UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
Skip (Business Administration 1973) and Susan (English Education 1970 and MST English 2002) Koosmann are longtime supporters of the university, having made contributions to the UWRF Foundation every year for more than 25 years. They both have fond memories of their time at UWRF. “Learning has always been exciting to me and UWRF provided that environment. I think fall quarter was the most favored for me as it marked the end of a summer of hard work and the beginning of new experiences, new people and another step in the process of getting that degree,” recalls Skip. Susan recounted her memorable experiences, “A notable feature of being a student at UWRF was the access to the faculty; class sizes were smaller and the professors knew you by name and were willing to discuss issues. One of my most influential experiences was the Quarter Abroad Program in the late 60’s when I did research on theater trends in London. Years later, those experiences were main considerations when choosing UWRF to complete a MST degree in English.”
Both of the Koosmanns funded their educations without assistance from scholarships, but are now motivated to give to UWRF for several reasons. Skip says, “In the early years after graduation my giving to the university was merely a response to a call from the foundation making a request for donations to the annual fund. Since being married and having children who would attend college, the cost of an education became more real and immediate; this brings about an awareness that wasn’t there in my younger years.” Susan adds “seeing the number of scholarships available to students now, and the appreciation they show, is a great motivator for both of us to continue giving.”
The Koosmanns support UWRF in two major ways, providing both unrestricted and restricted contributions. They give each year to the unrestricted Falcon Annual Fund. Skip, who served on the UWRF Foundation Board of Directors for several years says, “That experience provided me with a great deal of insight into the inner workings of the foundation and the importance of generous alumni.” Skip further noted, “The importance of giving in general, but also the importance of giving unrestricted contributions.” Unrestricted contributions are used to fund university needs in addition to supporting the initiatives of the foundation and alumni relations programs.
Skip and Susan also make restricted contributions to the Robert R. and M. Susan Beck Memorial Scholarship benefiting English students. The endowment is in honor of two of Susan’s professors. “It is because of the relationships and experiences as students and alumni we have chosen to donate to the restricted Beck Scholarship as well as the unrestricted Falcon Annual Fund, realizing that both efforts are critical to the long term sustainability of the foundation and university.”
Skip and Susan are both proud to be alumni of UWRF. “The university makes a great effort to maintain contact with its alumni through various alumni activities around the country and the world.” The Koosmanns have participated in many of those events and say, “Wine tasting tours, river boat excursions, and an occasional homecoming are our favorites. Last year we visited Scotland as part of an alumni tour. The trip was well organized, the tours were excellent and it was wonderful to meet and share the experience with other alumni.”
They encourage other alumni to support the university as well. “When the opportunity presents itself, reflect on your experiences at UWRF and share your gift with future alumni. The gifts that we make are very important to the recipients. We see that each year at the scholarship donor recognition reception. There are many of us and a contribution, no matter how small, can multiply into a significant impact on someone’s education. We are glad we can continue to offer on-going scholarship recipients the means to find their dream, hoping they might remember how valuable scholarships were to their education and will want to pass that generosity on.”
Susan ('70 & '02) and Skip ('73) Koosmann
Everyone has a unique success story shaped, in part, by their time spent at UW-River Falls. We would like to hear yours!