UWM goes public with $200 million fundraising campaign

More than $170 million raised since 2012

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is looking to raise another $30 million to complete a comprehensive fundraising campaign started quietly in July 2012.

A Continuum Architects + Planners rendering of the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center. The Lubars’ $10 million gift to start the center is part of $170 million raised in UWM’s current fundraising campaign.

Chancellor Mark Mone announced the fundraising goal during a kickoff celebration for the public phase of the effort Monday at the We Energies Public Service Building.

“This is a pivotal moment in UWM’s history,” Mone said, noting the university is now 61 years old and has become nationally recognized in research and a number of student programs. “With this campaign, we are building on that momentum and strengthening UWM.”

The campaign, called Made in Milwaukee, Shaping the World: The Campaign for UWM, is the largest in the university’s history. The $200 million target doubles the original $100 million goal of UWM’s previous fundraising campaign, which ended in 2008 with $120 million raised. The previous campaign went public when it was around 45 percent complete, according to the university’s office of development.

The quiet phase of the current fundraising effort started in July 2012 and has raised more than $170 million to date. The campaign has received donations from more than 17,000 donors, including 48 donors who contributed more than $1 million.

After revealing the university had raised nearly $170.5 million since 2012, Mone announced Rockwell Automation committed Monday to providing $1.7 million to help launch a connected systems institute at UWM.

In an interview after the announcement, Mone said the institute would eventually have a physical space, likely in the east wing of the Golda Meir Library. Other elements of the institute could be at Rockwell facilities or at other partner institutions.

He said the institute will require a $5 million to $10 million endowment, with funding raised over the next year to three years. Plans for the institute will be finalized in the fall and next spring with curriculum being developed over the next year to 18 months.

The institutes programing will be focused on education, research and working with businesses. Mone said the institute would work to help founding members and participating companies solve issues related to industry 4.0, smart factories and the Internet of Things.

“They’re trying to solve a lot of different issues whether it’s on the factory floor or all the way through how the whole supply chain works and integrating and connecting things upstream and downstream,” Mone said.

Blake Moret, Rockwell chairman and chief executive officer, said the technologies and skills are already in demand today and it makes sense to work with the university that produces more of its hires than any others.

“Working with academia, particularly a strong local partner, on the technology as well as the business is something that we really value,” Moret said. “It’s a strong partnership and we’re taking steps to make it even stronger for Rockwell, for UWM and for the community.”

Other major gifts for the overall campaign have included $10 million from Marianne and Sheldon Lubar to establish the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center and $5 million from Mary and Ted Kellner through the Kelben Foundation to support faculty scholarships and entrepreneurship.

The Lubars and Kellners are serving as volunteer co-chairs for the campaign along with Michael Falbo, regent emeritus of the UW System; Sheila Falbo, community volunteer; Douglas Hagerman, retired senior vice president of Rockwell Automation; Gale Klappa, chairman of WEC Energy Group; Beth Pritchard, principal and strategic adviser of Sunrise Beauty Studio; W. John Pritchard, partner at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP; Lorin Radtke, retired partner of Goldman Sachs; and Jim Ziemer, retired president and CEO of Harley-Davidson Inc.

“Marianne and I believe that education and entrepreneurial thinking are the pathways to a happy, productive and rewarding life,” Sheldon Lubar said. “UWM makes a tremendous impact on southeastern Wisconsin, and support for this university is an investment in our region.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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