A facility housing resources and services for students and educators at UW-Eau Claire will be renamed in honor of a former faculty member and administrator who died this week.
Vicki Lord Larson Hall will be the new name of UW-Eau Claire’s Old Library following a renaming event at 2 p.m. Feb. 15.
Lord Larson had been in failing health before she died on Thursday, according to an email from Chancellor James Schmidt to the campus community.
“Dr. Larson was a remarkable scholar, leader, mentor and friend, and she was known by many for her distinguished service to our university, including as interim chancellor from 2005 to 2006,” Schmidt said.
University officials had expected Lord Larson to attend the building renaming event, but the ceremony will now be an opportunity to “honor and celebrate the life and wonderful legacy of Chancellor Emerita Vicki Lord Larson,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt said Lord Larson’s time at UW-Eau Claire “made impacts that have greatly influenced who we are today as a respected and top-ranked university in the Midwest. That this building is a hub for student support, as well as for professional development for faculty and instructional staff, is fitting given Chancellor Emerita Vicki Lord Larson’s years of work on behalf of university students and educators.”
Lord Larson had recently said she was humbled and honored that the facility will bear her name.
Lord Larson joined UW-Eau Claire’s faculty in 1973 as an assistant professor of communication disorders. She later became a professor and served as chair of the Department of Communication Disorders from 1978-83. In 1984 she was named assistant dean for Graduate Studies and in 1987 became assistant dean for Graduate Studies and University Research. In 1989 she was promoted to associate dean. In the 1980s she was instrumental in helping shape the university’s focus on faculty-undergraduate student collaborative research.
In 1991 Lord Larson became dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research at UW-Oshkosh. In 1994 she was named acting provost and vice chancellor at UW-Oshkosh and was named provost and vice chancellor in 1995. She retired from UW-Oshkosh in 2000 as a professor emerita of communication.
Lord Larson then served as a consultant to the UW System president from 2000 to 2001, focusing on women’s leadership development.
In 2005 she was named UW-Eau Claire’s interim chancellor, a role in which she served during the transition between former chancellors Donald Mash and Brian Levin-Stankevich.
“During her tenure as interim chancellor, she was instrumental in bringing to the forefront the need for new university facilities,” Schmidt said. “She provided key leadership in laying the groundwork for a new academic building and new student center. She was also a tireless advocate for student success.”
In 2005 she received the Outstanding Achievement Award from Wisconsin Women in Higher Education Leadership.