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Alumnus Designates Endowment for UW-Eau Claire Chemistry Department

RELEASED: March 20, 2009

Gene Wampfler
Wampfler

EAU CLAIRE — A University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire alumnus has designated a portion of his individual retirement account to create a UW-Eau Claire Foundation endowment benefiting the university's chemistry department.

Gene Wampfler, a 1966 chemistry graduate who now lives in Albuquerque, N.M., said he believes the UW-Eau Claire chemistry department is one of the best in the state and he wants it to remain competitive.

"I want the chemistry department to be able to maintain its standing and continue to improve, but to maintain a competitive edge the department needs the ability to keep modernizing its equipment and attracting quality faculty. That's what I hope my gift does," Wampfler said.

The gift is expected to amount to several hundred thousand dollars when the endowment is realized.

The endowed fund can be used by the UW-Eau Claire chemistry department to support an endowed professorship, purchase major scientific equipment, develop new curriculum, make major physical additions to the structure housing the department, establish a lecture series or support visiting professors or experts.

"This is an extraordinary gift that will enable us to provide many wonderful opportunities for our students," said Jim Phillips, chair of the chemistry department.

Wampfler, who retired from Amoco Chemical Co. in Chicago in 1990, said UW-Eau Claire and the chemistry department shaped his life and he is glad to make the department a part of his legacy.

"The chemistry department faculty was like family to me," Wampfler said. "When you've been successful in life you can almost always trace it back to school and the motivation you received from your professors. It really forms the foundation of your life."

-30-

KH/JP

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