Janesville27.3°

Connor redefined role of chancellor's wife

Print Print
Gazette Staff
May 19, 2010
— Zoe Connor proudly stood behind her husband and the university he led for more than 15 years.

She embraced her role as the wife of a chancellor. She believed in being visible and accessible to those at the university and in the community. She also believed in giving back.


Connor died Sunday. She was 80.


James Connor served as chancellor of UW-Whitewater from 1974-91.


Zoe Connor stepped into her role at a time of transition for society and the university, from the old standard of detachment to a new expectation of accessibility, said Roni Telfer, wife of current Chancellor Richard Telfer.


"She had strong opinions about the role and about the importance of being visible and accommodating and including people," she said.


Zoe Connor also was a great supporter of the university.


"She was kind of like the first lady of the university," said former alumni director Mark Dorn.


The Connors invested heavily in the UW-Whitewater community.


They contributed to the University Center, the busy heart of campus that bears their names. They established a College of Arts and Communication scholarship. They support the Student Leader grant, which honors campus leadership and achievement, and help choose the winner each year.


The Connors also have made significant contributions toward the construction of Young Auditorium, DLK/David L. Kachel Fieldhouse and Timothy J. Hyland Hall.


They also endowed a scholarship for the top graduate of Whitewater High School who chooses to attend UW-Whitewater.


Services for Zoe Connor will be held Saturday in Whitewater.


The UW-Whitewater campus flag will fly at half staff Saturday in her honor.



Print Print