Academic Year Wrap-Up • Spring Semester • May 19, 2005
First Classified Staff Grant Fund scholarship
Susie Warden and Linda Haag believe in the importance of lifelong learning.
Both women completed bachelor's degrees at UW-Eau Claire while working as full-time members of the university's classified staff. Their education was not only academic, but it offered them a perspective of the challenges and rewards of the achievement. After completing their degrees both women wanted to make certain other classified staff members had a similar opportunity, so they created the Classified Staff Grant Fund.
The Classified Staff Grant Fund was established to support classified staff members who are pursuing an education while working full-time at UW-Eau Claire. Warden and Haag are both supporting the fund in a way that is meaningful and timely to them. Completing the circle of achievement, the women will witness the first awards from the fund during the 2005-06 academic year.
"Graduating was one of my proudest moments," said Warden. "Seeing the first of these awards made is truly a great moment for me. I'm glad to know that I am part of helping other classified staff members who are just starting on the challenging road to a degree."
Warden, who completed a sociology degree from UW-Eau Claire while raising two children and working as an information systems business automation senior/student records and data systems specialist in the Registrar's Office, said getting her degree required a lot of self discipline but was worth it personally and professionally.
"The boost to my knowledge, confidence and productivity made it well worth the effort," said Warden. "Continuing your education results in a positive gain that's reflected in both your personal life and the work you do on the job."
In August 2003 Warden received the university's Classified Staff Excellence in Performance Award and later used a portion of the award money to start the Classified Staff Grant Fund, a scholarship fund for full-time classified staff members who are pursuing a bachelor's degree while working full time.
Haag, who is now retired, was a member of the classified staff at UW-Eau Claire for almost 37 years and earned a degree from UW-Eau Claire in 1978. Like Warden, she felt she benefited from continuing her education and wanted others to have the same opportunity.
"Given declining state support of higher education in Wisconsin over the years, there are fewer dollars than ever in unit budgets at the university to support continuing education efforts of the classified staff," said Haag.
With that in mind, Haag has made a planned gift to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation and specified the Classified Staff Grant Fund. This ensures the scholarship will be funded into the future for other full-time classified staff members pursuing a bachelor's degree.
"I am pleased to support the Classified Staff Grant Fund as part of my estate planning process, since this fund will offer similar support to members of the classified staff in years to come that may have similar personal and professional goals," said Haag.
Both women are excited that their vision of helping others achieve similar academic goals is about to materialize. The UW-Eau Claire Foundation plans to make the first two $300 scholarship awards during the 2005-06 academic year.
Any current member of the UW-Eau Claire classified staff who is working at least half time and attending UW-Eau Claire is eligible to apply. Applicants must submit a resume including employment history and educational background and a one-page essay addressing why support is needed, what courses will be taken, how the experience will benefit the applicant personally and professionally, and future plans and goals. Two letters of recommendation also must be submitted.
Anyone interested in applying must submit the resume, essay and letters of recommendation to Barb Bowers, payroll specialist, Human Resources, by 4:30 p.m. July 1, 2005 (for the fall 2005 scholarship) or 4:30 p.m. Nov. 11, 2005 (for the spring 2006 scholarship).Past recipients may reapply each academic year. For more information, contact Heidi Fisher in the UW Eau Claire Foundation at 836-3819 or firstname.lastname@example.org.