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A lasting legacy

A lasting legacy

Financial head has appreciable impact over 3 decades

Louise Janke, ’84 & ’87, retired in November after serving 28 years in the Financial Aid Office, the last 17 as director.

Posted 11:02 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022

She never set out to leave a legacy. But that’s exactly what Louise Janke has done. 

Empathy and compassion aren’t two words most college students think of when dealing with finances. But with Janke, they did. She left that impression after serving 28 years in the Financial Aid Office, the last 17 as director, when she retired in November.

Janke led campus efforts to provide students an array of financial literacy resources, the most notable being the It Make$ Cents program. There, students craft Christmas gifts, learn credit card pitfalls, and hear warnings about unneeded debt. The first program of its kind in the UW System, it earned citations from the state’s governor three times.

Janke has been a key advocate to provide students with emergency funding when financial crises like unanticipated car repairs or family hardship knock. She also helped to spearhead an emergency resource webpage to help students maneuver financial hardships.

Janke led the initiation of the campus Scholarship Resource Center to help students navigate through an array of available scholarships and financial awards. Those garnering $10,000 or more become members of Maroon Tycoons, a select group recognized for acquiring financial awards.

Incoming students can earn an Eagle Apprenticeship through another program Janke helped initiate. They not only get tuition money, but research experience with a faculty member. 

Another undertaking Janke spearheaded is Eagles Helping Eagles, which provides students with donated new and gently used household goods, furniture and school supplies. Those needing a power suit for a job interview, or just something to wear to class, can turn to Campus Threads, an on-campus clothing closet— another project Janke participated in. 

In her Midwestern humbleness, Janke is quick to point out these and other financial efforts have flourished under a collaborative, team effort. And they have.

“We’re really very grateful for our campus partners and for the support we have received from our administrators to get these initiatives off the ground,” she says. 

But, Janke’s leadership is behind all of them. And her giving didn’t stop there. She also created the Larson Family Scholarship, an endowment honoring her family that awards $1,000 to a first-year student that can be renewed for four years.

That’s empathy. That’s compassion. That’s a legacy. That’s Louse Janke.

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Louise Janke, retired director of Financial Aid

’84 elementary education

’87 college student personnel