UWM raises $251 million in historic fundraising campaign

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone announced Thursday that UWM raised more than a quarter of a billion dollars during its multiyear, university-wide fundraising effort – Made in Milwaukee, Shaping the World: The Campaign for UWM.

The $251 million total amount raised is 25% higher than the university’s $200 million goal, which was announced publicly in 2017. This was the largest campaign ever undertaken at UWM.

“I am profoundly grateful to our donors for the tremendous success of this campaign,” Mone said. “Their generosity will benefit our students, research and community engagement for years to come. UWM has made extraordinary strides during this campaign. We’ve opened new spaces, launched major initiatives, and helped thousands of students through scholarships. Our campaign co-chairs, campaign cabinet members and our development team led by Patricia Borger, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations, all deserve special recognition for this remarkable achievement. I am so thankful to all of these people for advancing our great university.”

More than 21,000 donors contributed to the campaign, and nearly half (49%) were first-time donors. More than 70,000 gifts were received, with UWM alumni giving the largest percentage (27%), followed by corporations (22%), individuals (20%), not-for-profit organizations (17%) and foundations (14%).

More than a third (39%) of the total raised came through gifts of $1 million or more, and 78 donors contributed at least $1 million during the campaign. More than $36 million came through estate gifts.

“Donors play a critical role in the health of a university,” Vice Chancellor Borger said. “The outpouring of support from UWM’s alumni, friends, faculty and staff, as well as from businesses and foundations, is inspiring. Our campaign co-chairs generated passion through their significant gifts and enthusiastic leadership. I am deeply grateful for everyone who took part in this campaign.”

During the campaign, UWM opened two new buildings on its main campus – the Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Center as well as the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center and UWM Welcome Center – and an addition to the Klotsche Center was recently announced. Major initiatives launched during the campaign included the Connected Systems Institute and the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute. All of these were made possible in part by generous support from donors.

Volunteer co-chairs to the campaign included Michael Falbo, regent emeritus of the UW System; Sheila Falbo, community volunteer; Douglas Hagerman, retired senior vice president of Rockwell Automation; Mary Kellner (’78, ’19), president of the Kelben Foundation; Ted Kellner, chairman and CEO of T&M Partners LLC; Gale Klappa (’72, ’11), executive chairman of WEC Energy Group; Marianne Lubar (’13), president of the Lubar Family Foundation; Sheldon Lubar (’88), founder and chairman of Lubar & Co.; Beth Pritchard (’69), principal and strategic advisor of Sunrise Beauty Studio; W. John Pritchard (’69), partner at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP; Lorin Radtke (’90), retired partner of Goldman Sachs; and Jim Ziemer (’75, ’86, ’08), retired president and CEO of Harley-Davidson.

To learn more about UWM’s campaign or to read stories of impact, visit uwm.edu/give.