Foundation kicks off $60 million Power of Possible campaign

Power of Possible lanterns glowing in the darkThe UW-Eau Claire Foundation has launched a comprehensive campaign to raise $60 million in support of people, programs and places at UW-Eau Claire by Dec. 31, 2016, during the year of the university’s centennial celebration.

The Power of Possible Centennial Campaign had already raised $27.6 million in gifts, pledges and deferred commitments in the months leading up to the public launch last September.

The Foundation’s first comprehensive campaign, Fulfilling the Promise of Excellence, ended in 2007 and raised nearly $54 million for UW-Eau Claire — surpassing its initial goal of $35 million.

The campaign gained early momentum with a commitment of $2 million from the late Ralph Duxbury, a 1943 graduate of UW-Eau Claire, then the Eau Claire State Teachers College, who died earlier this year.

Over the past 20 years, Duxbury had contributed more than $250,000 in support of Wisconsin Academic Excellence scholarships, endowed a biology scholarship and supported Blugold Promise scholarships at UW-Eau Claire. His additional gifts of $2 million will create endowments for the university’s Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarship program and choral music program, as well as a new Biology Faculty Success Fund to help the university recruit and retain exceptional biology faculty and to invest in their collaborative projects with other faculty and students in the “hard” sciences of chemistry, physics and astronomy.

In discussions over the past two years with alumni and friends about plans for the Power of Possible Centennial Campaign, the message repeatedly heard was that their experiences with UW-Eau Claire had been impactful and transformational, said Kimera Way, UW-Eau Claire Foundation president.

“They believe we owe it to future generations to do whatever we can to sustain and expand UW-Eau Claire’s long tradition of excellence,” Way said.