UWRF Alumni Commit $400,000 to Falcon Scholars "Albrecht Challenge"

Jan. 17, 2012 -- UW-River Falls alumni Arlin ('58) and Marilyn ('56) Albrecht of Red Wing, Minn., know the importance of scholarship support. Now they have issued a challenge to fellow alumni and friends to provide more scholarships for students at UW-River Falls. 

Through the Albrecht Challenge, gifts of $1,000 or more to the newly established Falcon Scholars program will be matched by the Albrechts. Funding the initial four years of the Falcon Scholars program will require $800,000 in charitable gifts, and the Albrechts are challenging others to donate to the Falcon Scholars program by pledging $400,000 – or half of the amount necessary. 

"We truly understand the importance of scholarships and want to do what we can to promote the university's mission of providing a high-value education to deserving students," said Mr. Albrecht, who was named UWRF Distinguished Alumnus in 2010.  "That is why we are challenging alumni and friends of UWRF to increase their giving levels." 

Mrs. Albrecht added, "As the recipient of the university's first ever scholarship in 1954 the opportunity to encourage others to support a new signature scholarship program at my alma mater is doubly sweet. The university has enriched our lives and it is our pleasure to create new opportunities for future Falcons." 

UW-River Falls Chancellor Dean Van Galen commented, "Arlin and Marilyn Albrecht have made an extraordinary generous commitment that will shape the lives of many future UW-River Falls students. The university is grateful for their support, and I encourage our alumni and friends to step up to the Albrecht Challenge by supporting the Falcon Scholars program."   

"The need for increasing scholarship support has never been greater," said UWRF Foundation President Chris Mueller. "Arlin and Marilyn Albrecht are leveraging the support of others by making a signature investment in the future of UW-River Falls. For this, we are extremely appreciative." 

Like many current UWRF students, Mr. and Mrs. Albrecht came to River Falls as first generation college students. While a journalism and economics double major, Mr. Albrecht was named editor of the student-run newspaper, the Student Voice, during his sophomore year. Upon graduation he went to work for the River Falls Journal, then the St. Paul Pioneer Press and eventually the Red Wing Republican Eagle that came to be recognized as one of the nation's best small daily newspapers. Mr. Albrecht served in a variety of jobs, including being a Vietnam War correspondent. In time, he became chairman and CEO of Red Wing Publishing, which under his and his wife's leadership grew to include 21 community newspapers in Minnesota and Wisconsin.   

Mrs. Albrecht, a speech/theatre major, was active in theatre activities in Red Wing, including the restoration of the municipal Sheldon Theatre.   

About Falcon Scholars

Beginning with the entering class in fall 2012, 80 freshman students each year will be selected as Falcon Scholars to receive a renewable four-year, $1,000 per year scholarship. In addition, each Falcon Scholar will be provided with $2,000 in their junior or senior year to study abroad or engage in undergraduate research. The funds for the study abroad or research experience are provided through student differential tuition funds, part of the Falcon Promise program approved by students in 2011. When fully funded in 2015, the university will support 320 Falcon Scholars requiring $320,000 per year in private support. 

"UW-River Falls has become a leader in study abroad and undergraduate research," said UW-River Falls Chancellor Dean Van Galen. "Falcon Scholars is a unique partnership between the university and its students that will afford generations of future students to have life altering experiences." 

For information on the Albrecht Challenge or to make a gift to the Falcon Scholars program, contact the UWRF Foundation at 715-425-3505 or visit

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