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Scholarship Benefit Dinner is finally here

April 22, 2015

The UW-River Falls Foundation office will host its annual Scholarship Benefit Dinner on April 24. The dinner is a high-class event inviting all of the Falcon Scholars and people who have donated money to the university for an evening of appreciation and fun.

The dinner is also an opportunity to raise more money for the university and for scholarship opportunities for students on campus. Tickets are on sale for the dinner portion of the event, but general admission will not get you into the other parts of the dinner, such as the keynote speaker or book signing.

Through the first two years of this event being on campus, we have seen a massive support for the university. The event has brought in over $375,000 in scholarships, and over $775,000 for sponsorship.

At past dinners the keynote speakers have been Bob Woodward, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, and Bart Starr, formally of the Green Bay Packers. This year the speaker will be the Founder and CEO of FUBU and the star of ABC network’s “Shark Tank,” Daymond John.

John is an entrepreneur and an award-winning marketing strategist. FUBU is a highly celebrated lifestyle brand with over $6 billion in total sales. In 2009, he joined “Shark Tank” to help provide insight into marketing and entrepreneurial skills.

“I think it’s really exciting we got John,” said Annual Giving Coordinator Sarah French. “He’s a very public figure, he has got a lot of name and face recognition. One thing I like about him as opposed to anybody else is that his is a name that appeals to the younger crowd.”

French also said that she hopes to see more young people attend the event, because of John.

The UWRF Foundation office is a nonprofit organization that is just one of three entities that the Office of University Advancement makes up. The UWRF Foundation office is in charge of connecting alumni and gaining support for funding for the university. It’s essentially the fundraising body for UWRF.

The event is part of the Rising to Distinction campaign, which aims to help students become more engaged in their academics and community, and it also helps support students though scholarship opportunities.

“Our goal with that campaign was to raise $20 million,” said the Assistant Chancellor of University Advancement Chris Mueller. “As the campaign has moved on, we have gotten a lot of support for scholarships, we are number two among UW System schools”

Mueller went on to add that approximately 12 percent of students on campus have been awarded a scholarship, and that in the next year, the UWRF Foundation hopes to give away over $1 million in scholarships.

Another important part of the Rising to Distinction campaign is the Falcon Scholars Program. This program awards incoming freshman who demonstrate the academic and financial need, $1,000 per year for four years, and a $2,000 stipend to be used in their junior or senior year for study abroad opportunities or independent research.