Profiles in Philanthropy: Dr. Marjorie Spring
Drs. Spring and Clawson were on the physical education
faculty at UWSP for many years. After living in the Phoenix area for most of
their retirement years, Marge and Alice recently moved back to Stevens Point.
Lunch with Fred Hebert (Chair, Department of Health, Exercise Science and
Athletics, hired by Dr. Clawson when she was in that position) rekindled their
interest in the Dr. Marjorie J. Spring Adapted Physical Education Scholarship.
Marge Spring and Alice Clawson provided the funding to endow the principal of
the scholarship at $10,000, which will support an annual $500 scholarship.
As a result of their philanthropic interests, Marge and Alice have become
reconnected to the UWSP Physical Education Department and with people who have
meant so much to them for many years.
Donors to UWSP have many different reasons for establishing scholarships,
but their goal is fundamentally the same: to provide students with the
recognition and financial support for the best possible education. Dr. Marge
Spring and Dr. Alice Clawson find offering this type of support to students a
very meaningful expression of their own values and what is important to
Dr. Marge Spring's
contributions to UW-Stevens Point during her 18-year tenure as an educator in
elementary physical education and as a coach in women's field and hockey and
women's track and field are still being felt in the year 2000 and beyond. In
1965, Marge was teaching 12 credits as an associate professor and discovered the
old women's field hockey equipment in a storage area. At this time, Marge
started the women's field and hockey team, coaching them against state teams
from Madison, Milwaukee, Lacrosse, River Falls, and Oshkosh.
As a further indication of her deep commitment to women's athletics, from
1968-69 Marge took part in discussions regarding the formation of the Wisconsin
Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WWIAC). This conference exists
today as the WIAC and was initially formed in 1970. Finally, Marge started the
women's track and field team from scratch in 1970, sending female
student-athletes into WWIAC competition for the first time.
Dr. Spring created programs in physical education that still exist within
the curriculum today. Marge developed the Friday program, allowing undergraduate
students to work with physically and mentally challenged children for the
Stevens Point School District. In time, more challenged children were referred
to Marge and she saw the makings of a hands-on opportunity for her university
students to work with challenged children. This class exists today as PEX 400
and PEX 401. From this first hands-on opportunity, Marge went on to create two
more programs that provided teaching opportunities for university students
working with children from the Stevens Point community and schools.
Marge joined five other people from the university and the community in
1980 to form the Women's Athletic Fund (WAF) to help meet the financial needs of
a rapidly growing program. WAF is still a vital support system for women's
athletics. The contribution Marge made to women's athletics brought about her
induction in 1986 as the first women into the UWSP Athletic Hall of Fame. In
1983, Marge retired professor emeritus from UWSP. It is evident that Marge
Spring is a difference-maker. The School of Health, Exercise Science and
Athletics is very proud of Marge Spring and the strong foundation she created
through her efforts in athletics and academics and appreciates the opportunity
to have her continued support and involvement with our students.