Honorary doctorates

Ron and Jane Rada will receive honorary doctorates during UWL’s Winter Commencement Sunday, Dec.15.

Ron and Jan Rada to receive UWL honors

Two longtime friends of UW-La Crosse will receive honorary doctorates from the institution.

Ron and Jane Rada are two respected and beloved retired educators who are philanthropic in spirit. They have been pillars of stalwart support for UWL, its students, staff and faculty.

They will receive the honorary degrees during the university’s Winter Commencement at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at the La Crosse Center, 300 Harborview Plaza. The degrees are given to highly deserving people meriting special recognition for exceptional achievement and distinction in a field or activity supporting the mission of the university.

Ron Rada had a distinguished career at UWL beginning in 1975, serving as professor, director of the River Studies Center, associate dean of the College of Science and Allied Health and interim provost twice. Officially retiring in 2006, he continued to serve as an official volunteer under three chancellors and work with the university in general and the River Studies Center.

As professor emeritus, Ron helped lead efforts for two successful National Conference on Undergraduate Research events on campus, along with the 2006 International Conference on Rivers and Civilization and the 2015 International Symposium for River Science, both held in La Crosse. He served on the leadership and transition teams for the UWL Foundation and remains a special assistant to its president.

Jane Rada had a distinguished career at Western Technical College in La Crosse as an instructor in the Business Division from 1975-2002. She was program head of the Business Technology Department from 1994-2000.

Jane also served as coordinator of WTC’s Academic Quality Improvement Program for the college’s accreditation through the North Central Association’s Higher Learning Commission and as an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program. She is a long-time volunteer at Gundersen Health System, has served on numerous non-profit boards, was on the UWL Foundation Board of Directors from 1995-2004 and currently serves as an emeritus director.

In 2001, the Radas were recipients of the UWL Chancellor’s Award and established the UWL Rada Distinguished Alumnus Award to honor recent to mid-career alums making exceptional contributions to their profession and communities.

Ron holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota-Springfield, a master’s from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion and a doctorate from Montana State University in Bozeman.

Jane holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota-Springfield, a master’s from Montana State University in Bozeman, and an MBA from UWL.