Donor Stories

Wanda Brown and Phyllis Goldin Story

When people think of building a personal relationship on campus, many picture a bond between students, faculty and alumni. But River Falls residents Wanda Brown and Phyllis Goldin have proven that the University of Wisconsin-River Falls can do more than that. It can attract likeminded people from the community to form rewarding friendships that last a lifetime. Brown and Goldin met because they are are long-time supporters of the university through participation in campus events and involvement with the music and art departments.

"The local culture is enriched by the university," Goldin said. "Wherever anything of great interest was going on, we were there."

In 2012, Brown and Goldin decided to take the next step in their support of the university by starting the Wanda Brown and Phyllis Goldin Music Major Scholarship. The scholarship awards $1,000 to an incoming freshman music major. Calyssa Hall, a music liberal arts major, was the first student to receive the scholarship, which will be renewed every year until she graduates. 

"It's hard for incoming freshmen to get a scholarship, so we wanted to be able to provide that," said Brown. 

The idea for the contribution started when Brown and Goldin were working with the film and music departments to make a video for the UW-River Falls Spirit Song "Our Chance to Fly," which Goldin wrote and composed. 

"We realized how little funding the film and music department have," Brown said. After contributing to the film department, Brown and Goldin decided they wanted to give back to the Music Department in a unique way. They met with David Milne, the chair of the music department, and he suggested they start a scholarship. It was a learning process, but that it has helped enrich both of their lives. 

"We wanted to put our money where our hearts are," Brown said. 

Goldin is a psychiatrist in private practice and a songwriter, composer and visual artist. Brown owns Brown and Kirkwood: Sales Management Consulting and is an accomplished poet and photographer. Both were awarded the UWRF Outstanding Service Award.

Phyllis Goldin & Wanda Brown
Wanda Brown, Phyllis Goldin

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