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Learning in Retirement Awards

Each year at the Annual Meeting the LIR Steering Committee awards two members who were nominated by the LIR membership for excellence in volunteerism and teaching.

Volunteer of the Year—Burns Apfeld Award

The Burns Apfeld Award was established in 2000 by the Steering Committee of the Learning in Retirement organization. This award is given annually to recognize an LIR member who has given outstanding service and leadership to our organization. The entire LIR membership has the opportunity to nominate an individual that they believe has provided this leadership. It is awarded at the annual meeting.


Burns Apfeld (2000)Fred Born (2001)Betty John (2002)
Del Zimmerman (2003)Dick Branigan (2004)Helen Wittenberg (2005)
Bernie Olejniczak (2006)Bill Mattes (2007)Barry & Noreen Johnson (2008)
John Procknow (2009)Patricia Worden (2010Miriam Hasse (2011)
Eileen Leinweber (2011)John Allen (2012)Lorraine Sams (2013
Mary Bayorgeon (2015)Nathalie Moore (2016)Pat Worden (2017)
John Evans (2017)Kathi Sawall (2018)Mary Shepard (2018)
Don Ellingson (2019)

Teaching Excellence Award—Robert L. Berner Award

The Robert Berner Outstanding Teaching Award was established in 2005 by the Steering Committee. This award is designed to give recognition to an individual from the membership who has contributed significantly to the development of LIR programs through teaching excellence. It is awarded at the Annual Meeting.


Robert Berner (2005)Gloria Link (2006)Bill Mattes (2008)
Don Burdick (2009)Marlene & Tom Herzing (2010)Jean Nelson (2011)
Larry Lang (2013)Jane Harmon (2014)Horace Davis (2015)
Bill Mattes (2016)Dick Campbell (2017)Bill Urbrock (2018)
Mary Bayorgeon (2019)Lois Hedge (2019)Barbara Carroll Pica (2019)
Pat Worden (2019)

Community Partner Award

The Community Partner Award was established in 2017 by the Steering Committee. This award is designed to recognize individuals from outside the membership for their significant contribution to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Learning in Retirement program through teaching excellence.


Tony Palmeri (2017)Dr. Vivian Foss (2018)Debra Daubert (2019)