July 30, 2015
Dear Faculty and Staff,
I am delighted to announce that Sheldon and Marianne Lubar are donating $10 million to UWM to establish the Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship and UWM Welcome Center. We have issued a news release and are hosting a news conference at 10:30 a.m. today, but I wanted to share this exceptional news with you before then.
Student success is our top strategic thrust. It is critical for our students and alumni to be entrepreneurial, innovative thinkers. The Lubars’ generous support will go a long way to impact our students, faculty, staff as well as our regional and state economies.
The Center will be located at the northwest corner of Kenwood and Maryland and will provide a new face to the south entry of the campus. Serving as UWM’s “front door,” the building also will be home to a new welcome center, which will be the first stop for prospective students and others visiting UWM. We are excited that the first place prospective students visit will include the Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship. The spirit of innovation will infuse and inspire their education here.
The Center will incorporate and encourage entrepreneurial activities within and among all 14 of our schools and colleges, including interdisciplinary and social entrepreneurship programs. We have several examples of where vibrant entrepreneurial activities already exist: in the Peck School of the Arts, Lubar School of Business, School of Information Studies, and the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences, to name just a few.
The Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship is a $25 million initiative that will leverage support from multiple sources to support facilities, programs and faculty. The Lubars’ extraordinary $10 million gift will be used to establish and operate the Center and its classes, programs and activities. Additionally, the UW System committed $10 million over several years. We are seeking $5 million in philanthropic contributions to complete the $25 million funding, which may be associated with naming rights for other elements of the Entrepreneurship Center and the new Welcome Center in the KIRC.
A center director will oversee and coordinate the center’s programs with faculty members already engaged in entrepreneurship at UWM. The center’s activities will include leading an effort to expand “ideas challenge” courses that pair entrepreneurship activities with existing curriculum. The classes will be interactive, team-oriented and project-based. The center also will bring in speakers and develop educational programming to support entrepreneurial learning and help build skills.
The Lubars have expressed their steadfast belief in UWM and our importance for the health of the state of Wisconsin. Please join me in thanking the Lubars for their extraordinary generosity and support. The strength in our partnerships and collaborations around innovation and entrepreneurship will have far-reaching impact. This new Center is a prime example of how we can do things differently to build a UWM of strength in our new age of growing our own resources.
Mark A. Mone