Mueller gift funds Visiting Artist series, kicking off next week

A family that’s well known for its history of generosity toward UW-Green Bay has stepped up again, funding the Art Agency’s Visiting Artists Lecture Series that kicks off next week. Marcia Mueller, sister of the late Craig A. Mueller, a prominent UW-Green Bay donor, decided to fund the series after meeting a student with a contagious enthusiasm for Art Agency and its work. The series kicks off Tuesday, April 24 and Wednesday, April 25 with metalsmith, writer and craft activist Gabriel Craig. You can read about his visit and the gift that made it happen, click here.

Mueller gift funds Art Agency lecture series, beginning with metalsmith April 24-25

A family that is well known for its generosity toward the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is giving back once again, funding the Visiting Artists Lecture Series of UW-Green Bay’s Art Agency.

Marcia Mueller, sister of the late Captain Craig A. Mueller, decided to back the series after meeting a student artist with a contagious enthusiasm for Art Agency and its work. The late Captain Mueller’s $1 million bequest, given in 2008, is the largest-ever gift for scholarships from a UW-Green Bay alumnus. Marcia Mueller continues to pursue her passion for art as a professional photographer, after retiring from a career in environmental health.

“It is extremely important to listen to the great ideas students have about making a difference for their school and the community,” Mueller said. “Craig would be the first one to help support Art Agency if he heard about the need. I’m just trying to carry on, and hopefully expand, his legacy.”

Marcia Mueller’s gift will support several visiting artists, beginning with metalsmith, writer and craft activist Gabriel Craig April 24-25. Craig will deliver an artist lecture from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24 in Studio Arts 411, and will offer two “planning a performance piece” workshops, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4:30-6 p.m., Wednesday, April 25 in Studio Arts C112. Also on Wednesday, April 25, Craig will present “Raising Awareness: A metalsmithing performance,” from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 3:30-6 p.m. in the University Union, Room 206. Additional artists will be announced as details of their visits are solidified.

UW-Green Bay senior Jason Keller inspired Mueller’s interest in funding the series when she met him at the 2011 Chancellor’s Scholarship Reception on campus. One of the recipients of Craig A. Mueller’s scholarships, Keller spoke passionately about Art Agency, a student organization that connects art students, networks with visiting artists and engages in related community services projects. He mentioned some funding challenges the group had encountered, and Mueller requested more information. From there, the idea took off, Keller said.

“At a time when budget cuts are at the forefront of discussions, it is wonderful to have someone like Marcia to advocate for the importance of the arts,” he said. “The Visiting Artist Series will provide all the students at UW-Green Bay with a unique resource, and should extend beyond the Art department. Having the ability to speak with the artists about their individual processes, techniques and thoughts will provide invaluable insight to all the students who choose to participate.”

Maintaining a healthy visiting artist program is an invaluable part of Art students’ education, said Alison Stehlik, assistant professor of Arts and Visual Design. Mueller’s gift is helping to ensure it continues.

“It gives our students the opportunity to work firsthand with exciting professionals in their field,” Stehlik said. “The artists we bring in talk about how they are inspired by the world around them. They introduce them to different styles of research and new techniques. But most importantly, they give our students a broad perspective of what they can contribute to an art community.”


Damkoehler family establishes its second endowed scholarship at UW-Green Bay

A family that is well respected throughout the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay community has established a second endowed scholarship to support the academic and creative endeavors of Art and Design students at the University.

Edna Walter Damkoehler
Edna Walter Damkoehler
The family of UW-Green Bay Art scholarship namesake David L. Damkoehler recently established this second scholarship in memory of his wife, who died in 2011. The four sons of David and Edna Damkoehler — David (Toni), Lee, Jay (Joann) and Mark (Cheri) — share in creating the Edna Walter Damkoehler Endowed Scholarship, which will help a UW-Green Bay Design student pursue his or her educational and creative goals through their generous support.

The late David L. and Edna Damkoehler founded Damkoehler Chemical and Paper, Inc., in Oconto. Their son, David Jr., is a professor emeritus of Art at UW-Green Bay; and his wife, Toni Damkoehler, is an associate professor of Design at the University.

“We felt that establishing a design scholarship in my mother’s name at UW-Green Bay was deeply appropriate, as she was a student and strong supporter of the University,” David Damkoehler said. “This scholarship is a memorial that will continue to help students who are pursuing careers that are about creativity, discipline and insight — all elements that informed our mother’s every action and thought.”

An ardent UW-Green Bay supporter, Edna Walter Damkoehler demonstrated her passion for the University in many ways. Her personalized license plate read “UWGB4U,” which is a promise she continues to fulfill through her legacy, said Beverly Carmichael, Assistant Chancellor for University Advancement.

