Alan Kulwicki, BSE ’77, Inducted into NASCAR Hall of Fame; New UWM Kulwicki Garage “Thinkerspace” Honors Legacy

Photo courtesy of ISC Archives via Getty Images


Kulwicki’s Impact

In 1977, Alan Kulwicki graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a BS in mechanical engineering. He would apply his degree to his skill in racecar driving to achieve success on the track. Kulwicki was on the cutting edge of an increasing emphasis on technology in the sport. Less than ten years later, in 1986, Kulwicki would be named NASCAR Rookie of the Year and would go on to win the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup by the then-closest margin in NASCAR history.

Despite his death in a plane crash in 1993, Kulwicki’s name and legacy live on. On February 1, 2019, Kulwicki was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

 Getting the education may have put me behind schedule a few years with my racing career, but it is paying off . . . It has definitely been essential in the success of operating my own team. It’s an asset that I’m proud of. 

– ALAN KULWICKI, on his UWM education

We’re Almost There! Support Alan Kulwicki’s Legacy at UWM


Help preserve Alan’s legacy at UWM by supporting the Kulwicki Garage renovation. To make the Kulwicki Garage a reality, $3,100 (of $59,000 total cost) in additional funding support is needed.

Please consider honoring Alan’s legacy with any size gift.


Share your memory of Alan Kulwicki or receive updates on the reimagined Kulwicki Garage.



Jean Opitz, Development Director
(414) 229-5603


Kulwicki’s UWM Legacy: Inspiring Student Innovators

In 2013, Kulwicki’s stepmother, Thelma H. Kulwicki, provided funding to establish the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Student Center, affectionately known as the Pit Stop. This space is located on the first floor of UWM’s Engineering & Mathematical Sciences building, and is a meeting space and occasional classroom.

To transform it into an innovative workspace able to meet the needs of more of today’s student innovators a remodel and refresh is needed.

To honor Kulwicki’s induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Pit Stop is being reimagined as the Kulwicki Garage. This flexible place, where students in engineering and other disciplines can collaborate and innovate, is being called a “thinkerspace”; it will be used as a non-traditional classroom with many possibilities for other public events, including pop-up workshops, speaker series, entrepreneur-in-residence “office hours” and student meet-up sessions.

Replacing the front wall with a garage door will expand the capacity–and invite more students, visitors and industry partners to stop in. The Kulwicki Garage will have tools for creative thinking and collaborative problem-solving, such as massive wall-mounted whiteboards, low-resolution prototyping materials for conceptual design and idea sharing, audio-video equipment for sharing design research and ideas and movable flexible furniture allowing for various room configurations.

In the spirit of open innovation, the UWM Kulwicki Garage honors Alan Kulwicki — the impact of his college education and unique path to success — and inspires today’s student innovators.


 An Inspired Vision for the New Kulwicki Garage