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December 21, 2005

Contact Gary Klein at 608-796-3074 or


LA CROSSE, Wis—Led by members of Viterbo’s Board of Trustees, over $300,000 was raised in less than two months to endow a scholarship in honor of outgoing university president Dr. William J. Medland.

The announcement was made at last week’s Board of Trustee meeting much to the surprise of Medland who was unaware of the effort.

“I’m ‘flabbergasted.’ There is not a better word to describe how I felt when I heard the news,” Medland said. “The fact that Viterbo friends and leaders thought so highly of me, and more especially of Viterbo, to give in excess of $300,000 for this scholarship endowment will remain one of my greatest joys.”

Medland, who asked to determine the eligibility for the new scholarship, selected first-generation college students as the recipients of the fund. Students will be chosen from families where neither parent has attended college. Typically, these students are at greater risk to succeed in college and many confront obstacles which are financial in nature.

Based on an average rate of return, the endowed scholarship will generate $15-20,000 in financial aid per year which will be distributed among two or more students.

According to Sister Mary Ann Gschwind, chair of the Board of Trustees, one hundred percent of the board and a number of other benefactors contributed to the scholarship. “The response was absolutely unbelievable. While the three hundred thousand figure is very impressive, what really stands out is the trust, respect, and love the trustees have for Bill. We are all very grateful for his leadership and this was one way we could say ‘thank you.’”

Gary Klein, the vice president of Institutional Advancement at Viterbo, contacted many of the benefactors and agreed with Sister Gschwind’s assessment. “I can’t imagine a more generous response. When I visited with those who contributed to the scholarship, I heard many stories about Bill, his tenure at Viterbo, and the changes that came about as a result of his leadership. There were many heartfelt comments and stories.”

When Medland leaves the presidency June 30, his fifteen years will go down in the record books as the longest serving president in the history of Viterbo. Only two current presidents among Wisconsin’s 20 private colleges have held office longer than Medland.

Individuals may make a gift to the fund by going to the Viterbo website at www.viterbo.eduand clicking on “giving to Viterbo” or by contacting Klein at 608-796-3074.

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