The Edna Walter Damkoehler award is the second such scholarship established by the Damkoehler family, which also is the donor for the David L. Damkoehler Scholarship. That endowed scholarship is open to Art majors who graduated from a high school in the counties of Brown, Door, Forest, Marinette, Oconto or Shawano. It was established in 1998.

Edna Walter Damkoehler was a charter member of the UW-Green Bay Founders Association and an enthusiastic supporter of UW-Green Bay. She took numerous German courses with the late Prof. Emeritus W. Werner Prange, and for many years took a full schedule of UW-Green Bay Learning in Retirement Courses. Her husband, David L. Damkoehler, died in 1983. The younger David Damkoehler credits both his parents for inspiring his academic and career path.

“Our mother was an accomplished painter, craftsperson and creative bricoleur,” Damkoehler recalled. “When we were growing up in Oconto she spent one day of the week, usually Thursday, in her studio, or painting en plein air out in the Oconto countryside with a group of like-minded women. Our grandmother and our father would take care of us while she was painting. Both our parents valued creativity and learning as it applied to business, art and life.”


Update: Chernick/Wochinske yields gains in alumni giving

Monday night concluded fall semester telephoning in the annual UW-Green Bay alumni phone-a-thon. Campaign coordinator Tracy Heaser of University Advancement reported recently that, so far, the number of donors and dollars pledged are up roughly one-fourth from the same time a year ago. She credits a good share of the increased participation to donors drawn forward by local businessmen and alumni Rick Chernick and Jim Wochinske (both ’74), who have pledged a dollar-for-dollar match for any gifts made by UW-Green Bay by alumni before March 31, 2012. Their match will be applied to all gifts by first-time donors, and to any increases in contribution amounts by continuing donors. More on the Chernick/Wochinske challenge.

All donations welcome

Here’s a non-reminder that individual UW-Green Bay staff and faculty members are always welcome to continue their generous financial support of the institution and its students. Despite the fact that the annual employee campaign took an entirely low-key approach this year, Tracy Heaser in University Advancement says that a number of staff and faculty renewed their annual support. Giving to increase the value of scholarship endowments, or donating to areas of greatest need through unrestricted giving, remain popular options. If you have been involved in the past and would like to do so again, click here.

Spence concert to benefit Music Alumni Scholarship at UW-Green Bay

Didn’t make it to Friday’s big NFL Films concert at the Meyer Theatre? There’s still time to support the cause. The event was a fundraiser for the Music Alumni Scholarship Fund here. (The Civic Symphony of Green Bay, primary host of Friday’s event, is still tallying receipts and will share a portion of the gate with UW-Green Bay and the fund at a later date.) Contact the Advancement Office if you’re interested in contributing, after the fact.

The 16th Annual Faculty and Staff Campaign is under way

Late Thursday afternoon Chancellor Thomas Harden officially launched the 16th Annual UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff Campaign. Within just a few short hours, about 8% of the full-time employees on campus had already contributed. The Faculty and Staff Campaign provides University employees the opportunity to philanthropically support the institution through gifts to scholarships, academic programs, professional development funds and more. For more on the Campaign, and to see the Chancellor’s video introduction, visit the website:

The Campaign goal this year? 67%
As mentioned by Chancellor Harden in his video presentation, the goal of the Campaign is to continue to increase the overall campus participation rate. Last year, the campus was able to more than double the rate, going from 29% to 62%. This year’s goal is 67%. By continuing to increase the percentage, not only will it provide additional funding for student scholarships and academic programs, it allows the University to leverage that engagement when seeking philanthropic support from alumni, community members, foundations and local businesses. 

Loud and clear: Scholarship a statement on her life, triumph

Alvina Breske.Born in 1901 in the cutover country near Stevens Point, Alvina Breske wouldn’t set foot in a school classroom until decades later, when her own children were old enough to attend.

It’s not that there wasn’t a schoolhouse nearby (there was), or that her parents needed her on the farm (they did, but gladly supported her education), or that she somehow wasn’t clever enough to keep pace (she was — and then some). Continue reading “Loud and clear: Scholarship a statement on her life, triumph”

Founders Faculty & Staff Campaign tops $17,000

As the UW-Green Bay Founders Association Faculty & Staff Campaign enters the home stretch, 75 colleagues, including 11 new donors, have contributed more than $17,600 in support of student scholarships. That’s a great number, but still far short of last year’s totals of $31,000+ raised by 155 donors. Haven’t made your gift yet? No need to procrastinate any longer. Just visit to join your colleagues in support of UW-Green Bay.

Mueller’s million-dollar boost for student scholarships

Friends, family and members of the campus community gathered Sept. 5 to celebrate a $1 million gift by the late Craig A. Mueller to start a scholarship endowment in his name at his alma mater. That gift, the largest ever for the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay scholarship fund and largest by an alumnus, will make scholarships available annually to students enrolled in both the Arts and Visual Design and Communication academic units. Continue reading “Mueller’s million-dollar boost for student scholarships”