On Sept. 12, UW Oshkosh celebrated its 150th anniversary, honoring the first day of classes in 1871 with a university-wide Giving Day started by the UW Oshkosh Office of Advancement, and raised $99,739.56.
“In recognition of UW Oshkosh’s Sesquicentennial, an endowment fund called the ‘150 fund’ was created within the UW Oshkosh foundation,” Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Development Lynn Kleman said. “This endowment fund will provide financial resources in perpetuity and will offer an opportunity for UW Oshkosh programs, departments and special projects to apply for funding to assist in their efforts.”
The main goal of the Give 150 fund is to enhance student experiences and opportunities while they are here.
The money will be used to “heighten students’ intellectual, cultural, and humane sensitivities; scientific, professional and technological expertise; and sense of purpose.” As well as “promote the University’s commitment to sustainability by embracing its dimensions of social justice, economic security and ecological integrity.”
The 24-hour goal was to reach $150,000 for the 150th, but the nearly $100,000 raised is still massively helpful to UWO.
Donations came in both big and small amounts, but every cent is valuable. Alumnus Jerry Gonyo ‘64 donated $50,000 to challenge others to give on Giving Day.
“His excitement in honoring the sesquicentennial with this challenge gift catapulted the day into the next level,” Kleman said. “We are thankful for all who made gifts on that day and will continue to celebrate their generosity in the year to come.”
Gonyo has been a great contributor in support of UWO. His charitable gifts since 2005 have supported a variety of initiatives and events.
“Over the past several years in my active donation efforts I have tried to tie strings to my donations which resulted in programs and efforts that supported dedicated efforts,” Gonyo said in a UW Oshkosh Today interview. “My current donation has the strings tied to keeping the 150th anniversary spirit of UWO.”
UWO is looking to make this an annual event.
“We are excited at the opportunity of making Giving Day an annual event to commemorate the first day of classes at UW Oshkosh,” Kleman said. “September 12 is a special day on this campus and we have the chance to keep it in the forefront of our minds forever.”