The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has announced a $2 million gift from alumnus Avi Shaked ('80) and his wife, Babs Waldman.
The gift provides $1 million each for scholarships in the College of Engineering & Applied Science and the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center. Shaked received a full-ride scholarship as an undergraduate at UWM, graduating from the electrical engineering and pre-dental programs. After working for Milwaukee entrepreneur and philanthropist Nate Zelazo at Astronautics Corporation of America and as a computer design engineer at IBM, he launched Onward Technologies, a firm that provides IT services and custom software development to corporations.
Shaked and Waldman, a physician and assistant professor at Rush University Medical College and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine who also serves as the volunteer medical director of the largest free clinic in the United States, previously gave $1 million each in 2005 and in 2011 for scholarships. UWM matched the first gift to launch the Engineering Excellence Scholarship Program, which has supported more than five hundred and fifty engineering undergraduates since 2006.
"My wish is for more people to give money for scholarships — it doesn't have to be a million dollars," said Shaked. "Just participate — it makes such a huge difference in a student's life....I'm a big believer in education. I wouldn't be where I am without the education I got at UWM. My scholarship meant a lot to me. It made the difference."
(Photo credit: Troye Fox, UWM Photo Services)