UWL Foundation President Greg Reichert, Development Officer Jay Scott talk Student Center Name


Photos left to right: Noah Finco, www.uwlax.edu

Noah Finco, University Government Reporter

UWL Foundation President and Vice Chancellor of University Advancement Greg Reichert and UWL Foundation Development Officer Jay Scott visited the Student Association Senate meeting Wednesday, Oct. 19, at Port O’ Call, Cartwright Center. Much of their discussion with student senators was about the naming of the New Student Center as well as the UWL Foundation’s efforts to increase scholarships for UWL students.

While the naming of the actual building is up to the Student Association, there are 22 rooms in the new student center that donors are able to name once they’ve donated the necessary amount. The prices for the naming rights of a room range between $25,000 and $500,000 with a $2 million price tag on the name of the entire building. “There are three legs of funding for a public university,” explained Scott “There’s the state, the students, and philanthropy (donors).” With cuts to state funding and the tuition freeze going into its fourth year, UWL has focused more of their efforts on getting funding through donations. There is a potential $4.5 million that could come from naming opportunities in the New Student Center which would produce about $220,000 a year for the UWL Foundation Scholarship Fund.

In 2013, the UWL Foundation sought to raise $15 million over seven years for scholarships. This campaign would double the amount of scholarships available if successful. A majority of the donations for this fund come from UWL Alumni thanks to the work of people like Scott who call alumni, give tours and meet with local businesses to encourage donations. “When I started here in 2010, the UWL Foundation was giving out $500,000 in scholarships,” stated Reichert. “In six years we have brought that up to $1 million.” Reichert predicts they will surpass $8 million total in funding by the end of the fiscal year. This puts them well on track to reach $15 million in the remaining three years of the campaign.

The UWL Foundation has yet to have a donor come forward willing to pay the $2 million asking price necessary to name the New Student Center. Until that happens, the responsibility for the naming of the building rests with the UWL Student Association. The senators have been brainstorming names for the student center with some of the most popular being “Driftless Commons” (a reference to the Driftless Region in which La Crosse is situated), “Three Rivers Student Union”, “Aquila Student Union” (Aquila is Latin for Eagle) and “Eagles Landing”. The Student Association plans on sending out a survey to the UWL student body to gather their ideas for naming the building. “The whole process is totally open. A student who’s not a part of the Student Association has as much say as a student senator,” stated Student Association President Jacob Schimmel. There will be an Eagle Round-Table Wednesday, Nov. 2, with Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Paula Knudson where students will be encouraged to bring their name ideas. “This is a building by students, for students and we are excited to hear their ideas and input,” said Student Association Vice President Patrick Brever.

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