Doorway of the exterior of Nancy Nicholas Hall

AboutDean’s Advisory Board

Board members

Founding board members

Mary Berge – 1998-2012

A much-loved alumna of the School of Human Ecology, Mary Berge passed away in 2012. She had been a clothing consultant for the Carlisle Collection of Fine Women’s Apparel and an active member of the Wisconsin Alumni Association. She was a UW-Madison Bascom Hill Society member and led many charitable and development efforts for nonprofit organizations such as the Attic Angels Association, Edgewood High School, Madison Art League and United Way Head Start program. She and husband Paul co-chaired the School’s centennial celebration committee. Mary Berge was one of the first to be honored through the School’s 100 Women program.

Nancy Bruce – 1995 – 2002

Nancy Bruce (BS ’54) majored in Child and Family Studies and after graduation taught for several years at Volunteers of America Day Nursery in Milwaukee. She has been a serious textile collector, with a special interest in antique American quilts, and has long supported the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, as well as the Ruth Davis Design Gallery. Nancy Bruce has participated in many Chicago area organizations, for example, the Winnetka Auxiliary of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the Auxiliary of the Evanston and Glenbrook Hospitals, and many other associations. A 100 Women honoree, her philanthropy not only supported the students and faculty within the School, but became a catalyst for additional support.

Sharon Devenish – 1994 – 2009

Sharon Devenish, Human Ecology alumna in Interior Design, was an assistant dean for facilities at the UW-Madison College of Engineering. Former president and founder of Devenish Associates, Inc., the firm was repeatedly named a Top 50 U.S. Interior Design Firm. Under Devenish’s leadership, the firm provided interior design and interior architecture to corporate, healthcare, hospitality, restaurant and retail clients for over 25 years. She is licensed and registered in Wisconsin and Illinois, and certified by the National Council of Interior Design Qualifications. A member and board member of many professional organizations in design, she served as president of the International Interior Design Association and the Institute of Business Designers.  Devenish also served on various civic committees and was appointed to the Monona Community Development Authority and its Plan Commission.

Camille Haney – 1989 – 2000

Camille Haney began her service to the School in 1989.  During that time she was a partner in Anderson, Benjamin, Read and Haney, Inc., a management consulting firm with offices in Washington DC and Madison Wisconsin.  In 1975 she founded The Haney Company which was a national consumer affairs and research consulting firm with clients such as Proctor and Gamble, American Express and the Ford Motor Company.  Camille also headed the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection and served two terms on the White House Consumer Advisory Council.  She is a graduate from the School of Family Resources and Consumer Science (now known as:  Human Ecology) with a BS in retailing.  She currently lives in Madison and has generously donated the lovely art you see on the walls in and around the 5th floor.

Roxybelle and Warren (“Bud”) Heyse – 1990-2012

Roxy considered herself a “professional volunteer”until she passed in August, 2020. She believed the purpose of volunteering is to improve the quality of life for all ages in health, education, music, art and the environment. She served as president of many organizations in the Milwaukee and Mequon areas. She held many positions for United Way and co-chaired drives for the United Performing Arts Fund and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Annual Fund. As a representative of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra League, she served on two national boards – as vice president of the American Symphony Orchestra League Volunteer Council and public relations chair of the Association for Major Symphony Orchestras. The Heyses donated the Children’s Porch of the Frank. L. Weyenberg Library in Mequon, and given scholarships and a professorship to the UW-Madison Journalism School, as well as scholarships to the School of Human Ecology. The couple and their daughters (UW-Madison graduates) all are members of the Bascom Hill Society, and Roxy and her husband were former vice chairs of the society. Heyse earned her bachelor of science degree in merchandising and textiles from Milwaukee Downer College (now Lawrence University).

Gilda Hudson-Winfield – 1995 – 2011

Gilda Hudson-Winfield, a UW-Madison alumna, was a former Big 10 Champion in track and field. She served on the University’s Athletic Board and as chair of the Wisconsin Alumni Association Board of Directors. Having earned a Doctor of Judicial Science from Loyola University of Chicago and with a strong interest in family law, she practiced as an attorney and founded a minority-owned law firm in downtown Chicago. Gilda passed away in May 2023.

