College of Letters and Science Development Report
This year marks a special time at UW-Stevens Point as we enter the first year of the public phase in our “Then, Now & Forever, We are Point” capital campaign. Our university alumni, parents and friends continue to transform the learning experience for our students through their generosity as we strive to meet our $30 million goal by 2019.
During the calendar year 2015, the college awarded almost $90,000 in scholarships, allowing 163 students life changing financial help in paying for their education. On December 31, 2015, the total assets for the College of Letters and Science at UWSP Foundation were $3,486,933.82, up from $3,398,636 the previous year.
Transformation is how we describe the difference philanthropy makes in the lives of our students, departments and our university. This is often the result of passionate and meaningful giving. We encourage our givers to match their passion with their generosity — a formula we hope culminates in deep and meaningful connections with faculty, staff and students to make our world a better place. Some of these transformational gifts include:
● A commitment of $2 million from Sentry Insurance to create the Sentry Insurance Endowed Chair in Computational Analytics, the first endowed chair in the College of Letters and Science, represents the most transformational gift in the history of both our college and the entire campus. This gift was accompanied by an additional $2 million gift to create an endowed Chair in Business Analytics in the School of Business and Economics. The result of this generosity is the creation of a new B.S. in Data Analytics, a joint program with the School of Business and Economics and the Department of Computing and New Media Technologies, and classes for the new major will begin in fall 2016.
We have a deep sense of gratitude for this exceptional demonstration of generosity, but the impact of a gift like this goes beyond the walls of our campus. Our industry partners across Central Wisconsin have encouraged us to pursue educational opportunities in data analytics, and our partnership with Sentry allows us to serve and meet the needs of businesses in our region looking to hire job-ready graduates.
● Thomas Nikolai, class of 1952, made a $25,000 commitment for the Roland Trytten Scholarship in the Department of Chemistry. The Trytten awards are four-year scholarships given in recognition of outstanding performance by a student majoring in Chemistry, and supports student research.
● A gift of $25,000 from Alumnus Talin Senner, class of 2000 and owner of Wildcard Corporation in Stevens Point, to establish the Wildcard Corp. Technology Leadership Scholarship in the Department of Computing and New Media Technology. This $1,000 scholarship is awarded to the top student who demonstrates a personal and professional historic and future interest in Computer Systems Engineering, Programming, Hardware, Networking and other technologies.
● A $25,000 gift from Barbara Thompson, who sadly passed away this last summer, in honor of her childhood friend, Hazel Koskenlinna, to support the Hazel Koskenlinna Professional Writing Fund. Barbara’s continued generosity to this fund has allowed our university to enhance our robust professional writing curriculum and recruitment of future Pointers through education and scholarship.
● A partnership, the first of its kind in the College of Letters and Science, with the Central Wisconsin Information Technology Alliance (CWITA) to support a position in the Department of Computing and New Media Technologies. CWITA, a professional organization consisting of businesses in Central Wisconsin, worked together to produce start-up funding of almost $95,000 for new faculty support.
Cliff King, CEO at Skyward, led the initiative to increase the university’s ability to graduate more students. Members of CWITA, including Sentry, Skyward, Delta Dental of Wisconsin, EO Johnson, Heartland Farms, Eastbay and CoVantage Credit Union, were instrumental in making this partnership a reality.
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