Mark Irgens, the chief executive officer and president of Wauwatosa-based real estate development firm Irgens, and his wife Susan have donated $2 million to the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the center announced Wednesday. The funds will be used to endow the center’s executive directorship.
Mark and Susan Irgens are UW-Madison alumni.
“I received a public education all the way through,” Mark Irgens said. “It’s important to protect, reinforce and even enhance these institutions that create value and give people a start.”
The Graaskamp Center works to link faculty, students, alumni, the professional community, government agencies and the general public.
“Real estate development is an in-the-trenches, duke-it-out type job,” Irgens said, “But if you have the sophistication and skills that you learn at the business school and through Graaskamp, it helps you perform at a far higher level. Education is a huge difference-maker in people’s lives. With a good education, you can become anything. Making a gift to something that made such a big change in our lives was a natural choice.”