The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Alumni Association recently welcomed eight new members.
The new members will be introduced, one at a time, in the months to come.
Name: Walt Busalacchi
Year of graduation: 1972
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Education
Major: Social Science
Hometown: Born in Milwaukee and currently residing in Hobart (outside of Green Bay)
Profession: Retired officer/head of human resources-corporate administration for Aetna, Inc., in Hartford, Conn.
Why were you interested in serving on the Alumni Board?
As a former UW Oshkosh Alumni Association board member, I had an interest in reconnecting with the University and in using my experience and perspective in support of its mission.
What are you most looking forward to in this role?
The intellectual stimulation associated with analyzing the issues before the board and the satisfaction derived from helping to advance them.
How did UW Oshkosh help you get where you are today?
My UW Oshkosh education provided me with the knowledge to better understand the world around me, the discipline to analyze issues and the skill to express myself, both verbally and in writing. Together these things enabled me to have a successful career and a more satisfying life.
What did you do professionally before you retired?
I have been retired for almost 10 years. My entire career was spent with Aetna, Inc., formerly Aetna Life and Casualty. After a few years in claim management in Wisconsin, I transferred to corporate headquarters in Hartford, Conn., where I worked in human resources.
As an employee relations consultant, I conducted personnel audits, worked on various diversity initiatives, investigated employee complaints/lawsuits and coached managers through a variety of difficult workplace situations.
After a number of promotions, I was appointed an officer and became the head of human resources for a division of approximately 2,500 employees.
What are your favorite leisure activities?
Bicycling, motorcycling and helping with set construction at the Green Bay Community Theater. I’ve also spoken twice to the UW Oshkosh Learning in Retirement group. One presentation covered D-Day and another Elizabeth McCourt of Oshkosh. I am currently working on still another, Settling the Wisconsin Cutover, which will be given this fall.
Any special memories of your time on campus?
Beyond the classroom experience, my thoughts go back to events of the late ’60s/early ’70s … the Vietnam War — student war protests, the military draft, sitting around the radio listening to the draft lottery drawing (I was number 348) … the music — Woodstock, the music machines in three listening rooms on the second floor of Reeve, Sha Na Na playing at Albee … “The Graduate” played at Reeve (admission 50 cents) … the first Earth Day (April 22, 1970) … the building boom on campus — Arts and Communication Center, Kolf Sports Center and the Nursing/Education Building … Wisconsin State University-Oshkosh becoming part of the UW system.