You may have heard recently that alumni John and Tashia Morgridge donated $100 million to UW-Madison. This exciting gift is the largest-ever contribution to the university from individual donors—and it will allow the university to invest more aggressively than ever before in recruiting, retaining and rewarding highly talented faculty. It also provides a dollar-for-dollar match to other donors who make a new gift to endow a professorship ($1 million), a chair ($2 million) or a distinguished chair ($3 million).
Investing in faculty excellence is one of the university’s areas of strategic importance—and as a result, it also is a major area of focus for the upcoming UW-Madison comprehensive campaign.
Our goal for your college of engineering is to capitalize on our existing centers of excellence—and at the same time, build distinction in emerging areas. To accomplish this goal, we need the means to reward faculty excellence in research and teaching. We also need a strategy that allows us to rapidly grow our capabilities and expertise. Our approach is to attract faculty across all ranks to our college and then provide them with the resources and environment in which they can excel. In today’s competitive faculty recruiting environment, it’s critical that we have the ability to provide endowed named professorships for both junior and senior faculty hires. The Morgridges’ gift presents a tremendous opportunity for us to expand our goal to greatly increase the number of new professorships and ensure all department chairs hold a named professorship.
The Morgridges’ matching gift has the potential to have a transformative impact on our college because it will enhance our ability to attract and retain top faculty. As a result, we can grow our current strengths while simultaneously building for our future. Additionally, this growth will benefit the quality of our educational programs—and ensure we continue to educate the engineering leaders needed to drive economic growth in our state and in our nation.
In the workplace, UW-Madison engineering alumni stand out because of their leadership abilities, strong work ethic, solid educational foundation, and creative contributions. From my interactions with you, I have experienced firsthand your passion for your academic department and for the College of Engineering. You have told me that your UW-Madison engineering degrees have opened many doors and given you the skills to be successful in your professional endeavors—and I know you as alumni are proud of the education you received here.
Whether you earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from the UW-Madison College of Engineering, you understand how critical exceptional faculty are to the research and teaching missions of the university. If you are able—either individually, as a group, or through your company—I encourage you to explore the possibility of taking advantage of the Morgridge gift and endowing a professorship.
Ian M. Robertson, Dean
UW-Madison College of Engineering