The University of Wisconsin system was the topic of an event hosted by D.J. and Mary Clare Freeman featuring Mandy Wright, a candidate for the 85th Assembly District; Katie Kalish, an Associate Dean and English faculty member at UW-MC; and Noel Radomski from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Katie Kalish has been part of the UW system since 2006. The guiding principle of the Wisconsin Idea is to reach every family in the state. The 13 UW campuses reach students and their families all across the state.

The UW-Marathon Campus is one of the Access Institutions. One of the missions of an Access Institution is to serve low income, disadvantaged students. UW-MC serves students from all quartiles. In comparison, 95% to 99% of the students at UW-Madison are from the top quartile.

Twenty-two percent of UW-MC students are non-traditional. Fifty-seven percent are first-generation students. Seventy percent of students (more than any other campus) earn scholarships. Yearly tuition at UW-MC is $5,120 (one of the lowest?) compared to over $10,000 at UW-Madison.

The smaller campus allows the staff at UW-MC to help students navigate the system and offer individuals one-on-one help.

Katie spoke of two students she had in class. “Jack” graduated with high honors with a 4.0 grade point average. “Jack” was a go- getter, a high- achiever, and benefited from the smaller class sizes. “Jack” is now in the nursing program at UW-Madison.

“Jenny” is a mother of two and did not disclose the year she graduated. Jenny was enrolled in the developmental non-degree courses while holding down three jobs. “Jenny” was awarded the Diana Hacker Award, a prestigious national award. Because of the one-on-one assistance “Jenny” received at UW-MC, she was able to enter a business degree program and passed. The transformation Katie and the staff saw in “Jenny” over one year speaks to the quality of education and services provided by the staff at UW-MC.

We are fortunate to have UW-MC campus in Marathon County. Let us work to keep it strong so that it may continue to benefit many students.