Elliot and Frances Lehman  1994 – 2000

Frances Mecklenburger Lehman attended the UW-Madison before graduating from Northwestern University as a Phi Beta Kappa economics major and earning an MBA from New York University. While at Wisconsin, she met her future husband, Elliot Lehman, a UW-Madison graduate who served as co-chairman of Fel-Pro, Inc., which created a nationally recognized family friendly environment for employees. The company was later sold to Federal-Mogul. Fel-Pro was one of the first U.S. companies to offer family leave, flexible hours and job-sharing. The company also provided a daycare center and held a summer day camp for employees’ children at its 220-acre recreation area. The Lehman’s settled in Highland Park, Illinois, where Frances was active in community affairs serving on both the school board and the hospital board and the Highland Park League of Women’s Voters until her passing in 2017, a year after Elliot’ death in 2016. A 100 Women honoree, she served for more than thirty years as president of New Prospect Foundation, which has supported innovative programs in community organizing, civil rights and progressive advocacy.

Jean Manchester – 1989 – 1994

Jean Manchester earned her UW-Madison degree in home economics education and worked as an Extension agent before joining the National Livestock and Meat Board in Chicago, where she tested meat recipes, developed cookbooks, and taught cooking classes across the country. She later became the first woman in the country to own and run a wholesale meat plant, leading Neesvig’s after her husband, Ted Neesvig, died in 1965. She was also the first woman elected to the board of the National Association of Meat Purveyors, and served on its board from 1976 until 1988, when she sold Neesvig’s. Jean Manchester completed one of Human Ecology’s first 100 Women Campaign gifts. Jean passed in 2017.

B. Ann Neviaser – 1995 – 2012

B. Ann Neviaser, a School of Human Ecology alumna, is president of Neviaser Investments, Inc., which owns and manages hotels and commercial real estate. She is an immediate past member of the Madison Rotary Club Foundation Board and Finance Committee, which watches over about $8 million used for scholarships, Rotary programs and Madison-area good works. She is a former member and consumer advocate on the Wisconsin Psychology Examining Board, a former public member and chair of the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board, and a former member of the Wisconsin Higher Education Aids Board and the Board of Trustees of Edgewood College. In addition, Neviaser served over eight years on the Dane County Board, highlighted by being the first woman to chair the Finance Committee. She has been an active supporter of the School and supported the 2003 publication of the book, The Challenge of Constantly Changing Times: From Home Economics to Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1903 – 2003.

Judy Pyle – 1990 – 2012

Judy Pyle is president and CEO of Judith Dion Pyle & Associates, a financial services and investment company. Pyle serves on several boards: Alliant Energy Corporation, Uniek, Inc., Children’s Theatre of Madison and Trails Media Group, Inc. She received her undergraduate and master of fine arts degrees from the University of California-Los Angeles and completed advanced management programs at the University of Virginia and Harvard University.

Artha Jean Towell – 1990 – 2002

Artha Jean Towell, a Human Ecology alumna, taught high school home economics and biology and later served as vice president of Seabury Corporation, builder of fine family homes. Towell also served as president of the Wisconsin Alumni Association and as a member of the UW-Madison Athletic Board. She was a board member of Madison’s Attic Angel Association and the Visiting Nurse Service. Through her association with the Southern Wisconsin Health Planning Council, Towell was appointed to the Governor’s Health Policy Council. Towell is a Human Ecology 100 Women honoree and a recipient of a university Distinguished Alumni Award.  

Kay Vaughan – 1991 – 1994

Kay Vaughan worked for several years at the Kimberly-Clark Corporation in Neenah following her graduation from Human Ecology. Vaughan has held major volunteer leadership positions with many national organizations committed to improving the well-being of others—including the American Red Cross, United Way, the Arthritis Foundation, the International Book Project, and American Field Services. A member of the University of Wisconsin Bascom Hill Society, Vaughan was a founding member of the Council on Women and Philanthropy, and endowed the Vaughan Bascom Professorship in Women and Philanthropy. Her 100 Women gift funded the Kay Vaughan Opportunities Fund, providing needed discretionary funding for the Human Ecology Dean.