The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation recently launched the 1871 Society, a new fundraising push named in honor of the year the University began and focused on bringing critical scholarship resources to meet the needs of students.
The membership is a three-year commitment of $1,871 annually. The Foundation’s goal is to have 53 donors join the society in the first year. The Foundation will provide a first-year match of $1,871 for each of the 53—adding $100,000 to student scholarship funds.
“Knowing that UWO has continued to need flexibility to give student support through scholarships, the UWO Foundation felt it was time to create a giving vehicle for alumni and donors to directly assist UWO in that way,” said Greg Giles ‘91, executive director of the UW Oshkosh Foundation.
The society will aid general scholarship funding at UW Oshkosh, which helps the University with recruitment and retention. It will supplement existing scholarship funds and boost scholarships for incoming first-year students at the Oshkosh campus, incoming transfer students and access campus students.
Donations to the 1871 Society will, for example, help fund the Titan Promise Incoming Freshman Scholarship. The award considers the incoming student’s academic history, grade-point average, extracurricular participation, community involvement and financial need. This year, UW Oshkosh will be able to provide 88 incoming first-year students with awards of $2,000. In spring 2022 it gave $1,000 awards to 100 students.
First-year biomedical science major Aaron Davis of Muscoda received a $1,000 scholarship.
“I am beyond thankful to receive this scholarship,” Davis said. “It will not only help relieve some of the stress of paying for college but it also provides another reason to make me focus more on continuing my education. UW Oshkosh is a place where I will be investing the next four years of my life and it feels good to know that it is also investing in me.”
The 1871 Society and its members will allow UWO to support more students like Davis.
A pledge for the future
The society already has a handful of members, including Janet Tierney, a 2010 UWO graduate who worked one full-time and two part-time jobs to afford her high-quality education at UW Oshkosh, and is now a sought-after strategy consultant.
“Joining the 1871 Society was a simple decision. It will generate money for unrestricted scholarships that can be given to new students, returning students and struggling students like me who would have appreciated any amount of scholarship support,” she said. “I am proud to be able to support the next generation of students at UWO, and I can’t wait to see what they achieve.”
Society members will enjoy added benefits. Along with the first-year match of $1,871, donors will receive an 1871 Society pin, communications from the Foundation and UWO about how their dollars are impacting students, and more. Starting in year two, the Foundation will host a special recognition event for 1871 Society members.
The 1871 Society will have a lasting impact on UW Oshkosh. “This effort is a great way for us to grow a deeper connection with our alumni and donors,” Giles said. “It is a way for everyone to give back to an institution that is an important driver for the entire Fox Valley region. Through the 1871 Society we can directly help students succeed for decades to come.”
To learn more about the 1871 Society or to become a member go to uwo.sh/1871society.
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