RTD Campaign Total Amount Raised

  • Rising to Distinction Campaign Goal Met
  • Terri and Steve Wilcox celebrating the success of the Rising to Distinction Campaign
  • RTD Campaign Speaker Bailey Vitek
  • Rising to Distinction Campaign Speaker Gillian McDonald
  • Fun at the Rising to Distinction Campaign celebration - a gift for the campaign chair
  • Fun at the RTD celebration
  • RTD Campaign Total Amount Raised

Rising to Distinction

Impact Newsletter

The UW-River Falls Impact newsletter is a summary of the Rising to Distinction campaign success.

Campaign Reflections

UW-River Falls celebrated the conclusion of its first ever comprehensive campaign, Rising to Distinction, on September 23 as part of UWRF's Homecoming Weekend. The five-year campaign was a stellar success with an influx of gifts at the end of 2015 that enabled UWRF to cross the $20 million threshold six months before their anticipated June 30 campaign conclusion.

Among the campaign's most important accomplishments were increasing annual scholarship awards from $588,000 to $1.1 million, establishment of the Falcon Scholars program, renovation of Smith Stadium at Ramer Field, support for the Falcon Center project, and private funds raised to support the soon-to-be renovated Dairy Pilot Plant.

"The campaign story is about the generosity of more than 10,000 donors who have supported generations of current and former Falcons," said Chris Mueller, assistant chancellor of University Advancement and president of UW-River Falls Foundation. "The campaign was a fulfillment of President Eugene Kleinpell's vision in 1949 that the Foundation would "give a spark and ensure the university's progress."

Projects like the Falcon Center, the Ramer Renovation, Falcon Scholars, and scholarships have been the cornerstones of this campaign. These funding initiatives have been shared and promoted throughout the campaign. And as the campaign evolved, other funding opportunities for campus projects and initiatives developed. Below we are reflecting on some of these opportunities that have grown out of the campaign.

Additional Impacts on Campus

The DeLonais Garden at the Falcon Center

Starting in the fall of 2018, spectators to the main entrance of the Falcon Center will be greeted with a serene garden. Driven out of a desire for guests to have a gathering space outside the front of the building, Kathy DeLonais and the DeLonais Foundation have graciously donated funds to turn this vision into a reality.

The DeLonais Gardens is slated to include a crushed stone pathway with multiple seating spaces and a variety of sustainable flowers and scrubs. Deciduous trees will provide canopied shade cover and the garden will contain a natural water feature. So whether you are a student in search of an outdoor study space, or a guest waiting to be picked up after watching a thrilling win by the Falcons in the new sports complex, the DeLonais Gardens will provide a respite along the way.

This is one example of how private gifts from the campus's first ever comprehensive campaign is enhancing campus. To hear about more gifts that have impacted campus and to celebrate the completion of the Rising to Distinction campaign, join us September 23rd. Seating is limited so purchase your tickets today before they are gone! Yes, I want to celebrate!

DeLonais Gardens

The Frances Cohler Coffee Concert Series

An annual Friday noon Coffee Concert Series held at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls is now midway through its third year. The series features performances by UW-River Falls music faculty as well as guest artists from around the world. The concert schedule is located here.

In 2015, the series was named the Frances Cohler Coffee Concert Series in memory of New Richmond resident and music alumna Fran (McNamara) Cohler, '74. Naming of the series has been made possible through a generous donation from Mary Ella Jerome and her family foundation, to honor their life-long friendship and shared love of music that started at UW-River Falls.

Thanks to the generosity of Mary Ella Jerome, her family foundation, and other contributors the concert, held in the William W. Abbott Concert Hall in the Kleinpell Fine Arts Center, is free and open to all.

  • Frances Cohler Coffee Concert Series
  • Frances Cohler Coffee Concert Series
  • Frances Cohler Coffee Concert Series
  • Frances Cohler Coffee Concert Series
  • Frances Cohler Coffee Concert Series

The Glenn Potts Financial Trading Room

The Glenn Potts Financial Trading Room was named for the former dean of the College of Business and Economics (CBE) who retired in 2014 after 38 years at UWRF.

Jim Musel, a 1988 UWRF business and administration graduate, supported the trading room and the Bloomberg feed with $50,000 donation. With Jim's support and contributions from other UWRF alumni and staff, CBE was able to establish the Financial Trading Room and cover a couple of years of the ongoing cost of the room.

The Financial Trading Room is used for classes and by the UWRF student investment team. The students learn to manage money by managing fictitious portfolios for class; however, the UWRF student investment team are given real money to invest on behalf of the UWRF Foundation. Chris Regnier was the first student to become Bloomberg certified.

Here is a look at the Financial  Trading Room as posted on the CBE Facebook page. You can read more about the Financial Trading Room in the 2015 article by the Student Voice.

  • CBE Glenn Potts Financial Trading Room
  • CBE retired dean Glenn Potts
  • CBE Glenn Potts Financial Trading Room
  • CBE Glenn Potts Financial Trading Room
  • CBE Glenn Potts Financial Trading Room

The Dairy Pilot Plant Renovation

The Goals: modernize equipment, align dedicated spaces to better enhance the production and processing, construct a classroom/training area overlooking the cheese procession area.

The renovation of the Dairy Pilot Plant allows UW-River Falls the best prepare students for a successful future within the dairy product processing and manufacturing industry. Furthermore, UWRF Falcon Foods sells these student-made cheeses and ice cream. These products are in high demand from customers!

Learn more about the Dairy Pilot Plant Renovation here and read about the first million dollars in pledges made to this project here.

  • Dairy Pilot Plant
  • Dairy Pilot Plant
  • Dairy Pilot Plant
  • Dairy Pilot Plant
  • Dairy Pilot Plant
  • Dairy Pilot Plant
  • Dairy Pilot Plant
  • Dairy Pilot Plant

More Campaign News and Highlights

January 2016 - UWRF Reaches $20 Million Fundraising Milestone Six Months Early

September 2015 - David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field Rededicated

May 2015 - Online Giving Day a Huge Success

May 2015 - Butler named Distinguished Alumnus

April 2015 - Alumni Honored With Outstanding Young Alumni and Lifetime Achievement Awards

February 2015 - Daymond John of ABC's "Shark Tank" to Speak at UW-River Falls Scholarship Benefit

November 2014 - Scholarship Reception Brings Donors and Students Together; Record Setting Number of Scholarships and Total Dollars Distributed

October 2014 - Daymond John of ABC's "Shark Tank" to Speak at UW-River Falls Scholarship Benefit

May 2014 - Butler Challenges Others to Help Fund UW-River Falls Student Research in Europe

April 2014 - Groundbreaking for $63.5 Million Falcon Center Set for May 2

March 2014 - Pulitzer-Prize Winning Writer and Investigative Reporter Bob Woodward to Speak at UW-River Falls

February 2014 - UW-River Falls Dairy Pilot Plant Renovation Project Receives First $1 Million in Pledges

October 2013 - David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field to be Renovated

August 2012 - Ab Nicholas Honors Friend Don Page with a $750,000 gift to UW-River Falls Foundation

August 2012 - Former Chancellor Thibodeau Gives Back to UW-River Falls

April 2012 - UW-River Falls and UW-River Falls Foundation Announce First-Ever Comprehensive Fundraising Campaign

March 2012 -  Nilsestuen Endowment to Benefit UW-River Falls

January 2012 - UWRF Alumni Commit $400,000 to Falcon Scholars "Albrecht Challenge"