The University of Wisconsin–Madison has announced a $50 million challenge gift from alumni Albert "Ab" ('52, MBA '55) and Nancy ('55) Nicholas in support of scholarships and fellowships.
Awarded through the University of Wisconsin Foundation, the gift will be used to match, on a one-to-one basis, gifts that support undergraduate and athletic scholarships and graduate fellowships. The first three established as part of the match are need-based undergraduate scholarships created by the couple's children, Lynn Nicholas, Sue Nicholas Fasciano, and David Nicholas and his wife, Lori, all of whom graduated from UW-Madison. The gift is the second largest in the university's history, after a $100 million gift last year from John and Tashia Morgridge.
The Nicholases previously have provided support for the Wisconsin School of Business, School of Human Ecology, and Athletic Department. In addition, in 2013 they established the Ab Nicholas Scholarship Foundation, which provides scholarships to Wisconsin high school basketball players who attend any UW system school.
"The University of Wisconsin holds a special place for Nancy and me," said Albert Nicholas, who had been a scholarship student and a star basketball player. "It's where we met and where our three children and six of our grandchildren have gone to university. I learned the lessons in the classroom and on the court that have fueled my career. And we made lasting friendships and continue to enjoy an amazing alumni experience."