Endowed Chairs and Professorships

Endowed professorships allow the School to attract and retain the most sought-after, experienced scholars. While the salary of faculty members is almost always paid for by the University, the endowment provides guaranteed funds for a particular faculty member to conduct research and hire graduate students.

Alumni and friends interested in endowing a named chair or professorship should contact Betsy Burns, School of Education Director of Development. Call Betsy at 608-712-9376 or email: betsy.burns@supportuw.org

Morgridge Match exceeds goal:

$250 million raised to support new and enhanced endowments for named professorships, chairs and distinguished chairs across the campus

John and Tashia Morgridge issued a challenge in November 2014 to fellow UW–Madison alumni — they would match up to $100 million in donations to fund new and enhanced endowments for named professorships, chairs and distinguished chairs across the campus.

University leaders thought it would take two to three years to fulfill the match. But within seven months, more than 1,000 generous donors responded. In the end, those donations reached $125 million, an amount the Morgridges agreed to match.

In total, the Morgridge match effort has generated more than $250 million in new endowment dollars for the university. Once fully funded, these gifts will generate more than $11 million in annual payments to schools and colleges for the faculty who hold these chairs. These are vital because state, federal and tuition dollars can’t be used to fund named faculty chairs.

By the time these gifts are paid, UW–Madison will have 300 fully endowed professorships and chairs, up from 142.

School of Education doubles its named professorships and chairs

The Morgridge Match was instrumental in helping the School of Education double the number of its named professorships and chairs.

John and Tashia Morgridge
John and Tashia Morgridge speak to UW-Madison
alumni, friends and representatives on Oct. 15,
2015 during the launch of the University's All
Ways Forward capital campaign.
“The School of Education’s excellence flows from our dedicated and highly regarded faculty and staff,” says School of Education Dean Diana Hess. “And the Morgridge Match is a game changer in helping us maintain our excellence.”

A 1955 graduate of the School of Education, Tashia Frankfurth Morgridge has maintained close ties with the School, serving on its Board of Visitors and, with her husband, sponsoring scholarships to support students preparing to become teachers. A retired special education teacher, she has been a volunteer teacher for students with learning disabilities.


• Alumni Tom and Karen Falk, who gave $10 million to support student scholarships and faculty. That gift, in part, will fund the Karen A. Falk Distinguished Chair of Education, and the Karen A. Falk Diversity Scholarship Fund in Education, which will back students from underrepresented groups. Karen is a graduate of the School of Education.

• Jerome and Simona Chazen, who made a $28 million gift, including $3 million to establish the Chazen Family Distinguished Chair in Art. This will support the first endowed chair for the Art Department, which is housed within the School of Education.

• Dorothy “Dottie” Jones King and her husband, Robert “Bob” Eliot King, whose $10 million gift will enable UW–Madison to recruit new interdisciplinary faculty that focus on children and well-being to the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, and the School of Education.

• Alumni Ted and Mary Kellner, whose generous gift created a new distinguished chair for a faculty member who specializes in child development, social-emotional learning, and mindfulness-based approaches. Their gifts also enhanced the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education. Mary is a graduate of the School of Education.

• Jim Thompson and Georgia Thompson, whose gift of $1.5 million to the School created the Jim and Georgia Thompson Distinguished Chair in Education Fund. Jim is chair of the School’s Board of Visitors and co-chair of its Comprehensive Campaign Committee.

• Alumna Susan Shannon Engeleiter, whose generous gift will create the Susan S. Engeleiter Professorship in Education, which will be used for faculty to effect positive change in K-12 schools.

• Professor Emeritus Norm Berven and Barbara Mittelstaedt Berven, who committed $500,000 to start the Norman L. and Barbara M. Berven Professor of Rehabilitation Psychology Fund.

• School of Education alumna Susan Cellmer and Jeffrey Neal, who bolstered their support of a named professorship to enhance the Susan J. Cellmer Distinguished Chair of English Education.

• Sarah Harvey Wilkinson and W. James Wilkinson, whose generous gift created the John Grover Harvey Professorship Fund in his memory. Professor Harvey was an influential mathematician and math educator at UW–Madison from 1966 until his retirement in 2001.

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