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Seventeen freshmen receive Blugold Promise scholarships

RELEASED: Nov. 13, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — Seventeen students who entered the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire this fall were awarded Blugold Promise scholarships through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

The Blugold Promise Scholarship Program is an ambitious program that provides awards during the freshman and sophomore years for UW-Eau Claire students with great potential but limited financial means. The program provides $500 scholarships to incoming freshmen with demonstrated academic potential, and if the students remain focused and successful throughout their first year, they become eligible for a $1,000 award during their sophomore year. Typically, there are not as many scholarships available to sophomore students, so this program helps outstanding students bridge that gap until they become eligible for scholarships in their chosen majors, typically in the junior and senior years.

Donors can support one Blugold Promise recipient through each gift of $1,500 over a two-year period or ensure ongoing scholarship support in their name by endowing the fund with a commitment of $30,000. The Foundation's goal over the next few years is to double the number of Blugold Promise scholarships.

There were five new Blugold Promise scholarship created for this year. The following students received Blugold Promise scholarships for the first time for the 2009-10 academic year. New Blugold Promise scholarships are listed first:

Emily Anderson, Osseo, was awarded an Eric Dimmitt Blugold Promise Scholarship. Dimmitt, a 1991 UW-Eau Claire English graduate, is the director of curriculum and instruction for the Mequon-Thiensville School District.

Samantha Behling, Boyceville, was awarded a Jay Luttrell Blugold Promise Scholarship. Luttrell, a 1972 UW-Eau Claire management graduate, lives in new Hope, Penn., where he is the managing director of Jay Luttrell Associates. Luttrell focuses on market research and product movement.

Brennan Dow, Oregon, was awarded a Raymond and Tamara Skwierczynski Blugold Promise Scholarship. Both Raymond and Tamara graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1984. He received a chemistry degree, and she received a degree in finance. The Skwierczynskis live in Andover, Mass., where Raymond is the director of formulation science for Millenium Pharmaceuticals and Tamara is a staff member at Phillips Academy.

Katie Lynn Johnson, Eau Claire, was awarded a Gerald and Karen Sundstrom Blugold Promise Scholarship. Both Gerald and Karen are UW-Eau Claire graduates. Gerald is a 1964 business graduate, and Karen is a 1963 elementary education graduate. The couple live in Durand, where they both work in Gerald's certified public accounting office.

Savannah Ernzen, South Wayne, was awarded a Caroline Welch Blugold Promise Scholarship. Welch, a 1974 UW-Eau Claire psychology graduate, lives in Santa Monica, Calif., where she is an entrepreneur. She was a practicing attorney before starting her own business.

Rachel Witt, Ontario, was awarded a Blugold Promise Scholarship from two donors who wish to remain anonymous. The scholarship is designated for a deserving student from any Wisconsin high school.

Kristyn Hayes, Chippewa Falls, was awarded a Cheryl De Maio Blugold Promise Scholarship, established in 2008. De Maio received a medical technology degree from UW-Eau Claire in 1969 and a master's degree from St. John's University. She is a researcher at TIAA-CREF in Charlotte, N.C.

Karissa Zastrow, Wausau, was awarded a Richard and Sandra Dirks Blugold Promise Scholarship, designated for a student with financial need from the Door County area. The fund was established by the Dirkses, UW-Eau Claire emeriti faculty members now living in Egg Harbor, where four generations of Sandra's family have lived.

Samantha Ramp, Boyd, was awarded a Keith and Charlotte Donnermeyer Blugold Promise Scholarship. The Donnermeyers, 1975 UW-Eau Claire graduates, now live in Sacramento and San Francisco, Calif. Keith, an accounting graduate, is a partner with Deloitte & Touche, an international provider of financial services; and Charlotte, a biology graduate, works in family services in Sacramento.

Sarah Deyoung, Oshkosh, was awarded a Thomas and Mavis A. Gunderson Blugold Promise Scholarship, established by Ann Gunderson Thornburg in honor of her parents. Thornburg, who was the first woman at PricewaterhouseCoopers to be admitted to the partnership in Boston, graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1970 with a bachelor's degree in accounting.

Brianna Burke, Darlington; Joel Carlsen, Eau Claire; and Amanda Kozik, Chili; were awarded John Kell Memorial Blugold Promise scholarships. The Kell Memorial Fund was established in memory of 1973 UW-Eau Claire graduate John Kell, who died in 2005 as a result of a motorcycle accident. The fund was established by John's wife, Betsy Kell, and their daughters, Sadie and Angela.

Irene Baumann, Elkhorn, and Cassandra Norwick, Phillips, were awarded Thomas and Karen Lansing Blugold Promise scholarships. These scholarships are awarded to students with demonstrated academic potential and financial need — one from West Allis Central High School, from which both Lansings graduated — and one from Prentice High School. If students meeting those criteria cannot be selected, students from other high schools are considered. Baumann is a graduate of Elkhorn Area High School, and Norwick is a graduate of Phillips High School. Thomas Lansing, a 1978 UW-Eau Claire education graduate, is a retired dentist and former owner of a dental products company. Karen Lansing graduated from UW-Stout with a degree in design and marketing.

Cody Christian, Franklin, was awarded a MacDougal Blugold Promise Scholarship. The award was established by Scott MacDougal and his wife, Jody Schuhart, from Lincolnshire, Ill. MacDougal is a 1980 journalism and business administration graduate, who is now president of his own business, Cornerstone Funding Inc.

Spencer Severson, Luck, was awarded a Kathy and C.B. "Jerry" Pilcher Blugold Promise Scholarship. The scholarship was established by Kenneth Pilcher, a 1972 accounting graduate, in memory of his father, Jerry, and his sister, Kathy, another UW-Eau Claire business graduate who died several years ago. The scholarship gives preference to students from Unity High School in Balsam Lake.

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KH/DW

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