Whitewater kicks off fund drive
Campaign to finance new business school leaps forward
The campaign to raise $3.5 million in private contributions for a new business building at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater began with considerable momentum with the recent announcement of leadership gifts totaling more than $2 million.
That total includes two major contributions from David and Lolita Kachel of Whitewater, and Doug and Barbara Timmerman of Madison.
The Timmermans, co-chairs of the "Beyond Tradition" fundraising committee, said the new business building is critical to the future of the College of Business and Economics.
"Whitewater has established a great tradition of excellence in business," said Doug Timmerman, a 1962 business graduate and president of Anchor Bank in Madison. "Our business programs have been recognized around the world. Now we must make the commitment to build a facility that reflects our quality and continues that tradition of excellence."
"We’re here together at this campaign kickoff to work as a team," Barbara Timmerman, also a 1962 business graduate, said in the gift announcement. "We’re here because we’ve made a commitment that is a reflection of our affection for the university and because of the value we’ve placed on our education here."
The Kachels, Whitewater business leaders and longtime supporters of the university, said they want to help UW-Whitewater remain strong.
"The university means a lot to our family," said David Kachel. "We run a small business, and we want to see the university continue to teach and train students to meet the needs of small businesses. Not every graduate is going to go out and work for a large company. Most will work for a small company or start their own small business."
"Running our business has been an important part of our lives," said Lolita Kachel, a 1950 UW-Whitewater College of Business graduate. "We both went to business school here, and we want Whitewater to continue to be a top-notch business school."
"We are extremely fortunate to be this far along in fundraising early on in the campaign," UW-Whitewater Chancellor Jack Miller said. "We’re starting off with a great deal of momentum to get the job done."
Miller said no other UW System campus other than Madison has ever raised more than $1 million for an academic building. "We were willing to take on the challenge of raising over $3 million privately and to use our own funds to pay for the planning of the building," he said.
Earlier this summer, the State Building Commission unanimously voted to approve the planning phase.
The new building, which will be more than 120,000 square feet and cost an estimated $30.5 million, will house all of the instructional, academic support and community service programs for the college. It will also contain a new Technology, Workforce and Economic Development Center that will provide comprehensive service to southern Wisconsin businesses.
"We’re currently spread throughout three buildings on campus," said college Dean Christine Clements. "With everyone together in one location, we’ll have the type of interaction that fosters innovation and growth."
UW-Whitewater currently has the largest undergraduate business program in the state and is among the 30 largest in the country, Clements said.
"But to stay competitive and to continue our strong partnerships with business and industry, our facility needs to be capable of providing students with the tools and experiences they’ll need to succeed in the business world," she said.
Aug. 22, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee