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New scholarship will improve engineering diversity

A $250,000 endowment from civil engineering alumnus Gary C. Wendt and his wife, Rosemarie, will establish a scholarship awarded through the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering's Diversity Affairs Office (DAO).

The Gary and Rosemarie Wendt Engineering Diversity Scholarship will provide approximately $12,000 per year for a student from a traditionally underrepresented population to attend the UW-Madison College of Engineering. The amount will fund university tuition and fees, and room and board expenses in campus housing.

In addition to its outreach activities, which expose pre-college students to engineering and the sciences, DAO strives to recruit women and students of color to the college and provide them with an academically and culturally rewarding educational experience.

Seeing DAO's progress in attracting, retaining and graduating minority students was a factor in the Wendts' decision to sponsor a named scholarship.

"When we were first informed of the University of Wisconsin College of Engineering diversity program, it seemed like a nice notion," says Gary Wendt. "What it has done since that time is truly remarkable. The specific way the office has focused on qualified students and made it possible for them to pursue careers in engineering is one of the best programs of this type I have ever seen."

"The Wendts' gift is an example of continuing confidence in the DAO's ongoing programs and efforts to increase not only campus diversity, but our nation's workforce diversity in science and engineering fields," says Alem Asres, assistant dean of diversity affairs. "This scholarship will help one more student leap over the financial hurdles that often limit minorities' access to higher education."

Wendt is former chairman and CEO of General Electric Capital Services, Inc., and currently executive managing partner of Global Opportunity Advisors. He earned his BS in civil engineering from UW-Madison in 1965 and an MBA in 1967 from Harvard Graduate School of Business.

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