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Barish, Lawrence S. (ed.) / State of Wisconsin 1995-1996 Blue Book
(1995-1996)

Dedication,   pp. [iv]-[v] PDF (820.7 KB)


Page [v]


job in the bureau from cataloging library materials, researching and writing
reports, to drafting
bills. In so doing, he placed an indelible imprint on the agency and redefined
its role of service
to the legislature and the public.
  Dr. Theobald was named coordinator of reference and research in 1960 and,
after a national
search and civil service competition, was appointed bureau chief in 1964.
He somehow found
the time to earn both a master's degree and Ph.D. in political science while
working long hours
supporting the work of the legislature. As the bureau's fifth chief, he led
the agency through the
greatest changes in the agency's 94 years of existence. These involved not
only technological
advances and the use of computers, but a redefinition of the LRB's mission
in order to provide
additional support to the legislature as its workload increased and the issues
confronting it be-
came more complex.
   Dr. Theobald provided an invaluable resource to the legislature as its
institutional memory and
source of nonpartisan, reliable information on a wide range of topics. The
expertise he amassed
in redistricting, state government reorganization, constitutional law, parliamentary
procedure,
legislative rules, and computer applications - all highly technical subjects
which required much
dedication and discipline to master- reflected both his intellect and his
willingness to do whatev-
er it took to get the job done.
   As editor of the Wisconsin Blue Book for much of his career, he applied
the same attention to
 detail that defined all of his efforts. He contributed articles on Wisconsin
state government
 (1966), redistricting (1970), and parliamentary procedure (1985-1986) to
inform Wisconsin citi-
 zens about the lesser known, but nonetheless important, aspects of how government
functions.
   He was generous with his time and knowledge, and over his career he helped
many both inside
 and outside the legislature. He assisted the Wisconsin Supreme Court with
redistricting, the
 executive branch with state government reorganization, served with great
distinction on numer-
 ous national committees and assisted other states as a consultant.
   Constant throughout his government service were the unwavering dedication,
professional-
 ism, and nonpartisan objectivity that he brought to every task. Although
he was recognized for
 his leadership and contributions to good government many times during his
career, including be-
 ing honored by the Council of State Governments in 1986 as the first recipient
of the Charles
 McCarthy Award for Leadership in Information Services, it was not until
he announced his intent
 to retire that the full extent of the admiration and respect that he had
earned from those both in
 and outside of the Legislature became apparent. Numerous awards and tributes
were bestowed
 by a wide variety of groups. In an unprecedented action, the Wisconsin Supreme
Court met to
 pay tribute to Dr. Theobald's contributions to the operation of the court
and state government in
 general. Legislative leaders hosted a reception attended by former and current
legislators and
 public officials in tribute to his service to Wisconsin.
   In recognition of his lifetime of service, the Legislature passed 1993
Enrolled Joint Resolution
 12, which dedicated the 1995-1996 Wisconsin Blue Book to Dr. H. Rupert Theobald
and directed
 that the Legislative Reference Bureau library be named the Dr. H. Rupert
Theobald Legislative
 Library. The Legislature also ordered that a bas relief portrait of Dr.
Theobald be cast and
 installed in the Assembly Chambers. Thus, the LRB's fifth chief will join
Charles McCarthy,
 the bureau's founder and originator of the concept of professional legislative
support staff, as a
 recipient of this rare and high honor. Charles McCarthy initiated and advanced
a vision of profes-
 sional service to the legislature; Rupert Theobald built that vision, devoting
his life to making
 it work. The legislature has lost the long memory and powerful intellect
of someone who cares
 deeply about the institution. For those who were fortunate enough to work
with him, Dr. Theo-
 bald's standards of excellence, which he set by diligent example, will continue
to guide us in the
 future.
                                              LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE BUREAU
STAFF
                                              July 1995


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