Alumni Outlook Magazine



This report provides an opportunity to share the wonderful news that the Stout University Foundation is observing its 50th anniversary.

The articles of incorporation for the Stout Development Associates, our predecessor organization, were signed March 21, 1962. Early donations totaled about $1,000. From that vision has evolved a vital, strong and growing nonprofit organization with total assets of more than $37 million as of June 30, 2012.

We began celebrating the 50th anniversary April 26 with a campuswide open house at the Louis Smith Tainter House. We also will be celebrating with board members, former board presidents and former executive directors during a reception Sept. 13 at the Foundation’s scholarship event.

I am particularly pleased to have this opportunity to serve as executive director. With the retirement of David Williams as vice chancellor and executive director, as well as several other staffing transitions the last two years, the Foundation staff has experienced significant turnover. I am very grateful for David’s advice and counsel and for the excellent staff of the Foundation, who have all contributed to making this transition in leadership reasonably smooth.

While our staffing remains lean in comparison to peers due to budget constraints, I have been very impressed with the solid fundraising results. At the center of our efforts is the Stout Annual Fund. Through our campus call center, 20 students attempt to personally reach nearly all alumni, friends and families of UW-Stout, generating more than $200,000 annually. Gifts to the college campaigns not only support programs but professional development opportunities for students, undergraduate research and many other campus programs.

Another historic measure of the Foundation’s impact is in the area of scholarship fundraising, which has taken on even greater importance as state funding has declined and tuition steadily has risen. Last year the Foundation provided more than $600,000 in student scholarships, and we have redoubled our efforts, as reported in a related article in this publication.

Perhaps the greatest measure of the Foundation’s fundraising success this past year is in the area of planned giving, which accounted for approximately $2 million of estate and gift commitments. You can read about two such stories on our website at We truly appreciate all who have included the Foundation in their will or estate plan, and it is our honor to recognize them by membership in the prestigious Bowman Society, which has 136 members.

In conclusion, I’d like to share comments by Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen about the Foundation on its 50th anniversary: “Many of the advances we have seen on campus have been accomplished with the help of the Foundation. And now, more than ever, we need the Foundation’s resources to help maintain the quality of education at UW-Stout.”

This strong affirmation by Chancellor Sorensen, who has worked so effectively and collaboratively with Foundation leadership over his 24-year tenure, also clearly contains a challenge to press on with our important work, which helps ensure the highest quality learning experience for future generations of students.