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Lula Washington Dance Theatre to Perform at Viterbo University Jan. 29

June 18, 2019

Jan. 23, 2019

Contact Jen Roberdeau at 608-796-3738 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – The acclaimed African-American dance company Lula Washington Dance Theatre will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29 in the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.

Founded in 1980 in the inner city area of South Los Angeles, Lula Washington Dance Theatre has become one of the most admired African-American contemporary dance companies in the country. The company performs innovative and provocative choreography by Lula Washington, who uses dance to explore social and humanitarian issues, including aspects of African-American history and culture. An award-winning choreographer, Washington’s work is filled with honesty, integrity, and unparalleled creativity.

Lula Washington Dance Theatre is comprised of young, athletic dancers, many of whom were groomed in Lula Washington’s inner city dance studio. While Washington requires her dancers to be excellent performers, she also emphasizes to them the importance of being leaders in their communities.

The group has performed at famous venues such as Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Ordway Theater in Minneapolis, the Pioneer Center in Reno, the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and at theaters in Germany, Spain, Mexico, and St. Croix, Virgin Islands. In addition to touring, the company dances in numerous schools each year.

This performance is part of Viterbo’s Bright Star Season and is sponsored by Gundersen Health System and in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Wisconsin Public Radio is the media sponsor. It is also supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Wisconsin Arts Board and the Crane Group.

Tickets are $38 for main floor, $34 for lower balcony, and $28 for upper balcony seating. For tickets, contact the Viterbo box office at 608-796-3100 or visit



Viterbo Out-of-Our-Minds Chamber Music Series Continues with "I've Got Rhythm" Nov. 4

June 18, 2019

Oct 24, 2018

Contact Mary Ellen Haupert at 608-796-3770 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – The free Out-of-Our-Minds Chamber Music Series at Viterbo University will continue with I’ve Got Rhythm at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 in the Fine Arts Center Nola Starling Recital Hall.

I’ve Got Rhythm will feature horn player Heidi Wick, tenor Matt Curtis, soprano Ann Schoenecker, and pianist Mary Ellen Haupert. The concert will include George Gershwin’s Variations on I’ve Got Rhythm for Two Pianos, Markus Rindt’s Impressions on Jazz for Horn and Piano, and William Neil’s Out of Danger Cabaret Songs for Soprano and Piano, and selected songs by George Gershwin.

“Every work in this program will set feet tapping and leave audience members humming,” said Haupert. “There are fresh new works and old classics, performed by extraordinary musicians.”

The featured composer for the Out of Our Minds Chamber Music Series is William Neil, who has helped Haupert develop the new chamber music series, as well as provide the audience with a composer’s perspective. He will introduce his Out of Danger set, which will be performed by Schoenecker and Haupert.

Local celebrity Matt Curtis will open the second half of the program with several crowd-pleasing songs by George Gershwin. Curtis is a Viterbo University alumnus who has achieved international acclaim as a soloist, choral singer, and businessman.

“Matt has an extraordinarily beautiful voice that is perfectly suited to Gershwin’s music,” Haupert said. “I’m thrilled he will be a part of this concert.”

The program will conclude with pianists Haupert and Aubrie Jacobson performing Gershwin’s I’ve Got Rhythm Variations, which was arranged for two pianos—four hands by the composer. Jacobson is a senior piano major who looks forward to a career as a collaborative pianist.  

The concert is free, but a freewill offering will be taken for the musicians. The entertaining and educational concerts of the Out-of-Our-Minds Chamber Music Series are designed to increase the accessibility, opportunity, and exposure to high quality classical music.



Viterbo Spring Commencement Saturday

June 18, 2019

Four hundred-eight students, 308 undergraduate, 87 master’s degree, and 13 doctorate degree students, will be candidates for graduation at Viterbo’s spring commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 11 at the La Crosse Center.

Tracy Stewart, vice president for academic affairs, will serve as Master of Ceremonies, and Allison Stoeffler, a community medical dietetics student from La Crescent, Minn., will give the undergraduate student address. Master of Business Administration student Sulaimon Adewale Elegbede will deliver the graduate student address. Viterbo President Glena Temple will confer the degrees and Don Weber, member of the board of trustees, will provide congratulatory remarks. Liza Ware, chair of the faculty council, and Carol Page, faculty member and program specialist for the Master of Arts in Education program in Iowa, will present the candidates. The diplomas will be awarded by President Temple, Stewart, and Sue Christopherson, chair of the board of trustees. Viterbo director of alumni relations Kathy Duerwachter will lead the Prayer of St. Francis and Fr. Conrad Targonski, OFM, will give the benediction.

Receiving the title of Professor Emeritus are retiring faculty members Alida Herling, nutrition and dietetics, Jackie Kuennen, nursing, and David Waters, business.

All faculty and employees are invited to participate. Faculty and other participants should line up in the north lobby no later than 12:40 p.m. Enter through the main doors on 2nd Street and look for the signs. There will not be secure storage for personal items.

