Virgil Nylander of River Falls, Wis., who obtained two degrees at Colorado State and went on to become Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance at the University of Wisconsin-Great Falls, has been selected as the 2006 College of Natural Sciences’ Honor Alumnus. Nylander will receive the Alumni Association’s award in a special ceremony on Friday, Feb. 17.
Nylander graduated from Colorado State University in 1967 with a bachelor of science and in 1969 with a master’s of science. Both degrees are in psychology. He received his doctoral degree in psychology from Iowa State University in 1977.
Nylander started teaching psychology at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 1969.
"Strong teaching and mentoring abilities quickly built his popularity with students and faculty alike," said Terry Ferriss, professor of horticulture at the University of Wisconsin. "Successfully teaching a breadth of 16 different courses reflected the depth of his technical ability and command of the discipline."
Nylander greatly advanced his career while at the University of Wisconsin. In 1979, he was named chairman of the psychology department. Five years later, he was promoted to associate dean of the College of Education. In 1987, he became the assistant chancellor for administration, and in 1995, he was named vice chancellor for administration and finance. He served in that position until his retirement in January 2004.
Nylander was called out of retirement in May 2004 to serve as interim chancellor when the university’s new chancellor died in a car accident.
Nylander has been active in his community by participating in the Masonic Lodge, St. Croix Valley Shriners and the River Falls Rotary Club. He served on several committees for the city, often helping to connect the university with the community.
"Virgil’s integrity, character and leadership abilities are admirable and serve as a role model for many," Ferriss said. "He reflects well on the educational base that Colorado State provided to him and is certainly deserving of the College Honor Alumnus Award."