The Winona State University (WSU) Performing Arts Center (PAC) will now be known as The Robert A. DuFresne PAC, in recognition of the contributions of the late president emeritus, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 94.
“It has been a tradition at WSU to name buildings to recognize past presidents who have provided significant leadership and made outstanding contributions to the university,” said WSU President Scott R. Olson. “We feel this is a fitting recognition of the many and distinguished contributions of Dr. DuFresne toward the development of Winona State University.”
Robert A. “Bob” DuFresne served as the 10th president of WSU from 1967-1977. He enjoyed an extensive career in both education and academic administration, and his tenure has been recognized as a substantial turning point in the university’s history.
Learn more about Dr. DuFresne’s life and career in the 2005 WSU Living History Project documentary, which can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfK2d-6Z8uc.
President Olson credits Dr. DuFresne with guiding the institution during its “coming of age,” including its transition in status to a regional comprehensive university and the completion of nine major construction and renovation projects.
“There is Winona State before Bob and after Bob,” he explained. “It was during his time that the college became a university. It was during his time that some of our core values — such as scholarship and community engagement — first emerged. And then there are the facilities he brought into being Memorial Hall, Minné Hall, Maxwell Hall, Sheehan Hall, much of Kryzsko Commons and, of course, the Performing Arts Center.”