Dean of Students Lori Berquam announces her breast cancer diagnosis

She informed the students of her recent diagnosis on Friday

Lori Berquam announced her diagnosis with breast cancer on Friday, April 21st. She explained what her plans are as Dean of Students and Vice Provost while going through the taxing disease.

Dean of Students, Lori Berquam Credit: UW Madison

Berquam plans on staying in her position at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as it brings her so much joy. The Dean of Students ensures the UW campus she is dedicated to creating a successful environment for incoming students.  She might not be at all the events like before, but we will feel her presence.  She touches on the fact she might look a little different as she’ll be starting chemotherapy very soon. “So it’s farewell to hair for a while,” says Berquam in a letter to the campus.

Her official letter says:

“Dear Campus Community,

One of the best parts of my job is that I get to be out and about all over campus – connecting with students, celebrating accomplishments, and attending student events. Commencement will be here in a few short weeks and I can’t wait to be in Camp Randall with our graduates and their families and friends.

I’m going to be looking a little different then, and I want to let you know why. I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and next week, I’ll begin chemotherapy. So it’s farewell to hair for a while.

The good news is that I will be able to keep doing the work I love – supporting our incredible students. I may not be able to be at every event but rest assured, we’ve got an amazing team here in the Division of Student Life. Together we will ensure that the Class of 2017 gets a fitting sendoff and the incoming class a warm Badger welcome at SOAR this summer.

I thought it was important to share this update with you for another reason, too. All of us will be touched by cancer in some way during our lives, whether directly or through friends and family. It can be terrifying. But we are not alone.

I’ve had the privilege of supporting a number of student organizations that volunteer and raise funds to fight cancer and help survivors and their families. It’s shown me how powerful  our community can be. This knowledge is a comfort and a source of strength and inspiration to me now and I hope it can be for others as well.

So keep an eye out for me on campus as always – I might be sporting a hot pink wig, a scarf/ bandana, or a fun hat, but I think you’ll still recognize me. Please stay connected, stop and say hello, or simply keep me in your thoughts. I will get through this with your support.

Lori Berquam”

The Tab Wisconsin sends the happiest of thoughts to a woman who has greatly impacted the campus. Like Lori says, if you see her on campus, give her a big smile in her time of need. Badgers stick together!

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