University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Magazine of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Alumni Relations Update Your Alumni Record or Submit Classnotes

April 2007

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Along the South Fork

Alumni News

Alma Maters

About People


Donor Profiles

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.”

It’s the first time the father and son have collaborated on a university foundation gift, as Bob received his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and Paul his M.B.A. at the University of St. Thomas. Today Paul serves as chief executive officer for Viad Corp., a publicly held exhibit, hospitality and tourism service provider.

“We both have a warm spot in our heart for UW-River Falls,” says Bob. “It really inspired both of us to go on and further our education.”

Keith Wurtz

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.

The new Dr. Keith G. Wurtz Fund Award for Teaching Excellence will ensure that the good doctor’s prescription for excellence and passion in education will continue for years to come.

American Democracy Project

Art Smart

Meet the Provost

Homecoming: The Gangs All Here

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