|Magazine of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls
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Along the South Fork
Support for Teaching Excellence
The Robert Dykstra and Paul Dykstra Faculty Excellence Endowment
When Paul Dykstra, ’83, first approached his father with the idea of giving a generous gift to the UWRF Foundation, both Paul and his father Robert, ’57, initially thought of establishing an endowed scholarship fund. Both had received several scholarships while students at UWRF, and the idea seemed a natural. The Dykstras met with UWRF Foundation officials and became interested in the array of philanthropic opportunities available to them.
“We met with an open mind on what our contributions could be used for,” said Bob, a former public school teacher and University of Minnesota professor. “It became clear that Chancellor Don Betz was really interested in doing something for faculty. Since I did a lot of research at the U of M, and I know that those funds are hard to come by at smaller universities, we decided that we would endow a faculty research fund to help recruit and retain faculty, especially those who have some interest in conducting research.”
A Legacy of Teaching and Healing
From his early career as a high school teacher to retirement as a clinical surgical professor at Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, Dr. Keith Wurtz, ’41, has dedicated his life to the teaching and healing professions. Named the UWRF Distinguished Alumnus in 1980, Wurtz is sharing his passions through an endowment that will foster and acknowledge faculty teaching excellence at UWRF.
As an agricultural education and science major in the early 1940s, Wurtz was a bit of a renaissance man as a college debater, Student Voice reporter, Honor Society member and intramural athlete. He credits his college days at River Falls with opening doors to medicine, surgery, education and community service. Wurtz, who received his M.D. from Northwestern University, was chief of surgery and a consulting surgeon at several hospitals, including the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Hines, Ill.
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