UW-La Crosse students can earn more than $800,000 in scholarships — a $300,000 increase in only the past three years — thanks to an ongoing, successful UWL Foundation scholarship fund drive.
The “Share the La Crosse Experience” campaign has raised $6.7 million in its first three years. That’s nearly half of its $15 million goal set to be reached in the next four years.
Greg Reichert, vice chancellor of University Advancement and president of the UWL Foundation.
“The campaign has been very well received by our alumni and friends,” says Greg Reichert, vice chancellor of Advancement and president of the UWL Foundation. “We have seen gifts come in from all over the world to support new scholarships and we are extremely pleased to see that our alumni are still connected with their alma mater.”
Reichert attributes some of the access to national media coverage on college affordability and student debt, especially the impact debt can have on the students and their families. He says support also comes from those with fond memories of UWL.
“Perhaps the most unique gift came from an alumnus who now lives in Taiwan,” says Reichert. “Through a social media post, he became reacquainted with the Chemistry Department and is proud of its growth over the last several decades.”
The beauty of the campaign is that any gift of any size directly impacts students, notes Reichert. While many have chosen to set up endowments so the scholarship will be around forever, others have created “named” scholarships offering an annual gift of $1,000.
“With gifts smaller than that, we pool them into $1,000 scholarships and let Admissions and Financial Aid staff help award those to students who need the financial assistance the most,” says Reichert. “We are very thankful for all the generous gifts we are receiving.”
When the campaign began, the UWL Foundation was awarding slightly more than $500,000 each year. This spring, an additional 52 new scholarships totaling $300,000 will be awarded. By the end of the campaign, Reichert expects around $1 million to be given annually.
With the increase, the Foundation will hold separate receptions for each college this spring when recipients are announced. “The traditional one evening of honors has to be extended,” explains Reichert. “It will provide a better opportunity for donors to attend and meet recipients. We want to provide this special opportunity to as many people as we can, and increasing the number of receptions will allow us to do that.”