Well, the college and the university have been really great to me both as a student years ago and now as a faculty member. After completing my PhD, I looked at and was recruited by other top universities, including Johns Hopkins, but none of them had the atmosphere or seemed to provide the freedom to choose your own direction that the University of Wisconsin did. Even as a student I was encouraged and supported in efforts that differed in direction from any faculty member at the time. It was really quite extraordinary.
I think it is the nature of the people that the university attracts and hires. They seem to be a combination of both very gifted people in their fields and people who genuinely want to make a difference that goes beyond themselves. You just feel good working around and with them, and it makes you want to contribute to the place that collects and supports such people.
Most of my funding goes to need-based scholarships or support to student efforts. I was fortunate in having support for my undergraduate years from my parents. But there are many others who are just as deserving but whose families cannot afford to help them in the same way that should have the same chance to go to this great university. ... I give because I think it's important that we help to ensure that those institutions we respect will continue to be able to do what they do best even during these hard times — and that everyone has a chance to enjoy them.
Gregg Vanderheiden, professor
Industrial and systems engineering
Trace R&D Center
Why I Give
Gifts to the UW Foundation may be in the form of cash, appreciated securities, personal or real property. Pledges may be made over a period of years. Gifts to the UW Foundation are fully tax deductible.
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