The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has received a $1 million gift from Billie Kubly to establish the Dr. Michael C. Kubly Military & Veterans Mental Health Endowment in honor of her late husband, a veteran and orthopedic surgeon in Milwaukee.
The endowment will fund military and veteran mental health research, programming and service delivery at UWM through its Military and Veterans Resource Center.
Billie and Michael Kubly established a public charity, the Charles E. Kubly Foundation, to support mental health awareness and suicide prevention after their son Charlie died by suicide in 2003.
The couple has since made several gifts to the region’s universities to support campus mental health resources, including a $5 million gift to establish the Charles E. Kubly Mental Health Research Center at Marquette University and a $500,000 gift to establish the Billie (Wenger) Kubly Endowed Fund at Mount Mary University. In recent years, the couple also gave $2.5 million to support a Rogers Memorial Hospital program that treats young adults with depression and mood disorders.
“Our soldiers make so many sacrifices,” Billie Kubly said. “Veterans and military personnel have unique challenges regarding mental health, and it was important to me to address that. UWM is a leader in serving veterans, and I am confident that many students there will be helped by this gift. This is my way of honoring Michael’s memory and his service to our country.”
The gift supports UWM’s ongoing $200 million fundraising effort.
UWM is involved with several initiatives related to veterans and mental health, including its partnerships with the Medical College of Wisconsin and Milwaukee VA Medical Center on Project 22, which focuses on veteran suicide awareness and prevention; the Wisconsin Warrior Summit, which provides resources to veterans and their families; the Veterans Health Coalition, which connects agencies that can help veterans and their families; and the annual VA Mental Health Summit.
UWM hosted the sixth annual VA Mental Health Summit on Saturday, with a focus this year on African American veterans.
“I am deeply grateful to Mrs. Kubly for so generously supporting our military personnel and veterans here at UWM,” Chancellor Mark Mone said. “UWM educates more veterans than any other college or university in Wisconsin. Our Military and Veterans Resource Center helps these students address their unique challenges and transition successfully to the workplace. Mental health is a key part of that, and Mrs. Kubly’s gift will provide long-term support for this critical area.”