News Release

Published on Thursday, April 11, 2013

Western Technical College’s Alumni Association awarded this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award to Mary Jo Klos, of Bangor, Wis. Klos will be the keynote speaker at Western’s commencement on Friday, May 10, and a special reception will be held in her honor prior to the ceremony.

Klos is a 1980 Nursing graduate. The majority of her career was spent at Gundersen Lutheran. Beginning in 1980, Klos was a coronary care unit staff nurse, then charge nurse, and became clinical manager of the coronary critical care unit in 1996. She became the behavioral health administrative director in 1998. In 2002, she transitioned to the role of vice president of Clinical Operations and retired from that position in 2012. Additionally, she and her husband owned Bangor Lanes in Bangor, for more than 30 years.

Throughout her career, Klos has embraced education. She received her LPN degree in 1970 at St. Mary's School of Nursing in Rochester, MN before earning her RN at Western. She also earned her Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certificate from Western in 1996. She holds a bachelor's degree in organizational management and a master's degree in Servant Leadership from Viterbo University. Additionally, she was a master's degree candidate at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. She also has earned many certificates, including ethical leadership from Viterbo and healthcare management from UW-La Crosse.

“A Western education has been the starting point for so many successful alumni,” said Sally Emerson, alumni relations coordinator at Western. “Mary Jo is a great representative of those alumni who have taken advantage of their education to better their communities, profession, and families. They are wonderful role models for both our alumni and our students.”

Klos has also maintained a strong relationship with Western throughout her career. She was a part-time EMT instructor and served on the Emergency Medical Service program's advisory committee. She was also a member of the Western Technical College Alumni Board and is its past president.

Western’s Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes dedicated service to the community or nation, leadership, personal growth and achievement, professional achievement, and contributions to the Western district.

For more information on Western’s Alumni Association or to submit a nomination for the Distinguished Alumni Award, call 608.789.6083. To learn more about Western programs and services, call 608.785.9200 or visit our website at