Givers: The Head and the Heart

At the start of a new school year and the near end of 2016, we at CALS wish to thank some people whom we really can’t thank enough: the members of our Board of Visitors.

The Board of Visitors (BOV) serves as an advisory group to Dean Kate VandenBosch in determining how best to lead and advance CALS. Each of the BOV’s 25 members help the college by providing an external perspective and link to the wide range of CALS stakeholder communities, building an advocacy network and participating in the college’s development efforts.

All of these functions are important, but we’d especially like to thank the BOV for its exemplary achievements this past year in the area of development. As you may know, CALS recently has benefited from offering dollar-for-dollar matching gifts, up to $100,000, on all donations to the CALS Annual Fund. We were able to offer the match in 2014 and 2015 thanks to a gift from anonymous donors. In 2016, the match was made possible by a donation from the Board of Visitors, whose members pooled their resources.

While members emphasize different points about why they support CALS, an abiding love for the college and belief in its mission is a source of motivation for all of them. So is a desire to advance educational excellence at CALS and ensure that the college’s importance to business and industry remains strong.

For example, BOV chair Dr. David Ryder, recently retired Vice President of Brewing and Research for Miller- Coors, has worked tirelessly to boost CALS’ leadership in the area of fermentation science education.

“I find it personally rewarding to give to the CALS Annual Fund,” he says. “Being from the fermentation industry, my own experience of learning in fermentation science— in a different country at a different time—was far from perfect, but one learns from that to know how to better prepare the student for the current and future needs of industry.” CALS, he believes, can play a key role in providing industry the kind of workforce needed for future growth.

BOV members who are alumni feel strongly about ensuring that new generations can meet or exceed their own positive experiences at CALS. “My husband and I graduated from CALS and really value the world-class education and experiences we received to prepare us for graduate school and medical school,” says Karen Metzler BS’03. Metzler is a genetic counselor; her husband, Jeremy Metzler BS’02, is a physician. “We feel it’s really important to pay that forward to help current and future students have access to the same education and opportunities we have had.”

Another thing BOV members agree on: You don’t have to be a BOV member to offer significant support to the college.

“Aside from financial contributions, the most important thing that anyone can give to CALS is their time,” says Bill Staudenmaier BS’83, a Phoenix-based attorney specializing in water and natural resources law. “There are numerous ways alumni can contribute their time—mentoring students, volunteering at events, serving on boards and committees and contacting elected officials about the importance of adequate funding to keep CALS and the university among the very best institutions of higher education in the United States. Wherever your talents and interests may lie, you can give back by contributing your time.”

We thank our Board of Visitors for their leadership and generosity. And we thank all members of the CALS community for their support, however they choose to provide it.

Make a gift online at supportuw.org/giveto/CALS. And learn more about other opportunities for alumni engagement at www.cals.wisc.edu/alumni-friends/ 

PHOTO: We welcomed incoming freshmen to CALS at a new student orientation, an event supported by gifts to the CALS Annual Fund.
Photo by Caroline Schneider