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'Biggest birthday gift I've ever received'

Posted 3:07 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021

Madelynn Logan, a sophomore psychology major, was one of eight UWL students to receive a $7,000 scholarship through UW System's 70 for 70 student vaccination campaign.

70 for 70 scholarship has special timing, impact for UWL’s Madelynn Logan

It had already been a good birthday.

Madelynn Logan had opened presents, gone out to dinner with friends and just returned for a relaxing evening at home.

That’s when she checked her email and stopped in her tracks:

Logan, the message told her, was one of eight UWL students selected to receive a $7,000 scholarship as part of UW System’s 70 for 70 student vaccination campaign.

“I thought it was a fake email at first. I read it three times just to make sure it was real,” recalls Logan, a UWL sophomore majoring in psychology. “I started freaking out, and my roommates came running in. I Facetimed my mom and said: ‘Thanks for the presents, but this is the biggest birthday gift I’ve ever received.’”

The scholarship is especially impactful given Logan’s financial situation.

She’s supporting herself through college, paying tuition and rent on her own. This fall, she had to take out her first loan.

“Receiving this $7,000 is huge. It’s going to allow me to pay off that loan,” explains Logan, an Eau Claire native. “A lot of sophomores take out loans, but this was a new experience for me. The scholarship definitely made me realize that I can get through this, and money won’t be as big of a concern as it would have been.”

Logan was one of several thousand UWL students who were vaccinated against COVID-19 and informed UWL of their status, making UWL the first comprehensive campus in the UW System to achieve a 70% student vaccination rate.

Logan was one of eight UWL students who received a $7,000 scholarship, with dozens of other students winning smaller scholarships and prizes.

Getting vaccinated was important to Logan, who received her shot at the Student Health Center last spring.

“I personally made that choice because, if this is going to help everyone in the community, it’s the least I can do,” she says, adding that she’s enjoyed a more traditional college experience this year — a product of strong vaccination rates.

“Last year was hard, and there weren’t a lot of people to socialize with,” she says. “This year, meeting new people, hearing about their background, going to football games — it’s the college experience we all wanted.”

Now, with a significant scholarship in hand, Logan says she is more confident about navigating her remaining years of college.

After completing her bachelor’s degree, she hopes to earn her master’s degree from UWL and go on to a career in counseling.

“Psychology classes have always interested me. It’s cool learning about different perspectives and how people view the world,” she says. “Counseling and mental health is definitely something I’m passionate about.”

About 70 for 70

UW System’s 70 for 70 campaign incentivized student vaccinations by offering campuses that reached the 70% mark a proportional share of 70 $7,000 scholarships.

Of the 12 participating campuses, 11 reached the vaccination goal prior to the Oct. 31 deadline.

Scholarship recipients from each campus were selected by drawing.

As a rule, recipients are not publicly identified without their permission.


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