The same tips for graduates also apply to wearing the faculty regalia—gowns should be pressed and worn with dark slacks or hosiery and dark shoes, caps should be worn level (not tipped back), no jewelry or other adornments should be worn with the gowns, and faculty tassels are worn on the left side.

After the ceremony, the faculty will be led out after the stage party. The marshals will stop the faculty to form two lines along the edges of the aisle, so the graduates can pass between them as they exit. Faculty members are encouraged to applaud the graduates as they pass.

A Baccalaureate Mass will be held that morning at 10 a.m. in San Damiano Chapel on the Viterbo campus. Fr. Targonski will preside at the liturgy. The BSN nursing pinning ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, May 10 in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre. The BSN Completion program pinning ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. May 11 in the Fine Arts Center Nola Starling Recital Hall.

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All Student Show and Touchstone Release Reception April 24

June 18, 2019

Viterbo community members are invited to attend the 2019 All Student Art Show and Touchstone release reception anytime from 5–7 p.m. in the Viterbo University Gallery on the third floor of the Fine Arts Center.

The event will include readings from Touchstone authors, an art exhibit, and light hors d’ouevres.

“Join us to celebrate the students’ creative work this year,” said Sherri Lisota, art.

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Viterbo University to Host Viterbo 101 Show Choir Competition Jan. 5

June 18, 2019

Jan. 2, 2019

Contact Jen Roberdeau at 608-796-3738 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – The annual Viterbo 101 Show Choir competition will be held at the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Saturday, Jan. 5 beginning at 8:40 a.m.

A number of local show choirs will compete throughout the day in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre, including varsity choirs from La Crosse Central and Sparta high schools, as well as middle school choirs from Onalaska, West Salem, Cashton, La Crosse Longfellow/LDI, La Crosse Lincoln, and La Crosse Logan. Seven middle school choirs and nine high school choirs will participate.

In addition to the group competition, a solo competition will take place throughout the day in the Fine Arts Center’s Nola Starling Recital Hall. Individual students from the participating show choirs will have the opportunity to perform a solo piece and receive feedback from a Viterbo University professor.

“This is our fifteenth year hosting this competition, and it’s always so exciting to kick off the show choir season here at Viterbo,” said Nancy Allen, director of Viterbo University’s Platinum Edition show choir, which is hosting the competition. “It’s a great opportunity for choirs and student singers to interact with our students and get feedback from university professors as they prepare for the rest of the season.”

Finalists from the preliminary group competition will be announced at 4:45 p.m., and the final competition will begin at 6:15 p.m. following a performance by the winners of the solo competition.

Viterbo 101 is open to the public. General admission wristbands can be purchased the day of the competition in the atrium of the Fine Arts Center. Wristbands are $10 for the preliminary competition only, $10 for the final competition only, $15 for the full day, or $5 for children 12 and under. Concessions will be available throughout the day.

More information, including a list of participating choirs and performance times, can be found at Contact the Viterbo Fine Arts Center at 608-796-3737 with questions.



"A Proposal to Halt Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin" Presentation at Viterbo University Oct. 10

June 18, 2019

Oct. 4, 2018

Contact Rick Kyte at 608-796-3704 or or Nicole Van Ert at 608-796-3616 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Retired Wisconsin DNR wildlife experts Mike Foy and Tom Hauge will present “A Proposal to Halt Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10 in the Viterbo University School of Nursing Building Collins Auditorium room 196.

Chronic wasting disease has been detected in 53 counties in Wisconsin, and its continued spread threatens the future of Wisconsin’s hunting heritage and a $1 billion per year economic resource. Up to this point, there have been no serious proposals for slowing the spread of CWD in Wisconsin.

Foy and Hauge’s proposal is to pay hunters and landowners for killing CWD-infected deer. “Payment 4 Positives” is an incentive-based program that would invest approximately two percent of the annual economic gain realized from deer hunting to enlist hunters throughout the state to address a problem that has long frustrated natural resource officials. 

“We suggest taking a business world approach and offer landowners, hunters, and small businesses a robust financial reward for voluntarily acting to sustain the health of Wisconsin’s deer herd,” said Foy and Hauge. “Our deer hunting heritage makes a $1.3 billion annual economic contribution to our state.”

Foy retired from the Wisconsin DNR as a wildlife biologist working more than 30 years, half of which he was on the front lines of the state’s CWD response efforts in southern Wisconsin. Hauge retired from the DNR after 37 years with the wildlife program, the last 25 as director of the Wildlife Management Program.

This presentation is part of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership’s fall 2018 lecture series and is free and open to the public. It is cosponsored by the La Crosse County Conservation Alliance. No tickets are necessary, but seating is limited. For a full schedule of D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership events, visit



Viterbo to Present "Dance Kaleidoscope 2019" May 2–3

June 18, 2019

Viterbo theatre and music theatre students will present Dance Kaleidoscope 2019 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2 and Friday, May 3 in the Fine Arts Center LaCroix Black Box Theatre.

