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April 2011
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UW-River Falls University Advancement Office
310 South Hall
410 South Third Street
River Falls, WI
Important Announcements

New Electronic Gift Receipts Implemented 


The Foundation has recently begun acknowledging contributions using electronic gift receipts instead of paper receipts sent out via U.S. Postal Service. This initiative supports sustainability efforts at UWRF.


Once you have made your contribution, your receipt will be delivered to you via your email address. If no email address is on file, you will receive your receipt through the mail. If you prefer an electronic receipt, please include your email address with your gift or call our office toll free at 1-877-258-6647. 

Alumni Calendar

Taipei, Taiwan Alumni Event

May 7


Alumni and friends are cordially invited to an event at the Café Encounter, Taipei, Taiwan.


A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner and a program.Chancellor Dean Van Galen and his wife, Mary, will be our special guests from UWRF.

'61 Golden Jubilee Reunion

May 13 & 14


UWRF invites all graduates of the class of 1961 to the Golden Jubilee Reunion. Click here for the schedule of events.


For additional information, contact the Office of University Advancement toll-free at 877-258-6647, by e-mail at, or visit our website at 

Don Page Falcon Varsity Club Golf Outing

June 20


UWRF alumni and friends are cordially invited to attend the annual Don Page Falcon Club Golf Outing held at the River Falls Golf Club. A round of golf, dinner and program are  planned for the day.

For further information, contact the Athletic Department at 715-425-3900.

University Tour to Ireland 

July 10-20


Centered in and around Clifden on the Atlantic coast, this tour features day trips to sites throughout the counties of Clare, Galway, and Mayo.


Still a wild and largely undeveloped region, the stone fenced streams will have photographers and artist wanting to unpack their gear.


Destinations include Kylemore National Park, Brigit's Garden, 13th Century Cong Abbey, Galway City, two boat trips to islands off the Irish coast and much more!


Each active day's itinerary begins with a leisurely Irish breakfast and continues late into the afternoon while providing ample time to discover back roads or walk village streets.


Learn more at

Alaskan Frontiers & Glaciers - Oceania Cruises 

 August 4-14


From cosmopolitan Vancouver, cruise along Canada's unblemished coastline to Alaska, America's last frontier.


Traverse the scenic Inside Passage to Ketchikan, the former "Salmon Capital of the World," followed by a visit to Icy Strait Point, a secluded and intimate seaport nestled in the pure beauty of the Alaskan wilderness.


Gaze upon the spectacular Hubbard Glacier, the longest tidewater glacier in Alaska, discover the tiny village of Kodiak, known for its breathtaking natural beauty, and explore charming Sitka, a city with many historic attractions.


Further enrich your experience with a visit to Wrangell, one of the oldest non-native settlements in Alaska, before ending your Alaskan adventure back in Vancouver.


Learn more at 

UWRF Homecoming

October 8 


Mark your calendar and make your plans to join your friends for the Homecoming parade in downtown River Falls followed by a barbecue at the University Center. 


Other scheduled events include alumni and friend's coffee hour, campus tours, and various reunions that start before and after the football game.

For alumni and friends of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls
In This Issue
south fork expansion

Construction Begins on South Fork Suites Expansion

Ground was officially broken on the expansion of a suite-style residence hall on April 19. Expected to be ready for occupancy in the fall of 2012, the addition to the George R. Field South Fork Suites will add 240 new beds for students.

UW System President Kevin Reilly and Senior Vice President for Administration and Fiscal Affairs Michael Morgan attended the groundbreaking.

Miron Construction, based out of Neenah, is handling the construction of the addition.  For more information, contact Director of University Housing Sandi Scott Deux at

SuccessStorySuccess Story

Alumnus, CEO of Thrivent Financial is UWRF's Executive-in-Residence


Brad Hewitt, president and CEO of Thrivent Financial, is UWRF's spring executive-in-residence. Hewitt visited campus March 23, lecturing on "Social Business and Social Capital - What's Old Is New Again."


"I really enjoyed my day on campus. The classroom experience was fun and the students asked some great questions," says Hewitt. "The administration made me feel right at home, and the lecture - I pray it was valuable. All in all it made me want to go back to college."


