The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation and division of Institutional Advancement focuses on fundraising, community- and relationship-building, marketing and storytelling. Our job is building relationships and 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 scholarships and programs, 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), educating UW System communicators as we help host the annual UW System IMC Conference, and hosting the annual Community Breakfast in celebration of collaboration.
Beyond these accounts of good work, we are also working hard to build community connections. Among the exciting things we’ve recently undertaken, these projects stand out:
- Alumni Welcome and Conference Center
This $13 million state-of-the-art, 39,000-square-foot facility – UW Oshkosh’s “new front door” is located on the southern edge of campus along the Fox River. Its inviting ambiance and convenient location will welcome prospective students and parents to campus and provide a venue for our more than 80,000 alumni, 13,500 students and 15,000 visitors to stay connected. The Welcome Center will offer 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.
In the first quarter of 2014, the Welcome Center will become home to the Advancement Division’s Foundation, Office of Alumni Relations and Business Success Center. It will house satellite offices for Admissions and it will provide space as an engagement hub aligning business leaders with faculty, staff and student expertise for economic exploration, education and effective solution generation to critical issues, challenges and opportunities. Learn more about the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center.
- Rosendale Dairy Biodigester
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held December 11, 2013 at the site of UW Oshkosh’s third biodigester, located at Rosendale Dairy in Pickett, the largest dairy farm in Wisconsin. The facility serves as both a renewable waste-to-energy plant and a learning and research lab that will prepare new waves of environmental and renewable energy scientists for the workforce while sustaining Wisconsin’s dairy farming legacy.
The $7 million biogas production facility and living, learning, renewable-energy laboratory–funded by the UW Oshkosh Foundation and in partnership with Milk Source, Soil Net, Alliant Energy, Infinity Lawn and Garden, BIOFerm Energy Systems and its parent company the Viessmann Group—will generate 1.4 megawatts of electricity by using Rosendale Dairy’s livestock waste to generate, capture and combust methane. The digester units will produce up to 1.4 megawatts of electricity, which is enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 1,200 homes, according to BIOFerm.
- Oshkosh Premier Waterfront Hotel
Located at the river’s edge of downtown Main St., this 179 room and suite renovated, state-of-the-art, full service, 4-star downtown business hotel (formerly City Center Hotel) opened May 1, 2013 through a partnership between the UW Oshkosh Foundation, the Batley Management Group and Pfefferle Companies, Inc. An atmosphere of casual fun and waterfront dining with spectacular panoramic views is offered in the Ground Round at River’s Edge restaurant.
The Oshkosh Waterfront Hotel complements the revitalized, attached Oshkosh Convention Center. It also enhances academic conferences and events held on campus, including in the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center. It generates hundreds of new downtown jobs and economic energy to Oshkosh retail storefronts, cafes, performance venues and other businesses aligned with the city’s ongoing redevelopment efforts.
- Planned Gifts – Paying it Forward
In 2010 we made a commitment to an integrated approach to our planned giving program in order to further share the opportunity for alumni and friends to carry on their legacies with estate gifts to UW Oshkosh. In the two-and-a-half years since launching that initiative, membership in our Rose Legacy Society grew 53%. During that time, we’ve worked with donors to explore the impact they want their future gifts to make and develop agreements to ensure their wishes are followed. About 25% of our members have shared the amounts of their planned gifts with us resulting in a 138% increase in gift expectancies. In tribute to their commitment to the future of the University and its students, faculty and programs, members will be recognized on the new Rose Legacy Society donor wall which will be unveiled in the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center at its dedication on May 16th.
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.