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UW-Eau Claire Alumni Establish First Scholarship
for Geology Majors

RELEASED: Feb. 3, 2006

Greg and Julia BeckstromEAU CLAIRE — Two University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire alumni from Minneapolis have partnered with their employers to establish the first UW-Eau Claire scholarship for students majoring in geology.

Greg and Julia Beckstrom made an initial $1,000 gift to establish the Golder Associates Scholarship (named for Greg's employer, which matched his gift). While establishing the scholarship with the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, Greg Beckstrom learned that Cargill, his wife's employer, also would match her gift, significantly increasing the value of the scholarship. The beneficiary will be an outstanding geology major with a strong academic record and financial need.

"Participating in field trips around the country is an important part of the geology curriculum, so geology majors have extra financial demands," said Kent Syverson, UW-Eau Claire professor of geology. "A scholarship of this significance will have a huge impact on students and the department."

Greg Beckstrom, who graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a bachelor of science degree in geology in 1984, heads global marketing for Golder Associates, a group of consulting companies specializing in ground engineering and environmental services. Julia Beckstrom, a 1985 management information systems graduate, is an IT manager with Cargill.

Greg Beckstrom has maintained a strong link with the UW-Eau Claire geology department over the years, which led to the creation of the annual scholarship.

"I have incredibly fond memories of my undergraduate experience," Greg Beckstrom said. "As a residence hall adviser, I met Julia during a staff get together. Both Julia and I feel strongly about helping UW-Eau Claire and were thrilled to work with the geology department on the scholarship."

Throughout his career, Greg Beckstrom has stayed in touch with the department.

"I always maintained contact with the UW-Eau Claire geology department, stopping in to see Dr. Paul Myers and Dr. Robert Hooper every few years," he said. "The department also has done a wonderful job of keeping me in touch with others via the departmental newsletter."

Additionally, Greg Beckstrom has participated in the department's Earth Science Lecture Series. Recently, after giving a presentation, he approached the department with the idea of setting up a student scholarship.

"I have been privileged to use my undergraduate education throughout my entire career, first in the oil exploration business and then in the environmental consulting business," Greg Beckstrom said. "Now I want to give back to the department that gave me my start."

Syverson said the Beckstroms' 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, and is a mark of excellence for the geology department.

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KH

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