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UWL Alumni news

UWL Alumni news

Legacy benefactor: Student says scholarship relieves stress, helps her focus

Elle Hersperger, a junior minoring in public communications and advocacy, received the Alumni Association’s Continuing Student Legacy Scholarship.

Posted 11:06 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022

Elle Hersperger nearly missed applying for the Alumni Association’s Continuing Student Legacy Scholarship. While scanning UWL Foundation scholarships, Hersperger realized that with her mom, Jill, being an ’86 graduate, she qualified. She applied — and was selected.

“The scholarship has already impacted my experience at UWL,” says Hersperger, a junior. “The $500 each semester will help pay for about one class each semester, which is huge.”

Hersperger says the $1,000 for 2022-23 has relieved stress and allowed her to focus on grades. 

“I take college very seriously,” the marketing major from Schofield explains. “I've been on the dean's list all four semesters I've been at UWL and am on track for my fifth semester on the dean's list to finish out the semester.”

 Hersperger says the scholarship helps her do even more during college. With money for tuition, she’s more at ease about paying the yearly American Marketing Association fees — a club that offers many opportunities.  

“Since the scholarship is going toward tuition, I won't be beating myself up for paying club dues with money that would have gone toward my tuition,” she notes. 

Hersperger, who is minoring in public communications and advocacy, hopes to work in marketing or public relations after graduating in spring 2024. The scholarship, made possible by generous alumni, is helping her achieve her lifelong goal of earning a degree and getting hired. 

“I just wanted to thank the Alumni Association donors again for their generous donation and for helping fund my education at UWL,” she says.


They’re distinguished

Chancellor Joe Gow joined alumni recognized by the Alumni Association from the previous three years for a formal picture when they returned to campus in September.

Chancellor Joe Gow joined alumni recognized by the Alumni Association from the previous three years for a formal picture when they returned to campus in September. It was the first in-person Distinguished Alumni Award event since the start of the pandemic.

Alumni recognized included, front, from left, Margaret Van Bree, ’82, 2021 Graff Distinguished Alumni Award; Chancellor Gow; James Burkhart, ’68, 2020 Graff Distinguished Alumni Award; back, from left, Jeremy Richter, ’94, 2022 Graff Distinguished Alumni Award; Marquell Johnson, ’04, 2022 Parker Distinguished Multicultural Alumni Award; Anna Hatch, ’09, 2021 Rada Distinguished Alumni Award; Bryan Heiderscheit, ’94, 2022 Graff Distinguished Alumni Award; Scott Noet, ’90, 2021 Altman Teacher Education Award; Mary Lee Vance, ’79 & ’83, 2022 Altman Teacher Education Award; and Justin Schmitz, ’11, 2022 Rada Distinguished Alumni Award.

Nominations are accepted year-round and must be received by Oct. 1 to be considered for the following year. Make nominations at: www.uwlax.edu/alumni/about/awards/nomination.

See a complete listing of distinguished alumni since 1977.


One team. One mission. One university.

The UWL Foundation and UWL Alumni Association will join to become the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Alumni & Friends Foundation July 1, 2023. Leadership of the new organization will include, from left, Greg Reichert, vice chancellor of Advancement and president of the UWL Foundation; Todd Taylor, ’80; Lynda Kohler, ’83; and Janie Morgan, ’85 & ’86, executive director of strategic engagement.

New organization will promote UWL

Two campus philanthropy organizations are “Optimizing Alignment” to form a new, stronger operation to promote UWL.

The UWL Foundation and UWL Alumni Association will join to become the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Alumni & Friends Foundation. The target date for the new organization is July 1, 2023.

The Foundation and Alumni Association boards of directors have been discussing the new organization for more than a year. Both approved a resolution to proceed during their November 2022 meetings. 

Janie Morgan, ’85 & ’86, executive director of strategic engagement, is excited to see the Alumni Association and Foundation office align.

These two organizations have worked hand-in-hand over the past 50-plus years, and I believe this new structure will help us serve our students, alumni, friends and UWL in the best possible way,” says Morgan. “Our alumni and friends deserve the very best, and we plan to deliver.”

Tony, ’73, and Nancy, ’72, Christnovich pose with Stryker during reunion weekend in October. Alumni are the focus of the UWL Foundation and UWL Alumni Association joining to become the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Alumni & Friends Foundation in 2023. “It will allow the activities that we do to advance UWL to be seamless and should create a more fulfilling experience for our alumni and benefactors,” says Greg Reichert, vice chancellor of Advancement and president of the UWL Foundation.

Greg Reichert, vice chancellor of Advancement and president of the UWL Foundation, says the new arrangement aligns with best practices in the industry today.

It will allow the activities that we do to advance UWL to be seamless and should create a more fulfilling experience for our alumni and benefactors,” he explains. “We are very excited to see it in action.”

Todd Taylor, ’80, current chair of the UWL Foundation, will chair the new organization July 1, holding that role for the first two years of the new organization. Lynda Kohler, ’83, current chair of the UWL Alumni Association, will serve as vice chair of the new organization for its first two years, followed by two years as chair. 

The new board of directors will include between 18 and 40 members serving three-year terms, with at least half of them being alumni. New committees will encompass all areas currently covered by the two organizations. The new organization’s fiscal year will run July1-June 30, with annual meetings in May.

The UWL Foundation was incorporated in 1967 to promote charitable and education activities to support scholarships, awards, grants, projects and programs to advance UWL’s mission. UW-La Crosse Scholarships Inc., formerly the La Crosse State College Foundation, and the State College Student Welfare Association, merged with the UWL Foundation in 1986. By 2020, the Foundation’s assets were $39.6 million. 

The UWL Alumni Association was formed in 1969 to build and maintain relationships among students, alumni, friends and the university.


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