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Big alumni donation funds scholarships

February 3, 2012

UW-River Falls alumni Marilyn and Arlin Albrecht of Red Wing, Minn. are looking to give back to the school that gave them so much with a generous donation of $400,000. Money will be going to the Falcon Scholars program. Falcon Scholars is a program that is set up to help students succeed, be retained, and graduate from UWRF.

Through the Falcon Scholars program there are 80 freshmen each year that are selected to receive scholarships. Scholarships will be given to the students who are in the most need. Each student who receives a scholarship will receive a renewable $1,000 scholarship each year that they can use throughout their freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior year.

“During their junior and senior year students will receive an additional $1,000 to be able to study abroad or do undergraduate research,” said UWRF Chancellor Dean Van Galen. “This extra money is part of the differential tuition that was approved last year.”

The differential difference is part of a program called the Falcon Promise. The Falcon Promise is a differential tuition fund that will invest student funds into four different areas including Falcon Scholars. This money will cover things such as tutoring, undergraduate research opportunities, increased student scholarships (the Falcon Scholars challenge), and enhanced learning spaces. The money will be distributed as follows: 10 percent will go towards tutoring, 30 percent will go towards undergraduate research, 30 percent will go to Falcon Scholars, and 30 percent will go towards enhanced learning spaces.

Mr. Albrecht was a journalism and economics double major, and was named editor of the student–run newspaper, the Student Voice, during his sophomore year. After graduation he worked for the River Falls Journal, then he moved on to the Pioneer Press, and ended up at the Red Wing Republican Eagle.

Mrs. Albrecht, a speech and theater major, was active in the theater in Red Wing, Minn., where she resides. She was the recipient of the University’s first scholarship in 1954.

“I am very proud of their personal accomplishments,” said Becky Poss, Marilyn and Arlin Albrecht’s daughter. “They started out as poor dairy farmers who worked very hard and had a great connection with the University when they attended there, and saw an opportunity to help out students in a similar situation fulfill their goals.”

“They are also challenging other alumni to acknowledge how important their education was and to pay it forward,” said Poss.

Through a program called the Albrecht Challenge, any donation given to the Falcon Scholars of $1,000 or more will be matched by the Albrechts. Being able to fund the first four years of the Falcon Scholars program will require $800,000 in donations.

“Marilyn and Arlin Albrecht donated this money because they were students themselves at the University and they understand the impact the University has on students,” said Van Galen. “It is a very generous donation.”

In addition to the Albrecht’s donation this year the university has received it’s first $1 million dollars donation from a person who chooses to remain anonymous at this time, but whose name will be revealed later on this spring.