 Hewitt is a graduate of UW-River Falls with a degree in mathematics.

"The focus on a liberal arts and the personal attention from professors to make things practical, helped me sharpen my critical thinking skills in the context of how things really work," says Hewitt.


Hewitt completed the Harvard Graduate School of Business Program for Management Development. Hewitt joined Thrivent Financial in 2003 as senior vice president of Fraternal Operations, and brought with him the perspective of 21 years of business experience in the insurance and healthcare industries.

Hewitt has also served as president of the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation. In 2008, he was named chief operating officer and in 2010 became president and CEO. He was chief administrative officer of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod in St. Louis, Mo. from 1998-2003. 


Annual Unity in the Community Draws River Falls Together


The University of Wisconsin-River Falls and the City of River Falls marked the 18th annual Unity in the Community celebration April 17-20. The celebration hosted numerous events throughout the week, and also one large event that UWRF also takes much pride in each year: Bike to Uganda.


Bike to Uganda efforts are connected with Building Tomorrow, an international social-profit organization that raises awareness and funds to build and support educational facilities for underserved children in sub-Saharan Africa. On April 20, UWRF faculty, staff and students attempted to bike the same distance as the 7,873-mile journey from River Falls to Kampala, Uganda.


In the days leading up to April 20, the campus community participated in smaller events such as non-perishable food sculptures, poverty simulations, and a Tim Wise film. On April 20, the main day of the event, lunch at Riverside Commons was culturally themed and included African, French, Italian, American and European style dishes.


Also during that day, UWRF students hosted a photo campaign to end the phrase "That's so gay." Students, faculty and staff had the chance to be apart of the photo shoot and pledge to be a part of the "Think B4 You Speak" pledge.


Emceed by conscious-rapper, Jasiri X, students and staff participated in on-stage performances, which ranged from music and poetry to foot juggling and traditional Mongolian dance. UWRF students were also invited to an open forum discussion about intercultural transitions and new cultural experience with international and study abroad students.


The celebration continued that evening with an event sponsored by the River Falls Area Diversity Committee featuring the Kinni Song Sisters, Black Student Union Gospel Choir, Irish dancers, Dance Theatre, and the International Student Association.


NeedtoKnowNeed to Know
dairy challenge

UWRF Team Takes Platinum Honor at Dairy Challenge


A team of UWRF dairy science students recently succeeded in applying their skills at a dairy consulting at the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge in Hickory, N.C.

The UWRF team earned the highest platinum award at the competition.Only four teams were given that distinction, the others being California State University-Fresno, Cornell University and The Penn State University.

Students from 30 United States and Canadian colleges participated in the event to analyse an operating dairy, look at farm data, make observations and meet farm owners.Teams then presented recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management to the herd owners and a panel of judges consisting of dairy producers, veterinarians and industry professionals.

UWRF team members included Alex Geiser, Leonard Polzin, Paul Lippert, and Anne Spillman. As platinum team members the students were awarded $200 scholarships. The team is coached by animal and food science faculty members Sylvia Kehoe and Dennis Cooper.

InandOutIn (and Out) of The Classroom

Students Travel to Taiwan
for Biomedical Educational Program


UWRF participated in its first ever science-based research, study and ecotourism abroad program to Taiwan this winter. The Biomedical Educational Abroad program was led by Cheng-chen Huang, assistant professor of biology, who has connections to other professors and research facilities in Taiwan.


Huang accompanied three students on the four-week program to Academia Sinica in Taipei City, Chungshan Medical University and China Medicine University in Taichung City and the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium in Pintong County.


"This is a very unique study abroad program. It combines research, culture, and ecology into one program. It offers students the research experience they want and also teaches them the process of drug discovery," says Huang.


Huang's research uses zebrafish embryos to search for potential drugs for heart failure, which is a disease that affects a large spectrum of people and commonly is associated with cardiovascular diseases, and currently there is no cure, according to Huang.


Throughout the program, students tested extracts from Chinese herbs and marine species with Huang's zebrafish model in hopes of identifying drug solutions from natural resources. During their time spent in Taiwan, these students also learned about Chinese medicine and natural product extraction through basic organic chemistry procedures.