As the All Ways Forward campaign nears its end in 2021, hundreds of UW–Madison’s generous supporters joined together on campus and online to celebrate the incredible impact of the campaign since its launch in 2015. Although many donors were aware of the campaign’s achievements on an individual level, the magnitude of their combined efforts was staggering.
The event, held on October 29 at the Nicholas Recreation Center and streamed online, highlighted the achievements across the four pillars of the All Ways Forward campaign: educational experience, faculty excellence, student support, and research and innovation. To date, the campaign has raised more than $4 billion across all areas, surpassing the originally announced goal of $3.2 billion. Guests viewing the event experienced a series of inspiring presentations, in which several exceptional students and faculty explained how their lives — and the lives of those around them — have been touched by the campaign.
While many areas of campus have been physically improved by investments during the campaign, one significant upgrade was the construction of the Hamel Music Center, home for the Mead Witter School of Music. Students and faculty explain in a video how the facility has changed their experience and the trajectory of the school.
A marquee achievement of the campaign has been the creation of an additional 324 endowed faculty funds across campus — a long-term investment in the brilliant minds that educate students and foster innovation. As part of the event, seven faculty members shared the impact the endowments have had on their departments, their individual careers, and the future of UW–Madison.
In total, more than 4,600 new scholarships have been created during the All Ways Forward campaign, a powerful investment in the extraordinary scholars who make their way to UW–Madison. Three of the students who earned scholarships — Mikol Tsopnang x’22, Alex Luehring ’21 and Charlie Dougherty x’23 — expressed their immense gratitude for the support offered to them.
Expressions of gratitude from scholarship recipients were also posted around the venue and on social media.
“This scholarship has given me this opportunity to explore my capabilities as an individual,” said Caitlin Yang x’23.
“I grew up in a single-parent, low-income household and wasn’t expected to go far in life,” said Melanie Spencer x’22. “Being a first-generation college student at this prestigious university shows I am beating the odds. I am so thankful.”
Research and Innovation
Researchers across campus have a long tradition of significant discoveries, and the campaign has accelerated the ability of those innovative minds to seek answers to society’s most pressing questions. Provost Karl Scholz shared a number of those significant discoveries in a presentation at the event, discussing “what’s next” at UW–Madison.
The campaign began with a request to donors to help cement the legacy and reputation of UW–Madison as a premier institution for “the next 167 years,” the age of the university at the time of the campaign launch in 2015. At Friday’s celebration, Chancellor Rebecca Blank capped the night with an explanation of just how significant many of these milestones are to the larger vision of campus, “for the next 173 years.”
The achievements reflected upon throughout the evening were amazing and uplifting — but even more incredible was the realization that all of this was accomplished in just six years.
Thank you to everyone who shared this special evening with us — and thank you to everyone who continues to make the All Ways Forward campaign an astounding success. Watch a video of the full event below.
Run of Show
- Virtual event welcome, Jessica Arp, managing director of communications, Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association
- Conversation with All Ways Forward campaign chairs Mike ’80 and Mary Sue ’81 Shannon
- UW Homecoming 2021, with Sarah Schutt, executive director, Wisconsin Alumni Association
- Fill the Hill results
- Stage program overview
- Welcome from Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association president and CEO Mike Knetter
- Jeopardy! with John Morgridge ’55
- The Sound of Gratitude, featuring the Marvin Rabin String Quartet
- A Foundation for the Future, featuring faculty from across campus
- The Wisconsin Idea 2.0: Investing in Possibility, featuring Provost Karl Scholz
- For the Next 173 Years, featuring Chancellor Rebecca Blank
- Virtual event recap
- Conversation with Mike Knetter
- A final thank-you