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Twenty-five freshmen receive Blugold Promise Scholarships

RELEASED: Aug. 31, 2010

EAU CLAIRE —Twenty-six incoming freshmen at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire this fall have been awarded Blugold Promise Scholarships through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

The Blugold Promise Scholarship Program 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.

The Foundation's goal over the next few years is to double the number of Blugold Promise Scholarships. 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 following students received Blugold Promise Scholarships for the first time for the 2010-11 academic year. Eleven new Blugold Promise Scholarships created for this year are listed first:

Jordan Seefeldt, Sheboygan, was awarded a Ralph Duxbury Blugold Promise Scholarship. Duxbury is a retired educator, a World War II veteran and a 1943 graduate of UW-Eau Claire. He was an avid traveler and has been a longtime supporter of his alma mater. 

Scott Janke, Alma Center, was awarded the Diane Elbin Blugold Promise Scholarship. Elbin is a 1977 UW-Eau Claire graduate who majored in special education. She is retired and resides in Deerfield, Ill., with her husband, Gerald. Diane is very excited to help a student in need of financial support through her giving.

Allison Leef, Webster, was awarded the Daniel Jantsch Blugold Promise Scholarship. Jantsch graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1968 with majors in English and economics, and received his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn., in 1975. He is an attorney and partner with Olson, Jantsch & Bakker in Pheonix, Ariz. 

Michael Benson, Lancaster, received the Kevin and Christine Keane Blugold Promise Scholarship. Kevin Keane graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1987, Christine Keane in 1988. They have three children and reside in Burke, Va. Kevin Keane is the senior vice president of the American Beverage Association in Washington, D.C. He is a past recipient of the Outstanding Journalism Award and the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award from UW-Eau Claire.

Kelsey Dumanch, Hustisford, was awarded a Palmer Blugold Promise Scholarship. Glenn and Sue Palmer both graduated from UW-Eau Claire. Glenn Palmer earned his mathematics degree in 1961, while Sue Palmer graduated from the College of Education in 1959. The Palmers are retired and live in New Jersey, but spend time in the summer at their home in Wisconsin. The Palmers are lifelong learners and enjoy traveling internationally.

Jason Jorstad, Eau Claire, was awarded the James and Pamela Peterson Family Blugold Promise Scholarship. James Peterson was a UW-Eau Claire business major who graduated in 1985 and went on to receive his doctorate from Louisiana State University. He is a vice president and an investment officer with Charles Schwab in San Francisco. He lives there with his wife, Pamela, and their two sons. The Peterson family still enjoys summers in northwest Wisconsin and is excited to help students that are starting their life journey from a similar spot.

Joshua Delvaux, Green Bay, was awarded the James and Jeanne Erickson Quigg Blugold Promise Scholarship. James Erickson graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1968 with a business administration degree. He is the owner and managing director of The Tax Reduction Group. James and Jeanne Erickson reside in Costa Mesa, Calif., with their twin daughters. 

Alaric Huls, Stanley, was awarded a Paul and Magdalena Reith Blugold Promise Scholarship. Paul Reith was a UW-Eau Claire economics major who graduated in 2002. He is a senior consultant with Advent Software and lives in Madison with his wife, Magdalena. While at UW-Eau Claire, Reith helped students in the classroom as a teaching assistant. Now, as a professional, he is excited to help students with his support of the scholarship program.

Oscar Lopez-Martinez, Owen, was awarded the Gary and Debra Reitz Blugold Promise Scholarship. Gary Reitz graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1979 with a business degree and owns Safe Bridge Solutions Inc., a business and technology consulting and staffing company in Madison. He lives in Verona with his wife, Debra, and has one daughter. Reitz is excited to impact the lives of students directly through his financial support.

Katherine Allan, Lodi, was awarded the David and Mary Steel Blugold Promise Scholarship. The Steels both are 1981 UW-Eau Claire graduates. David Steel has a degree in accounting and is the retired president and CEO of Pensar Electronic Solutions. Mary (Roemer) Steel has a degree in marketing and is currently working in business education at Neenah High School. They have two children and reside in Appleton.

Charles Mabie, Fall Creek, was awarded the Kimberly and Bruce Underwood Blugold Promise Scholarship. Kimberly (Bauch) Underwood graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1984 with a degree in chemistry and went on to receive her master's degree in business administration from Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill., in 1991. She is the vice president of marketing for the International Food and Beverage Sector of Ecolab. Bruce Underwood graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1983 with a degree in management information systems and has held several information technology management and consulting positions. He is now self-employed in Internet consulting and sales. The Underwoods received several scholarships while at UW-Eau Clarie and understand how meaningful they can be for students. They live in Lakeville, Minn., and have two children.

Michael Chang, Plover, was awarded the Douglas Weisenberger and Kimberlie Meyer-Weisenberger Blugold Promise Scholarship. Weisenberger is a 1979 UW-Eau Claire graduate who received a business degree and a master's of business administration degree. He is a financial planner and senior partner with North Star Resource Group in Madison. Meyer-Weisenberger graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1980 with an art degree. They reside in Oregon, Wis., and are proud parents. The couple sees the great value of a college education and wants to make sure that a degree is attainable for future Blugolds.

