The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has announced a $5 million estate gift from alumnus Byron R. "Chris" Chrisman in support of four endowed funds.
The largest bequest in UW-Whitewater history will provide support for the hiring of tutors, the purchase of new technology, enhanced programming, and improved campus accessibility. The gift also will support the recruitment and retention of student athletes participating in the rugby and wheelchair athletics clubs, which are heavily reliant on private contributions, and the Warhawk Emergency Fund, which assists low-income students facing a financial emergency.
In 2015, Chrisman awarded $1.5 million toward construction of the Mary Poppe Chrisman Success Center, which is named after his late wife, a UW-Whitewater graduate. Chrisman left school in the ninth grade to join the U.S. Army during the Korean War and graduated from UW-Whitewater in 1959 with a business degree.
"UW-Whitewater blessed me by admitting me, on probation, because I did not have a high school education, and provided me with the college education that made it possible to go on to law school and achieve success," said Chrisman. "UW-Whitewater sort of 'kick-started' the engine, so to speak, and made it possible for me to go above and beyond."