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Faculty Emerita Estate Gift Supports
Scholarship and Professional Development Fund

RELEASED: Jan. 2, 2008

Juanita Sorenson

EAU CLAIRE — A University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire professor emerita of education left a third of her estate to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation to support scholarship and professional development funds.

Years ago Juanita Sorenson and her husband, Douglas, established the Juanita S. Sorenson Scholarship and the Juanita S. and Douglas D. Sorenson Professional Development Fund. They established trusts during their lifetimes so when Douglas died in 2002, a portion of his estate funded a testamentary trust. When Juanita died in 2006, their full philanthropy was accomplished.

"The Sorensons' gift is among the largest estate gifts made possible by faculty emeriti of the university," said Kimera Way, executive director of the Foundation at UW-Eau Claire. "The gift is a perfect example of how long-term planning can come to full fruition."

The gift will endow the scholarship fund at $150,000. The intent is to provide a full-tuition scholarship for a year. Remaining monies will support the professional development fund, which when fully funded at $250,000 will generate annual income of about $10,000 for professional development grants for education faculty.

Sorenson began her career as a high school science teacher. From 1969-71, she worked at UW-Madison in educational research. In 1971, she earned her Ph.D. from UW-Madison.

Sorenson taught at UW-Eau Claire from 1971-88, specializing in curriculum development, individualized instruction and gifted education. She authored or co-authored five books and wrote many articles. She established partnerships with educators in Sweden, Japan and Australia.

"Juanita was a consummate professional, vitally interested in gifted education and individualized instruction," said Lloyd Joyal, professor emeritus of education. "She was a strong supporter of students so it is not surprising that she put her money and emphasis on students."

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KH/JB

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