Bazzell receives Jefferson Award

February 28, 2012

As vice chancellor for administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Darrell Bazzell’s work days are long.

Still, he makes time for giving back to the community by volunteering. For his work outside of work, Bazzell was named February’s Jefferson Award Winner by WKOW Channel 27.

Darrell Bazzell
Bazzell. Photo by Bryce Richter.

“I see my purpose in life as being of service,” Bazzell says. “If you’re really going to commit to a life of service, it has to extend to your personal life.”

Jefferson Awards are a national recognition system honoring community and public service in the United States. They are presented both nationally and locally and were started in 1972 to create a major prize for public service.

Bazzell is on the board for the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison, the Urban League, United Way, president of Gathering Waters and president of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County Board. Bazzell was nominated for the award by Michael Johnson, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County.

For 15 years, Bazzell has volunteered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Dane County.

“It’s been one of the constants in my life,” Bazzell says.

Bazzell has served as a mentor to Lateef and Rasheed Cameron for the past six years.

Many days, they play basketball. But on days when Bazzell is especially busy, he tries to include the boys in whatever he’s doing, even if that’s something as simple as going to pay a bill.

“It’s a lot easier than people think,” Bazzell says of volunteering.  “It’s very rewarding -- not just to the person you’re working with.”