“Dance Kaleidoscope 2019 is the culmination of student-created choreography from their dance repertory course,” said Shane Rhoades, Viterbo faculty member and director of the production. “Over the course of the semester, students explored space, shape, line, level, direction, focus, points on the stage, floor patterns, phrasing, and transitions. Using these elements of dance, students bring their pieces to life with innovative choreography. Pieces vary in style from jazz, tap, ballet, modern, hip-hop, and musical theatre while showcasing each choreographer's individual style.”

The choreographers for the show are juniors and seniors, while dancers range from freshmen to seniors. The show lineup includes 14 pieces, including Bright Lights and Cityscapes by Sarah Bareilles, Making Her Smile by Equity Slate and Soojeong, Whip It by Devo, Run Boy Run by Woodkid, Hot Honey Rag from Chicago the Musical, and Let’s Be Bad from SMASH.

The Dance Kaleidescope 2019 cast includes dance repertory students Laura Fegely, Kai Judd, Rose Lucas, Achilles Mulkey, Tabbi Parent, Maya Richardson, Tanner Scot, Sophie Shahbazi, Katrina Walt, Marissa Ward, Sarah Weyrich, and Melissa Wickland. Additional dancers are Audrey Accardo, Rachael Armstrong, Cassady Chadwell, Zoe De Boer, Sage Hovet, Bryce Keesee-Lourigan, Harleigh McKee, Michaela Murphy, Dorothy Oberfoell, Aimee Mangual Pagan, and Jack Scharrer. 

Visit the box office for tickets.

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Platinum Edition and Guests to Present "Celebration 2019" April 27

June 18, 2019

Viterbo University’s outstanding Platinum Edition show choir and special guests will present an evening of singing and dancing with their annual variety performance Celebration 2019 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27 in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.

“There are many great numbers for the show this year including Perm by Bruno Mars, a medley of songs from Tommy by The Who, a musical piece from the Broadway show Something RottenSalute by Little Mix, and There’s Nothing Holding Me Back by Shawn Mendes,” said Nancy Allen, Viterbo faculty member and director of Platinum Edition. “We’re also bringing back a few favorites from last fall’s Halloween Spooktacular show including Marry the Night and Applause by Lady Gaga, and Transylvania Mania from Young Frankenstein. There is something for everyone.”

Songs were selected for their variety of styles including from the pop, rock, swing, rock and roll, and Broadway genres.

Celebration 2019 will also feature guest performers The First Congregational Sanctuary Choir, the rock band Zoe, Aquinas High School’s Ethan Nott, Onalaska High School’s Best Sellers quartet featuring Alia Ebbert, Chloe Leithold, Faith Leithold, and Rachel Schoenecker, and a La Crosse Central High School trio featuring Erick Berg, Connor Bush, and Ahmad Jandel. Additional performers include Viterbo’s 9th Street Singers, and faculty members Matthew Campbell and Rick Walters. Several duets and small ensemble performances feature Platinum Edition members. The Platinum Edition band includes Nancy Allen, Greg Balfany, Julie Duff, Steve Duff, Jeff Krauklis, Paul Leithold, Kurt Schuldes, Josh Shively, and George Von Arx.

“I am very proud of all of the students in Platinum Edition,” Allen said. “They are very dedicated and work very hard to put on these shows.” 

Tickets are $21 for main floor, $18 for lower balcony, and $15 for upper balcony seating. For more information, contact the Viterbo box office at 608-796-3100 or visit

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Jim Salmo Named Viterbo University Vice President for Advancement

June 18, 2019

Nov. 26, 2018

Contact Anthony Slaby at 608-796-3042 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – James (Jim) Salmo has been named vice president for advancement at Viterbo University effective in January. Salmo was chosen to lead fundraising and benefactor relation efforts at Viterbo, succeeding Wendell Snodgrass who resigned in August.

In this senior leadership position, Salmo will serve on the president’s cabinet and oversee benefactor relations, gifts, and scholarship creation.

Salmo brings almost 35 years of experience in the advancement field, including his current posts as the vice chancellor for development and alumni relations and the CEO of the Southern Illinois University Foundation, both at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. He has held similar advancement leadership positions at Rhode Island College, the University of Missouri, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, and other institutions of higher learning.

“I am thrilled to have Jim join the Viterbo community,” said Viterbo University President Glena Temple. “He brings a wealth of experience in fundraising through appointments at both public and private institutions and from involvement in professional organizations. I look forward to introducing Jim to our alumni, friends and benefactors in the months ahead.”

Originally from St. Louis, Salmo earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Saint Louis University and Master of Arts in Media/Communication from Webster University. He has completed several professional development programs, including the Harvard Graduate School Management Development Program and the Big Ten Fundraising Institute. He and his wife Lisa have an adult son, David, who lives in Milwaukee and works as a fundraiser for the United Performing Arts Fund.

“Following my on-campus interview, I knew Viterbo University was the place I wanted to be,” Salmo said. “The mission and core values resonate with me, and I feel President Temple has a very good vision for the institution and I could sense she cares deeply about the students, employees, alumni, and the La Crosse community. Hopefully I can take my more than 30 years of experience and add value to the strong foundation I already see in place at Viterbo.”