building Project Carries”, The Matrix, February 25, 1980, 1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.34666643

[10] “Dean leaving ‘life on the lightning rod’”, 1.

[11] Ibid, 1.

[12] Anna Marie Lux, “Brave in battle: Book chronicles duty, danger, death for county’s Civil War soldiers”, The Janesville Gazette, March 10, 2002, 1.

[13] H. Gaylon Greenhill to UW-Whitewater, memorandum, May 5, 1995, “Dr. Thomas Walterman”.

[14] Faculty Senate, “Resolution”, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, May 5, 1995.

This entry was posted in Archives & ARC. Bookmark the permalink.