At a press conference on Friday, Oct. 2, the University of Wisconsin-Superior Foundation announced an ambitious $20 million fundraising campaign in support of the university’s students, faculty and programs. The campaign called Together We Are Superior aims to catapult the university into the next level of growth and excellence.
“Our vision for the future is to be the college of choice within our region, and to continue to be a force for positive economic, cultural and social change,” said Chancellor Renée Wachter. “However, one thing is clear. We cannot accomplish these goals alone, because only together can we truly be Superior.”
Many alumni and friends of the university have already made financial commitments to the campaign, lifting the foundation to 70 percent of its goal at the time of the press conference.
“Some people might have thought the pandemic would have stopped or impeded our campaign goals,” said Jeanne Thompson, vice chancellor of university advancement. “The answer to that question became clear when we had our most successful Superior Day of Giving ever this past spring right after the virus took hold. As we’ve known all along, Yellowjackets swarm together to meet challenges and support one another.”
One of the campaign priorities is to invest in the university’s people, which includes scholarships for students. Forty-six percent of UW-Superior’s students are the first in their family to attend college, eighty-two percent receive some type of financial aid and sixteen percent receive foundation scholarships. Through the campaign, the foundation will increase the number and amount of scholarships available to students.
The campaign will also support faculty professional and career development, which campaign officials say is sorely lacking due to insufficient state funding.
“Through this campaign, we will increase current funding ten-fold by creating an Instructional Excellence Endowment Fund to provide a sufficient level of continuous investment in high-achieving faculty that will last in perpetuity,” said Thompson.
Funds will also be raised to support academic, non-academic and co-curricular programs that shape students’ complete experience at UWS and provide a margin of excellence above and beyond state funding.
The foundation also seeks estate and other planned gifts to help fund the future of the university.
“Now more than ever, we need the support of our alumni, friends and partners,” said Wachter. “Everyone’s role and participation in this campaign is important, no matter how big or how small, because together we can do great things to support and outstanding educational experience for students and meet the needs of our region.”