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Alumni & Friends Foundation News

Alumni & Friends Foundation News

Cleary Alumni & Friends Center

Posted 2:32 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Reflecting on the impact of philanthropy 

It was a transformational year for the UWL Alumni & Friends Foundation. 

The Foundation and Alumni Association joined forces under one name, with a new website and even more ways for alumni and friends to engage with us. 

One Day for UWL, our annual day of giving, was a huge success, raising a record sum that will directly support students, programs, scholarships, research opportunities and more. 

Meanwhile, we are all hard at work preparing for the selection of our next chancellor, which is expected to happen later this spring. 

It’s been a year of changes, challenges and opportunities, and we are excited to move forward in partnership with you, our dedicated alumni and friends. 

On the next few pages, you’ll find a breakdown of the Foundation’s impact over the past year. None of it would have been possible without you. 

But the true impact of our work cannot be captured through numbers on a spreadsheet. It is through students and their experiences that the power of philanthropy is best reflected.

This year, we were particularly heartened to see so many students take an interest in philanthropy themselves. It’s how we create a culture of giving back. 

Take Megan Muench, a junior studying exercise and sport science. 

During One Day for UWL, Muench participated in the Cash Grab game and decided to allocate her $72 in winnings to the women’s ultimate frisbee team. 

The money makes a positive difference, but even more important is the way Muench and other students have embraced the idea of helping others. 

It’s what our work is all about. And it shows us that the future is bright. 

“Philanthropy is an amazing way of supporting students and showing that they are cared for,” Muench says. “Sometimes, I feel like I’m alone in my experiences at school. But the contributions made by donors on (One Day for UWL) give me reassurance that they made it through the tough classes and the late nights and that I will be able to do the same. And one day, I can give back just like they did for us.”

— UWL Alumni & Friends Foundation


Distinguished Alumni

This year's Distinguished Alumni Award recipients returned to campus for a celebration Sept. 22 and 23. From left to right and back to front: Isaac Hoffman, Mark Gruen, Bill Bosch, Neil Duresky, Kris Fritz, Jazzma Holland and Colleen McDowell.

UWL’s 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award winners were recognized on campus last September. The group — spanning multiple generations and several professional fields — shared their experiences during a panel discussion and were honored during a breakfast the following day. 

Nominations for UWL’s Distinguished Alumni Awards are accepted year-round. They must be received by Oct. 1. to be considered for the following year. Nominate deserving alumni.

During One Day for UWL, 1,904 donors from 39 states raised $476,445 to support educational and co-curricular opportunities for students. In total, 2,071 gifts were made in 24 hours. Online activity included 94 ambassadors and 60 challenges completed. Over 60% of the gifts were for less than $100, showing that even small donations can go a long way.


• Gifts and pledges: $4,199,361
• Unique donors: 5,317
• First-time donors: 1,902

• Scholarship dollars awarded: $1,296,619
• Total awards: 1,009
• Students receiving scholarships: 762

• Total number of alumni on record: 94,818
• Events held: 46 ENDOWMENT
• Endowment total: $36,719,936
• Endowment assets per 06/30/23 audited financials (this includes capital, earnings, and payout balances)


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