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The future Sage Hall

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation has surpassed its $20-million comprehensive pride.purpose.promise. capital campaign goal ahead of schedule, completing the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s first-ever campaign for capital improvements, expansion of high impact student and faculty collaborative learning programs and financial scholarships.

Launched in 2006, the multifaceted capital campaign targeted a $20 million goal over five years. With the support of more than 14,000 donors, the campaign eclipsed $21 million in just four and a half years. Originally, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation targeted a $24 million goal, but a reduction in State-required matching funds for one element of the campaign – UW Oshkosh’s first new academic building in 40 years — lowered it to $20 million.

“The impact of success this campaign fosters — in advancing our mission – will be felt long into the future,” said Arthur H. Rathjen, president of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation. “The dedication of our board members who led this effort and our donor partners who responded with their financial support provides a margin of excellence that enables Oshkosh to meet, head on, the challenges of our students and the opportunity to build on their potential.”

The pride.purpose.promise. capital campaign was UW Oshkosh’s first in its 140-year history, and its success is fulfilling UW Oshkosh’s role in the Wisconsin Growth Agenda. Private funding totaling $5 million supported the $48 million Sage Hall, the University’s first new academic building since 1971. The campaign further supported endowed scholarship support, high impact and collaborative learning programs and annual giving.

“The success of the capital campaign is integral to the success of UW Oshkosh,” said Chancellor Richard H. Wells. “As we continue to grow and attract increasingly high-caliber students, it is vital that we are able to offer them the state-of-the-art resources and high-quality faculty they have come to expect from higher education institutions.

The more-than 190,000-square-foot Sage Hall is scheduled to open its doors in fall 2011, with a public dedication ceremony on Friday, Sept. 23. The building will provide a contemporary home for the College of Business and numerous College of Letters and Science departments and program initiatives. It will feature sustainable, state-of-the-art classrooms, labs, project rooms, faculty offices and flexible space for community-based nonprofits and businesses to convene workshops and conferences. University-wide, Sage Hall will relieve crowding and provide opportunities for future renovations to update facilities for the Colleges of Nursing and Education and Human Services.

Meanwhile, the capital campaign secured $6 million for University scholarships, which make it possible for more students, including those with financial challenges, to attain a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The campaign also generated $5 million for high impact, collaborative learning programs which provide external “hands-on learning” experiences and for programmatic enhancements to give our alumni a competitive edge.

“We are pleased with the success of the pride.purpose.promise. campaign,” said Dave Omachinski, campaign co-chair. “Total dollars raised exceeded the goal by 5 percent, and the campaign is closing six months ahead of schedule.”

Campaign leaders said they are also pleased with the accomplishment given previous capital campaign successes and the historically challenging economic times.

“The more than $21 million was raised on the heels of a $6 million fundraising effort for the first phase of the Oshkosh Sports Complex, and we and our supporters undertook this campaign in the financial environment of the Great Recession,” said campaign co-chair William Raaths. “We are honored to have been participants in this extraordinary experience.”