UWM business alum gives a second $1 million to athletics, challenges others

Milwaukee entrepreneur Fred Sitzberger has pledged $1 million to the UWM Foundation in support of Milwaukee Panther Athletics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

This is Sitzberger’s second million-dollar gift to the program since 2016, when he made a seven-figure contribution to the university’s record-breaking fundraising effort, Made in Milwaukee, Shaping the World: The Campaign for UWM. He hopes the new gift will encourage others to support UWM as well.

“Fred is a standout alumnus, and I am deeply grateful to him for his enthusiasm, generosity and vision,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said. “As a Division I university, UWM is committed to having a strong athletics program that will help us attract and retain students and energize our campus and community. Fred understands the importance of philanthropic support in making our teams the best they can be.”

Sitzberger’s gift will support the Panther men’s basketball program and the Athletics Department Excellence Fund, an unrestricted fund that helps all Panther student-athletes. In recognition of his generosity, the university plans to name a space within the new Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Center in his honor.

“I am not an athlete, but I firmly believe that a strong athletics program can help shine a light on what a wonderful institution UW-Milwaukee is at the local, state and national levels,” Sitzberger said. “UWM provided me a good education at a good price. It was a small-town, caring atmosphere where the professors took an interest in you. Because of that caring, I worked hard and received a great job at one the best companies in my accounting field. I attained a level of success I could not have imagined in college, and it was because of UWM. That is why I give back.”

A U.S. Army veteran, Sitzberger earned his degree in accounting at UWM’s Lubar School of Business in 1978. He began his career at Ernst & Young and went on to found Sitzberger & Company, growing it to the four-county region’s 10th largest accounting practice through the acquisition of 22 firms. He sold the business and his payroll company, Payroll Care, while retaining his real estate and investment management firm, Bultman Investment Management.

Sitzberger has served many years as a volunteer for the UWM Alumni Association Board of Trustees and the UWM Foundation Board of Directors. In April, he was awarded the UWM Distinguished Alumni Service Award for his dedication to the university.

“As we can see from Fred’s winning career of building businesses, he did not reach his level of success without setting goals and being driven; Fred is a competitor,” Director of Athletics Amanda Braun said. “Fred also has a heart of gold, and his loyalty, commitment and desire to see UWM become better and better is unwavering. On behalf of Milwaukee Panther Athletics, I am sincerely grateful to Fred for his friendship and his transformational generosity.”