An important call

Longtime donors to the UWL phonathon explain why they’ve contributed for nearly 30 years

During the annual phonathon, UWL student outreach representatives sharpen communication skills, learn the impact of philanthropy and make meaningful connections with alumni.

Each year a team of UW-La Crosse students speaks with about 40,000 UWL alumni on the phone. During the annual phonathon, they share news about UWL, answer questions about how gifts to the UWL Foundation impact the lives of students, and provide the opportunity for alums to give back to their alma mater.

This year’s phonathon runs Sept. 17-Dec. 7. About 35 current undergraduate students are connecting with alumni and friends throughout the week. Students are specifically calling this fall for the UWL Fund, which supports student scholarships, building projects, and small grants for faculty and staff projects.

UWL alums William and Louise Temte have been giving to the phonathon for nearly 30 years. Louise says it’s a way to be supportive of a fine institution that maintains high standards despite budget pressures.

“The entire state university system is something all of us in Wisconsin can be proud of,” she says.

Louise, ’74, is also proud to have earned her degree from UWL — a bachelor’s in vocal music education. She went on to a career in human resources as an in-house trainer in the fields of leadership and communication. She also continued with music, becoming a church organist. Her husband, William, ’64 & ‘69, spent the majority of his career working for the Wisconsin Technical College System. He started as a teacher of math and physics and moved up the ranks to become a vice president of what is now Western Technical College in La Crosse. During the 1990s, he also served as dean of the Sturgeon Bay campus, part of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

Just as they grew in their careers, the couple from Onalaska watched UWL grow too, expanding educational programs and making use of limited land resources. Louise was excited to see the opening of new academic building, Centennial Hall in 2011, and the most recent renovation to Annett Recital Hall, as well as other updates to meet the needs of current and future students.

Temte says they get a lot of calls asking for money, but every time the call comes from UWL, they agree to give. They know giving something — even if it is not a lot — is important. It shows their support for an institution and a university system they still admire.

Louise and William’s son, Andy Temte, president of Kaplan Professional Education, is also a UWL alum and a UWL Foundation Board member.

Learn more about student outreach representatives and how philanthropy impacts UWL.

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