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Grafton High School Teachers
Establish UW-Eau Claire Scholarship

RELEASED: June 29, 2009

UW-Eau Claire alumni

Recent Grafton High School graduate Karri Estel, the first recipient of the UW-Eau Claire Grafton Faculty Alumni Scholarship, is pictured with UW-Eau Claire alumni who established the scholarship. Pictured are (back row, left to right) Chris Hanley, James Johnson and Paul Waitrovich and (front row, left to right), Fran Grant, Estel, Clare Weidner and Shannon Measner. (Contributed photo)

EAU CLAIRE — Six Grafton High School teachers who are University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire alumni, along with other UW-Eau Claire alumni from Grafton, recently established the UW-Eau Claire Grafton Faculty Alumni Scholarship through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

Chris Hanley, James Johnson, Paul Waitrovich, Shannon Measner, Claire Weidner and Fran Grant, all staff members at Grafton High School, created the scholarship. Other UW-Eau Claire alumni from around the country with connections to Grafton were invited to contribute as well. Jon Shoop, a Grafton native and 2004 UW-Eau Claire alumnus now living in Kent, Conn., added his support to his hometown scholarship.

"Many of us would talk about old times in Eau Claire and all the fun we had," said Waitrovich. "But more than that, we talked about how much of a positive influence UW-Eau Claire had in our lives. I came up with the idea that we would sponsor a scholarship so a Grafton High School graduate would be able to experience the very positive influence of UW-Eau Claire."

The $500 scholarship was awarded for the first time in May to Karri Estel, a 2009 Grafton High School graduate who plans to major in chemistry at UW-Eau Claire.

The teachers and UW-Eau Claire alumni from Grafton hope to continue to offer the scholarship.

"Our long-range goal would be to get this scholarship to the point of endowment so that it could exist forever," Waitrovich said.

Shoop, a teacher at Kent School, a boarding school in Connecticut, already has pledged $500 for each of the next four years.

"I was blessed to be able to attend UW-Eau Claire," Shoop said. "I'm glad that through this scholarship I can help another Grafton student have the same great experiences I had at UW-Eau Claire."

The fund still is accepting contributions, so others with any type of connection to Grafton High School may add to the scholarship through their gifts to UW-Eau Claire. For more information, contact the UW-Eau Claire Foundation at 877-625-2473.

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KH/DW

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