UW-Whitewater’s top undergraduate major in the 2021-22 academic year was Finance, with an enrollment of 768 students, 74 of which are completing their Finance degree entirely online.
The Department’s faculty and staff frequently collaborate with the program’s alumni and industry experts within the Department of Finance and Business Law Advisory Board, an engaged group of alumni, friends, and faculty members who meet regularly to share perspectives and partner on important University priorities.
Meeting agendas include discussions on student programming and engagement, retention, recruitment, internship opportunities, and presentations from the Applied Investment Program and student organizations like the FMA and the Real Estate Club.
Current Board Members include:
Arjan Premti, Interim Department Chair
David Adam `87
Dean Martin `98 `03
Erik Gauger `93
Greg Wait `82
Joe Hegner `87
Nancy Nye `91
Peter Glerum `90
Renee Kessler `80
Rose Oswald Poels
Steve Dryer `88
Steve Luterbach `95
Steve Musser `02
After participating in the 2021 meeting, Advisory Board member Peter Glerum, a 1990 alumnus and Partner at global alternative investment firm Castlelake, had an idea after considering the Department’s priority to diversify enrollment: Start a scholarship to remove those financial barriers and increase equity among students majoring in the field.
“At its core, diversity creates a more robust decision-making process in the business world by bringing together different backgrounds and perspectives within a similar frame of reference,” states Glerum. “But diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives can quickly become a numbers game, where organizations are rushing to solve for improved statistical trends and lose sight of nurturing the shared framework that harnesses the power of our differences and channels them into a common goal – whether it be improved results, improved experiences or a stronger sense of purpose.”
“I believe that a college-level scholarship program within a particular area of study is a powerful way to establish that shared frame of reference – through a foundational knowledge and educational background among a diverse set of students who contribute unique experiences and perspectives – and that doing so will drive meaningful results for both the student participants and the businesses they go on to contribute to,” said Glerum.
Led by the membership of the Finance and Business Law Department and Advisory Board, this fund ensures students compete academically on the same track as their peers. This scholarship shall be made to promising students enrolled at UW-Whitewater and includes an essay for consideration. Interested students are encouraged to contact the Department of Finance and Business Law for information: email@example.com or (262) 472-1316.
In addition to the scholarship, the Department partnered with Glerum and Castlelake to launch a mentorship program. In the inaugural 2021-2022 academic year, the Finance Executive Mentorship Program connected two Finance students with a variety of Department alumni to increase alumni connections.
The program centered on improving student communication skills via a programmatic approach to fundraising for the scholarship. The students worked closely with Glerum and Castlelake colleague, Emily Miller, in creating a targeted fundraising campaign. The students created a robust plan that included talking points, targeted emails, phone calls, and a PowerPoint presentation explaining the scholarship. They practiced various delivery forms and received real-time feedback tying back to the corporate decision-making setting from Glerum and Miller.
In the end, the campaign raised over $11,000 for the scholarship, and the pair of students clearly built confidence, poise, and real-world experience in the ebb and flow of corporate-level projects. The ultimate goal is to expand the program to include more students, more alumni, and more dollars raised for the Diversifying Finance Scholarship. Eventually, the Department would like to see the scholarship students participate in the program and develop a much-needed connection to the department on a personal level.
Glerum urges his fellow alumni to engage with UW-Whitewater and consider making a gift to grow the scholarship and its impact on promising Warhawks. “I have been working on DEI initiatives for the better part of the last decade and have learned that we need to talk less and do more to drive results. The collective support of this scholarship creates meaningful impact as we work to offer direct connections for our diverse students within the department.”
Scholarship Application Information for Students
Further information about the Diversifying Finance Scholarship and how students can apply can be found here. If students have any questions about the scholarship or application process, they can reach out to Dennis Elverman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you would like information on gifts that provide income or would like to discuss a donation of securities, please contact:
Foundation President and Vice Chancellor for University Relations
UW-Whitewater Foundation’s EIN number is 39-6081189. This can be used on any tax forms requiring documentation of donations to a 501(c)(3) organization.
To avoid any processing fees, you can make a check payable to:
UW-Whitewater Foundation, Inc.
Reference: Diversifying Finance Scholarship Fund #1319
Mail checks to:
UW-Whitewater Foundation, Inc.
800 W Main St
Whitewater, WI 53190