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UWRF to ask for scholarship donations from alumni, friends

February 17, 2011

UW-River Falls is getting ready to launch its first fundraising campaign, seeking donations to support the university.

“This will be our first comprehensive fundraising campaign in the university’s history. Charitable support from alumni and friends is becoming more and more important to our future,” said Chancellor Dean Van Galen. “This is especially true in challenging economic times, where our percent of our budget from the state continues to decline. So I am optimistic that this campaign will raise significant dollars for a variety of purposes, including student scholarships, and will support our students for years to come.”

The university has tried a systematic approach to prepare for the fundraising campaign. One of the first steps is determining what the needs are for the money to be raised with the campaign.

“This past year, we’ve had a series of different listening sessions. We have involved all of the colleges and their department chairs,” said Dan McGinty, executive director of University Advancement and president of the UW-River Falls Foundation.

“We listened to the external admissions committee and faculty senate, the academic staff councils, along with student senate. We also met with the various non-administrative directors throughout the campus to get their feedback on what should be some of the initiatives on this campus, and what we should be raising money for.”

One of the main focuses of the fundraising campaign will to obtain scholarships for students.

“Some of the things that I think are crystal clear that I am hearing are that scholarships will be the first and forefront to the campaign,” said McGinty. “That’s what I’m hearing from just about all of the audiences that we’ve met with. And I think that will also resonate quite well with our donors.”

The campaign will ask alumni and friends of the university to make donations to benefit the university.

“We have about 38,000 alumni graduates and so we will ask all of them to be a part of this campaign, as well as friends of the university, corporations and businesses that are connected to UW-River Falls,” said Van Galen. “This campaign will be one of our top priorities over the next several years.”

According to McGinty, because of the declining resources that the university gets from the state, UWRF needs to look to private resources to help fund a wider array of different initiatives. One way it can do that is through this campaign for private resources.

“There will be several components to the campaign and certainly will be driven by the needs of the university and the interests of our donors to support those needs,” said Van Galen.

“When we visit with alumni and friends, many are very excited about provide scholarships and support to students so I think that will be a very large component of the fundraising campaign. And many of our students come from families of modest means and so that scholarship support is needed and will be important to our students.”