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UW-Eau Claire Announces $35 Million Goal
For Fund-raising Campaign
MAILED: April 26, 2002
EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will seek $35 million in private support by July 2005 through its Fulfilling the Promise of Excellence campaign, officials announced Friday at an on-campus kickoff event.
The campaign is UW-Eau Claire's first comprehensive fund-raising effort, and the $35 million goal is the largest for a UW System regional institution. The 250 UW-Eau Claire alumni and friends attending the kickoff also learned that contributors have committed $18,268,000 since the campaign's quiet phase began in July 2000.
While the amount raised so far is impressive, the university has much work ahead to reach its overall campaign goal, said Carole Halberg, UW-Eau Claire Foundation president.
"By the end of the campaign, we will have invited every alumnus and every friend of this university to participate," she said. "Gifts of every size will be needed to make our goal."
Halberg noted that donors' generosity will make an important difference in the lives of the university's students - students like Andrew Oettinger.
"The generosity of private donors not only attracted me to UW-Eau Claire, but it allowed me to take advantage of all that is offered here," said Oettinger, who readily admits that if it weren't for the work of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, he wouldn't be taking full advantage of the opportunities available to him at the university. In fact, he says he might not be there at all.
As it is, Oettinger, a junior and the recipient of a number of prestigious scholarships and awards, is maximizing his college experience. He is a member of The Singing Statesmen, the university's widely acclaimed male chorus that will embark on a European tour at the end of May. He just completed a stint as president of the Student Senate, and now he will take his skills off campus as a newly elected member of the Eau Claire County Board.
The political science major from Green Bay intends one day to follow his benefactors' example. He has pledged to give back "in a big way" to make a difference in other students' lives. That pledge is sweet music to Foundation leadership as they launch the public phase of the campaign.
"When this campaign is concluded, we will have helped secure the future for many students who have the talent and initiative to take advantage of everything the university offers," Halberg said. "The Foundation exists for one reason, and that is to provide opportunity."
Among campaign commitments made so far are $4.5 million from David and Marilyn Karlgaard, Fairfax, Va.; a seven-figure gift from Dr. David J. Johnson, professor emeritus of social work, Bruce; just over $1 million from Jan and Kathryn Ver Hagen, Creve Coeur, Mo.; $150,000 from Dr. John Morris, UW-Eau Claire professor emeritus of English and former vice chancellor, Eau Claire; $100,000 from Ken and Roberta Vance, Eau Claire; and $100,000 from Susan and Roger Tietz and McDonough Manufacturing Co., Eau Claire. Significant commitments also have come from Owen and Janice Ayres, Eau Claire, and JoAnne Brandes, Franklin.
UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff, as well as emeriti faculty, also have contributed through the university's first campus campaign, said Kimera Way, executive director of development. So far more than 375 faculty, staff and emeriti faculty have participated in the campus campaign, which kicked off Feb. 1 and will become an annual event.
Through Fulfilling the Promise of Excellence, the university will expand its resource base beyond its limited state allocation and rising student tuition, said Chancellor Donald Mash.
"Regardless of how the state Legislature resolves the current budget situation, we must be proactive to ensure UW-Eau Claire's tradition of excellence," Mash said.
The university will continue to present its best case to legislators to preserve its state allocation, and it will continue to use tuition resources as effectively and efficiently as possible, Mash said. However, reaching out to alumni and friends through the campaign is necessary for UW-Eau Claire to maintain and enhance its respected academic tradition and its role as a partner in the Chippewa Valley.
"We have something special here at UW-Eau Claire, and we intend to keep it that way," Mash said. "What we've developed here and what we aspire to accomplish in the future are worth fighting for."
A strategic plan for the comprehensive campaign names six areas of investment for contributors: student success, faculty and staff distinction, facilities enhancement, technology for learning, community service opportunities and the UW-Eau Claire Excellence Fund (a fund that allows the university to take advantage of opportunities as they arise).
The campaign will seek three basic types of gifts from alumni and friends, Way said, including outright contributions to be used immediately for donor-specified purposes, contributions to create new endowed (permanent) funds or to support existing endowments, and planned gifts.
In addition to UW-Eau Claire's development staff, a number of volunteers have campaign leadership roles, including the Karlgaards, who are national campaign chairs; Brandes, UW System regent and national honorary campaign chair; Dennis and Carol Heyde, Chippewa Falls, national vice chairs; and the Ver Hagens, who are national vice chairs. Also providing campaign leadership are the UW-Eau Claire Foundation trustees and members of its executive committee.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: April 26, 2002