MILWAUKEE _ A $1 million gift from James and Yvonne Ziemer to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing will strengthen UWM’s ability to fill a growing nursing shortage in Wisconsin. The gift will fund a clinical simulation center on the university’s Kenwood Campus, which is home to Wisconsin’s largest nursing program. The James and Yvonne Ziemer Clinical Simulation Center will enable the college to increase its in-demand training programs by up to 30 percent, providing UWM nursing students with state of the art experiential learning in simulated clinical settings.
UWM Chancellor Mark Mone described the Ziemers’ gift as “transformational,” both for UWM and the region.
“The new James and Yvonne Ziemer Clinical Simulation Center will be a place for innovative clinical learning, not only for our nursing students, but for students from our College of Health Sciences, and from many other UWM Schools and Colleges,” Mone said. “Integrated professional development at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary learning will be made possible here.”
“We are so grateful to the Ziemers for their vision and extraordinary generosity,” added Sally Lundeen, dean of the College of Nursing. “Their gift in support of the simulation center assures us that our College of Nursing will remain among the top nursing education programs in the country for many years to come and will provide the cornerstone for innovative interprofessional health education and research.”
Named after James Ziemer, a three-time UWM alumnus and the former CEO and president of Harley-Davidson, Inc., and his wife, the center will provide a “real world” environment for teaching, learning, and research where students are trained in patient care through use of models, manikins, medical equipment and living patients.
“This gift expresses our hope that our children, and our grandchildren, and all families within our community, will have access to the highest quality nursing care,” the Ziemers explained in a joint statement.
“We know that UWM has outstanding students and faculty, and they need our support to expand their capacity to meet the workforce needs of the future,” adds the couple, who live in the greater Milwaukee area. They have two daughters, Caryn and Lisa, and five grandchildren.
About James and Yvonne Ziemer
James Ziemer received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from UWM in 1975 and his executive MBA in 1986. He was awarded an honorary PhD by the Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business in 2008. In 2009, James retired as CEO and president of Harley-Davidson, Inc. He previously served as vice president and chief financial officer of the company from December 1990 to April 2005 and president of The Harley-Davidson Foundation from 1993 to 2006. James and his wife, Yvonne, will make their gift through the James and Yvonne Ziemer Family Foundation. James and Yvonne raised two daughters in Waukesha, Caryn and Lisa, and are proud grandparents to five grandchildren.
As Wisconsin’s only public urban research university, UWM has established an international reputation for excellence in research, community engagement, teaching and entrepreneurism. UWM educates more than 28,000 students on an operating budget of $546 million, an amount that does not include federal financial aid passed through to students. The Princeton Review named UWM a “2015 Best in the Midwest” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews. An engine for innovation in southeastern Wisconsin, UWM’s economic impact is more than $1.5 billion per year in Wisconsin alone.