Be our guest: Foundation plays key role in student success
By Roxie Wetterau
University Foundation Executive Director
UW-Stevens Point at Marshfield
I have had the pleasure of attending the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Marshfield, then known as UW-Marshfield/Wood County, as a traditional and a non-traditional student. Like so many of our alumni, I am grateful for the impact the Marshfield campus has made on my education journey, providing the foundation for lifelong learning.
In my seven years as the executive director of the University Foundation, I have been asked numerous times: “What is the foundation, or what does it do?”
The foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization, serving as the official fundraising entity for UW-Stevens Point at Marshfield. The university opened its doors in 1964, and the Foundation was established soon after.
While the campus has undergone name changes since then, the foundation’s commitment to helping provide access to affordable, quality higher education to Wisconsin residents has remained the same. Its purpose is to financially support UW-Stevens Point at Marshfield students, faculty and staff. We accomplish this by raising, investing and disbursing funds for the advancement of the learning. These gifts provide scholarships, professional development opportunities, programming support, equipment and capital improvements. Last year, students attending the Marshfield campus received more than $70,000 in scholarships.
The foundation also works with the campus to generate private support from alumni and friends through annual giving programs, fundraising events, planned gifts and special purpose campaigns. Now, more than ever, public higher education relies on the generosity of private donors. In recent years, the foundation has been fortunate to receive more than $1 million in contributions from individuals throughout the community and the country to support teaching and learning at the Marshfield campus.
We believe private support grows out of good relationships between those on campus who need support and the donors who want to invest in UW-Stevens Point at Marshfield. Those relationships are nurtured, and administrators, faculty and staff members on campus are vital partners in our fundraising efforts. We work with campus leaders to understand university priorities, encourage gifts to fund those priorities, and help donors find the right fit for their philanthropy. The foundation’s STEM Building Capital Campaign generated $3.7 million in private support because of this collaborative process.
Many of our supporters realize how fortunate the greater Marshfield area is to have a University of Wisconsin campus locally. They not only value the higher education and continuing education opportunities UW-Stevens Point at Marshfield brings to central Wisconsin but cherish its cultural contributions, such as visual arts, musical events, theatrical performances and its 99-acre arboretum. Our generous donors support these activities to provide opportunities for students and community members to reach their full potential.
Our annual fundraiser, Taste and Talent, is a great way for the community to support the foundation’s ongoing efforts. However, like many events impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, our Sept. 19 fundraiser will be held virtually.
To make a gift or for more information about Taste and Talent, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit uwsp.edu/marshfield/community/foundation.