University Center

James R. Connor Donations

Connor Conference Room (UC 259)

Dr. James R. Connor served the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater as a professor and chancellor from July 1974 through June 1991.

During Chancellor Connor’s tenure at UW-Whitewater, enrollment grew from 8,150 to 11,000 students.

Dr. Connor concentrated on diversifying the student body by recruiting and retaining an increasing number of minority students. In summarizing his concern for students, Dr. Connor stated, “I think we have created an environment of caring. We care about the students and celebrate their success, but if they fail, we all fail.”

Chancellor Connor aggressively pursued improvements on UW-Whitewater’s campus to assure that students would receive the best possible education in state-of-the-art facilities. McGraw Hall, the 1988 University Center addition, the Upham hall greenhouse, the observatory, the Alumni center and the Williams Center addition were all important enhancements to the University. In bringing the dream of a multipurpose auditorium to reality, Dr. Connor was instrumental in developing the private support needed to building the $9 million Irvin L. Young Auditorium.

James R. Connor retired at age 62 from UW-Whitewater. As he left his position, he shared these words, “In the final view, students are what we are all about. Nurture them well, and they will not fail you nor the larger society in which they will take their places.”

In April 1998, under the direction and leadership of Chancellor H. Gaylon Greenhill, the University Center was renamed and dedicated in honor of James R. Connor.

Dr. and Mrs. Connor have continued with their generosity to UW-Whitewater and the University Center with additional donation toward this large meeting room and the balcony of the new University Center. Dr. Connor also served as an active participant on the project for the 2008 building renovation.

Zoë Connor Balcony


This balcony is named in honor of Zoë E. Connor, wife of James R. Connor, who served as Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater from 1974 to 1991. During this time, Zoë was actively involved in University and community events she particularly enjoyed student and other campus affairs. She served as a gracious campus hostess, eventually being appointed associate to the chancellor by the University Of Wisconsin System President. Through the years, she and her husband were true partners on behalf of the University. The balcony exists as a result of her generosity to the project and the naming is reflective of the important contributions Zoë E. Connor made to UW-Whitewater.