The Stout University Foundation provides scholarships, grants, research resources and other funds that benefit the University of Wisconsin-Stout and its students and faculty; the foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
The Stout University Foundation was created in an effort to promote and organize fundraising and the distribution of donations to UW-Stout.
The foundation has been responsible for campus advancements like the Stout Technology Park, new library resources, state-of-the-art equipment and $550,000 awarded annually to UW-Stout students.
Last year, the Stout University Foundation provided more than $2.3 million in financial support to UW-Stout. In the 50 years since the foundation formed, it has raised just under $38 million in donations.
The Stout University Foundation’s primary focus is to provide merit based freshman scholarships.
“This year we will be giving over $540,000 in scholarships to 290 students,” said Jennifer Rudiger, director of the Stout Annual Fund. “The economy is still in a down-turn, fewer people are considering going to college, and we use these scholarships to attract new students.”
While a significant amount of the foundation’s financial support goes to scholarships, it also offers funds to several other initiatives on campus.
“Each college is awarded a certain percentage of funds each year that they can use as they see fit,” said Rudiger. “We also give funds to sports teams, professional organizations and even for outdoor science classes.”
Funds that were awarded to UW-Stout’s four colleges often go to student professional development, which enables students to travel to professional conferences to present their research, part of the foundation’s goals.
Last year, the foundation gave $10,000 to Research Services to help them fund undergraduate research. In March, several of the foundation’s board members traveled with students who presented their research at Posters in the Rotunda in Madison, Wis.
Donor support is crucial for the Stout University Foundation to continue to offer funds to students and UW-Stout. Future UW-Stout graduates are encouraged to consider giving back to their alma mater.
“Graduating from Stout is just the beginning of your Stout experience,” said Rudiger. “Your association with Stout will make for a very small world; you will always run into fellow Stout graduates. Remember your experience here and make gifts to the Stout University Foundation, so others can have the same experience. “
Rudiger said that a small group of donors make the most sizeable donations, but large numbers are needed to help the foundation grow.
“Four to 5,000 people are needed to make the $500,000 that is needed for annual scholarships,” said Rudiger. “Every dollar counts and we need alums to give back.”