The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation and division of Institutional Advancement focuses on fundraising, community- and relationship-building, marketing and storytelling. Our job is sharing the good work of our University/campus community.
On a daily basis, we are building websites for academic and administrative departments, employing STEP students through this high-impact student employment program, hiring faculty and students through our Business Success Center to assist organizations and businesses in the New North, raising funds for new scholarships, helping donor-partners complete their planned giving/estate gifts, enhancing alumni communications by expanding use of video, mobile apps and social media networks (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter), and educating 200 UW System communicators as we help host the annual UW System IMC Conference.
Building Community Connections
Beyond these accounts of good work, we are also working hard to build community connections. Among the exciting things we’ve undertaken this past year, three projects stand out:
Alumni Welcome and Conference Center
In late 2012, we formally broke ground for the UW Oshkosh Alumni Welcome and Conference Center. A $12 million state-of-the-art, 39,000-square-foot facility – UW Oshkosh’s “new front door” – will live along the southern edge of campus along the Fox River. The Welcome Center will include lots of beautiful spaces such as a great hall for receptions, a larger ballroom, breakout meeting rooms and an executive board room, making it the ideal spot for meetings, educational conferences, lectures, corporate dinners and numerous private events. Learn more about the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center.
Oshkosh Premier Waterfront Hotel
Collaborating with the Batley Management Group and Pfefferle Companies, Inc., this past February, the downtown hotel (formerly City Center Hotel) was purchased through a partnership between the UWO Foundation and these two local hoteliers from the Fox Valley. Located at the river’s edge of downtown Main St., the Foundation’s most public-facing, community-focused project ever will renovate this 179 room facility into a beautiful, updated, 4-star business hotel our community and University can be proud of! Once renovations are finished next spring, the full-service business hotel will offer renovated rooms and suites, a new waterfront restaurant and another source of pride for the growing conference and convention business that complements our community.
Rosendale Dairy Biodigester
And finally, in an effort to assist our University with its sustainability program as well as expand student learning and community outreach involving environmental and biosolids research, the Foundation launch its latest effort in partnership with MilkSource, LLC, to construct the Rosendale Dairy Biodigester (BD2). Similar to the technology that currently powers our “first-in-the-Americas” Biodigester I (located just west of the campus services building), this facility will use cattle waste for energy/electricity production just as the BDI facility uses campus/community food and yard waste and turns it into electricity and heat. This is a large-scale energy production facility — in partnership with Wisconsin’s largest dairy farm – will produce more energy [seven times more] than our first energy facility will significantly enhance UW Oshkosh research opportunities for faculty and students.
We’ll continue our commitment to increasing alumni engagement, participation rate and donor retention, we’ll continue to facilitate scholarship donor-recipient connections and expand the Foundation’s planned giving program, we’ll grow our brand platform and external relations strategy to ensure that a more effective centralized model supports the messaging coming out of UW Oshkosh and we’ll continue our ramped up efforts in working with admissions – both undergraduate and graduate. We will also continue to launch more websites, invite new guests to campus to see all the great things we have going on and work our way into solidifying more business collaborations and partnerships.