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Eau Claire couple's gift supports UW-Eau Claire students pursuing health careers

| Julie Poquette

A center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire that provides programming for students pursuing health care careers has been named the William J. and Marian A. Klish Health Careers Center in honor of an Eau Claire couple who donated $100,000 to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation in support of the center.

The Klishes were honored Oct. 11, 2013 during the dedication of the center, which is located in UW-Eau Claire's Schofield Hall.

UW-Eau Claire is the only school among the UW System four-year comprehensive universities to offer a specialized health careers center, said Dr. Julie Anderson, director of the center.

"We're here to open doors to careers in health care," Anderson said. "We help students explore health career options and guide them along the path to successful careers in the health sciences."

The William J. and Marian Klish Health Careers Center offers students academic and health career advising, connections to health-related clinical, research and volunteer opportunities, and workshops to help with career development and competitive graduate school applications. It also serves UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff who support students pursuing health care-related careers, and it facilitates the development of cooperative relationships with the health care community.

Dr. William Klish, a 1963 UW-Eau Claire graduate, retired in 2009 from a decades-long career as a physician in the practice of pediatric gastroenterology and researcher on childhood obesity — a subject area in which he became a nationally recognized expert. 

Marian Klish is a native of Eau Claire, a retired labor and delivery nurse, and an accomplished artist who specializes in porcelain art as well as the Norwegian art of rosemaling.

"UW-Eau Claire started me down the path to my health care career while earning my bachelor of science degrees in chemistry and biology," William Klish said. "Now, Marian and I are thrilled to give back to UW-Eau Claire in support of students who will go on to serve as the advocates for the health and well-being of future generations."

The Klishes' gift makes it possible for UW-Eau Claire to provide specialized, coordinated support specifically for students interested in future careers in health care, said Kimera Way, president of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation and executive director of university advancement.

"The naming of the William J. and Marian A. Klish Health Careers Center is a fitting tribute to this generous couple," Way said. "Bill and Marian will continue to inspire future Blugolds to make their mark in medicine and the health sciences for years to come."