UW-River Falls registers second most successful fundraising year in history

Donors respond to pandemic-prompted financial challenges, contribute $2.9 million

August 27, 2020 – Responding to the challenges prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing a legacy of support for UW-River Falls, donors contributed nearly $2.9 million to the UW-River Falls Foundation during the recently completed 2019-20 fiscal year.

The final total represents the second most successful fundraising year in UWRF history. A record $3.6 million was raised in 2016-17.

“The outpouring of support serves as a testimony to our donors’ commitment to the UWRF’s students, faculty, programs and mission,” said Rick Foy, assistant chancellor for University Advancement. “COVID-19’s impact has been felt by all of us, and during these difficult times, our donors generously responded. They made a difference when it was needed most – and it’s greatly appreciated by all of us at UWRF.”

Addressing student financial challenges prompted by COVID-19, donors contributed more than $50,000 to a Student Emergency Fund, far surpassing the initial goal of $25,000. Gifts to the fund helped students deal with job loss and cover the costs of rent, utilities, medical and dental expenses and educational-related expenses to facilitate remote learning.

Among the fundraising year’s other highlights were:

  • A gift of $719,000 from the estate of Michael and Jessina Dineen to establish an endowed scholarship fund for students studying conservation and environmental planning, crop and soil science, environmental science, geology or horticulture.
  • A $350,000 gift from Grassland Dairy for UWRF’s Dairy Pilot Plant renovation project. Grassland’s total commitment to the project is $525,000.
  • Completion of a $130,000 campaign to rename the Office of International Education in honor of Dr. Robert “Doc” Bailey and establish an endowed fund for international study scholarships.
  • Naming Falcon Center office and meeting rooms to honor key UWRF contributors Connie Foster, Mike Davis, Gary Eloranta and Byron James. The effort has raised nearly $60,000.
  • Secured a matching gift from SPIE, the professional society for optics and photonics, to establish a $100,000 endowment to provide UWRF physics students research experiences.

Tax deductible contributions to the UWRF Foundation may be made to support the university’s students, programs and projects at

If questions, contact Foy at 715-425-4291 or

Contact Us

University Communications
and Marketing
120 North Hall
Phone: 715-425-3771
Fax: 715-425-4486