Retired banker and first-generation college graduate Richard T. Gannon values his college degree so much that he's established an endowed scholarship for first-year finance or business majors with an economics emphasis at UW-Eau Claire.
A long-time Eau Claire resident and 1959 UW-Eau Claire graduate, Gannon worked for Firstar Corp. - now U.S. Bank - for 40 years. He attributes his success to the degree in economics he earned at UW-Eau Claire.
"I was fortunate to have received an excellent education at UW-Eau Claire, which prepared me for my business career," said Gannon. "Today a good college education is even more important to achieving success than when I started my career. I'm pleased to provide this scholarship to help the university recruit highly talented students who can receive the quality education that I enjoyed."
The scholarship will be awarded to UW-Eau Claire students with financial need who have at least a 3.0 grade point average and demonstrate potential for leadership. Each award will be for a minimum of $1,000, with the number of awards granted to be determined by the annual income generated from the fund. The scholarship, available to freshmen, is renewable for up to four years.
"Mr. Gannon's generous gift to the university will provide some much needed support for finance and business majors," said Michael Wilson, chair of UW-Eau Claire's accounting and finance department. "This gift is especially significant as it'll provide support for undergraduates just starting with the program, with the possibility for renewal up to four years. Students won't have to scramble to find other funds for successive years, allowing them to concentrate on their studies."
The Gannon gift is recognized as a contribution to Fulfilling the Promise of Excellence, the UW-Eau Claire Foundation's ongoing comprehensive campaign to benefit UW-Eau Claire's people and programs.