Every student has a different reason why they chose the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Yet in 1954 graduate Marv Lansing’s case, it would seem that the university chose him. “I had little idea why I was there, but there I was,” states Lansing. With the help of his professors and his future wife, Mag Helmer, Lansing graduated with a teaching degree in history. It was this support that inspired him to go on and get his master’s degree and, ultimately, his Ph. D. Now he is helping future UW-River Falls graduates discover their potential and have a rewarding career, like Lansing has had.
In 2011 Lansing and his current wife Nancy Kraft created the endowed Marvin & Margaret (Helmer) Lansing Scholarship, named in honor of him and his late wife, Mag. The scholarship provides support for a student from a local county based on their financial need, not their GPA. “I want to get more kids into the door and make them feel more financially comfortable,” says Lansing about his motivation for the scholarship.
Lansing knew he wanted to give back to the university and explored different planned giving options. “I decided on establishing a scholarship and funding it through an annuity. By doing this I could give the money and have associate income from it. If anything were to happen to me, my wife would receive the funds,” he explained.“The cost of school is so high and students need help more than ever. You can help a lot of kids this way. People need to get into that mindset of giving back because, in the end, you can’t take your money with you.”
Marv Lansing received his Ph. D from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Education Administration. He is a retired superintendent of the Eau Claire Area School District where he served for 21 years. He is a published author and a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, the Lifetime Membership Award from the Wisconsin PTA and the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He and his wife currently reside on their wooden acreage in Knapp, WI.