Chris Enciso Reno and Diana Enciso (Lopez) Reno came to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh at different times, with different backgrounds and with plans to pursue different professions.
But both were first-generation college students who found a community in Oshkosh. They were both heavily involved on campus, emerging as leaders of student groups and organizing or taking part in a variety of multicultural events. So it makes sense that when Chris, who earned a physical education degree in 2015, and Diana, who graduated with bachelor’s degrees in accounting and French in 2018, started to bump into each other in the library or at different gatherings, they hit it off.
Now married and living in Milwaukee, Diana works as a tax senior at Ernst & Young (EY); and Chris is a physical education teacher at Hmong American Peace Academy. The two had such positive, life-changing experiences at UW Oshkosh that, while still in the early years of their careers, they felt it was important to give back to the institution that supported them, helped them find the resources they need and guided them on their paths to success.
“UW Oshkosh is not only focused on academics, but they’re also focused on preparing you for the real world,” said Diana, who was hired by EY after first having an internship with the firm—an example of real-world experience required by the College of Business before graduation.
Diana and Chris now are inaugural members of the UW Oshkosh Foundation Annual Giving Society—a way for them to help the University continue to provide those life-changing opportunities for students.
They’ve seen first-hand how the generosity of others can lift up students. Both came from low-income households.
Chris for years was raised in a single-parent household, and Diana is a child of immigrants. Through a combination of hard work, discipline, scholarships and other opportunities, they financially and academically reached their goals.
Now they are paying it forward. Their yearly donation of between $1,000 and $9,999 puts them in what’s known as the Titan Circle giving level. Other levels include the Dean Circle, for annual gifts of $10,000 to $24,999; and the Chancellor Circle, for annual gifts of more than $25,000.
The UW Oshkosh Advancement Office and the UW Oshkosh Foundation partnered to create the Annual Giving Society as a way to recognize alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends who generously provide support to the University. These donors understand the importance of giving each year and how their contributions can continue to steer UWO forward.
The Annual Giving Society can help the University enhance student success, promote academic excellence and impact the community. The Advancement Office and Foundation hope to show appreciation to the annual donors, engaging with them on campus and creating a culture of involvement—and giving them a chance to see firsthand the benefits of their donations.
“We are very excited to roll out the UWO Foundation Annual Giving Society, which allows us the opportunity to recognize our donors for their annual and continued support to UWO and the students we serve,” said Lynn Kleman ‘86, MPA ‘17, executive director of development and special events.
Each giving level comes with a number of benefits, including visits with University leadership and Advancement staff and an invitation to an annual special donor recognition event.
“The giving society provides an opportunity to celebrate our donors in several different ways throughout the year. Each giving level offers unique experiences and opportunities for a donor to see the true impact of their gift by engaging with the students, faculty and leadership of UW Oshkosh.”
To learn more about the Annual Giving Society, visit uwo.sh/giving-society.
‘They have a story’
Diana Enciso (Lopez) Reno ’18, also launched her own scholarship to financially assist highly motivated undergraduate students pursuing a business degree. The scholarship gives preference to students who are first-generation, part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, international, a working parent, veteran or non-traditional and have financial need based on a statement.
“I tried to target individuals who on paper might not look like a high achiever for one reason or another,” she said, “but they have a story and they could use those funds.”
For more information, visit uwosh.edu/admissions.
More from Titan magazine:
- Chancellor’s message: The classroom is just one conduit to a life-changing UWO experience
- Model of success: UWO’s tradition of Model UN excellence remains undebatable
- Encore! Gymnastics’ national championship among spring athletics highlights
- #TitansAre: Leaders, researchers and champions
- Alumni awardees: Outstanding, accomplished, distinguished