Isabella Kurilec-Cruz, Oak Creek, will receive a Mark and Emily Blaskey Blugold Promise Scholarship. Mark Blaskey is a developer and partner in West Riverside LLP and owner of Mark Blaskey Metal Studio. Emily Blaskey is a physical therapist at St. Joseph's Hospital in Chippewa Falls and also funds the Emily Blaskey Single Parent Scholarship Fund at UW-Eau Claire. Although not UW-Eau Claire alumni, the Blaskeys, who live in Altoona, are longtime friends and supporters of UW-Eau Claire.

Christopher Kohn, Eau Claire, was awarded a Dorothea S. Bobb Blugold Promise Scholarship. Bobb, who was an Eau Claire resident, died in 2006 at the age of 91. Her family established the scholarship in her memory. She raised three sons as a single mother, and while she never was able to go to college, her family said she loved UW-Eau Claire and valued the importance of a higher education. Several of her sons and daughters-in-law are UW-Eau Claire graduates, and two of her daughters-in-law were UW-Eau Claire employees.

Jason Anger, Altoona, was awarded a Cheryl De Maio Blugold Promise Scholarship. De Maio graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a degree in medical technology and went on to St. John's University, where she earned her master's degree. She works as a researcher at TIAA-CREF in Charlotte, N.C. She credits her professional success to the quality of the education she received at UW-Eau Claire. De Maio believes in supporting lifelong learning, and her Blugold Promise scholarship supports nontraditional students.

Matthew Rieckhoff, Wausau, was awarded a Peter and Julie Fremstad Blugold Promise Scholarship. The Fremstads, originally from Whitehall, both graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1972. Peter Fremstad, who serves on the UW-Eau Claire Foundation board of directors, recently retired from Wells Fargo Financial in Germantown, Tenn., where he was vice president and regional manager. Julie Fremstad has been a teacher and homemaker.

Joseph Eaton, Ashland, and Avery Van Gaard, La Crosse, were awarded Richard and Carol Fulwiler Blugold Promise Scholarships. Dr. Richard Fulwiler graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a degree in chemistry in 1961. He is president of Technology Leadership Associates, Cincinnati, a consulting firm specializing in increasing individual effectiveness and building organizational capability in the health, safety and environmental arena. After 28 years with Procter & Gamble, he retired as the company's director of worldwide health and safety. Fulwiler also is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Quinn Larson, Eleva, was awarded a Charles and Debi Graupner Blugold Promise Scholarship. Charles Graupner graduated from UW-Eau Claire with an economics major and political science minor. He is a partner with the Michael Best & Friedrich law firm in Milwaukee. Debi Graupner attended UW-Eau Claire for two years and then transferred to UW-Madison, where she earned a business degree. She works as an interior decorator. The Graupner Blugold Promise Scholarship supports nontraditional students.

Aaron Polzin, Janesville, 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.

Elliott Rittenberry, Chippewa Falls, was awarded the John Kell Memorial Blugold Promise Scholarship. The scholarship 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.

Kaitlin Dougherty, Eau Claire, was awarded a Ted and Valeria Lipinski Memorial Blugold Promise Scholarship. The scholarship was established by Neil Lipinski and his wife, Joanne Pappas, in memory of Lipinski's parents, who ran a family farm in Thorp. The scholarship is designated to go to a student with financial need from a family farm in Wisconsin, with preference given to students who are among the first generation in their families to attend college. Lipinski, who graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in political science and English and later earned a master's degree in business administration from Northeastern University in Boston, is a principal and senior managing director with Cassidy Turley, a commercial real estate services firm in New York City.

Seth Kreibich, Eau Claire, was awarded a John and Nancy Skoug Blugold Promise Scholarship. The Skougs are Eau Claire natives and 1975 graduates of UW-Eau Claire. John Skoug, an accounting graduate, is the president and CEO of Marathon Cheese, one of the world's largest independent cheese packagers. The Skougs have designated their gift to go to a graduate of Memorial High School.

Michael Nelson, Stanley, was awarded a Ken and Mary Smith Blugold Promise Scholarship. The Smiths both graduated from UW-Eau Claire in the early 1970s. Ken Smith majored in accounting and is a financial consultant for Shell Oil Co. Mary Smith majored in English. The couple live in Houston.

Jamie Bengtson, Chippewa Falls, was awarded a Brenda Zamzow Blugold Promise Scholarship. Zamzow, a 1984 UW-Eau Claire accounting graduate, opened her own accounting and finance firm, The Zamzow Group, in Beverly Hills, Calif., after years of working in the television and movie industry. She was formerly vice president and general manager of FoxStar Productions for Fox Television.

For more information about starting a Blugold Promise scholarship fund, contact the UW-Eau Claire Foundation at 715-836-5630 or Additional scholarship information can be found on the Foundation website.



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