In March 2021, UW–Madison and the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association announced the launch of the Raimey-Noland Campaign, which raises funds to support making the UW campus more diverse and inclusive. The campaign takes its name from two figures out of the university’s history: the first openly identifying Black woman (Mabel Watson Raimey 1918) and man (William Smith Noland 1875) to graduate from the UW. But its focus is on building a more welcoming future.
Last month, Chancellor Blank wrote in her blog that the campaign had already raised $50 million, far outpacing expectations. Those gifts are already having effects on campus — effects that can be seen in people, places, and programs. Take a look at some of the ways Badger alumni and friends are making the UW a more welcoming place.
One chief focus of the Raimey-Noland Campaign is to support student financial aid, both in undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships. It has increased funds for existing scholarships, such as the Mercile J. Lee Chancellor’s Scholarships. In the future, the UW will see more Chancellor’s Scholars go from student to grad, as did Cathryn Phouybanhdyt ’17 and Joann Huynh ’17.
The campaign’s funds also support the work of pipeline programs such as PEOPLE, the Precollege Educational Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence. PEOPLE works with students from Milwaukee and Madison to help them get ready to be successful in college.
For out-of-state students, Raimey-Noland funds will help expand the Posse Program, which brings students to the UW in 10-person groups so they can support each other through their university years. Gabrielle Li entered under Posse in 2015 and graduated in 2019.
Schools, colleges, and campus units are using Raimey-Noland funds to help create or expand programs that support students from a wide variety of backgrounds. These include the André De Shields Fund, named for Broadway star André De Shields ’70, which supports diverse artistic projects and performances.
Raimey-Noland gifts will also assist the UW’s Multicultural Student Center, which hosts the Black Cultural Center and events such as the Native November feast.
Each school and college is taking part in the campaign. The College of Engineering, for instance, is enhancing its Leaders in Engineering Excellence and Diversity (LEED) program.
One of the most visible outcomes of the Raimey-Noland Campaign is already under construction: the Divine Nine Plaza, a space that honors the contributions of historically Black fraternities and sororities. Construction began in April.