UW-Washington County and WCCF: A History of Growth

May 20, 2014
UW-Washington County exterior

In 1978, Jimmy Carter was president, The Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever album was at the top of the charts, and the TV show Dallas premiered on CBS. It was also the year the Washington County Campus Foundation (WCCF) was founded.

WCCF was formed nearly a decade after the founding of the college. The UW-Washington County groundbreaking for the new campus took place in July 1967. Classes began in September 1968, and the campus was dedicated in November 1969. The original construction plan for the main area of the building included two classrooms, a lecture hall, laboratories, art studio, administrative and student services offices, and twelve faculty offices. Outside of the main area included the library, theatre, music room, cafeteria, kitchen, lounges, bookstore, ceramics studio, art gallery, and a few classrooms.

In 1978, WCCF began its operations in support of campus cultural activities and academic achievement. That year, WCCF awarded four students with $100 awards. Looking at the 1970s as a whole, a total of $2,700 was awarded to 27 students.

The 1980s not only brought big hair, shoulder pads and Members Only jackets, it also brought new capital improvement projects to the campus. The board of supervisors approved a $1,500,000 expansion project, which added a large lobby area, providing weather protection for room 201 and student services, and served as a gathering place for students. The union was expanded to create more musical practice rooms and music faculty offices. The theatre was also expanded to create a larger backstage area and a workshop. Ground was broken for the new project in September 1980 and was dedicated thirteen months later. A total of 34,300 square feet was added to the original facility.

UW-Washington County Student Union

By 1985, continued enrollment growth had created severe overcrowding. The campus added two computer laboratories, additional cafeteria space, a lower level lounge and activity area, theatre storage, maintenance storage, a large conference room, and more classrooms and faculty offices to accommodate the growing faculty. A new parking lot and a cement balcony enhanced the upper level of the campus.

The 1980s were a time of growth for WCCF as well. During that time, we awarded 138 scholarships totaling $24,900. And that number would continue to flourish. In the 1990s, WCCF awarded 368 scholarships, totaling $487,813.

By the early 2000s, notebook laptops had begun to replace regular old notebooks in classrooms, and the increased number of students led to UW-WC to agree to an $8,000,000 construction and remodeling project. The first phase focused on extending the science wing to accommodate more laboratories, faculty offices, math laboratories, computer science laboratories, a greenhouse, a lecture hall, and an elevator to service all three floors. The second phase involved remodeling and enlarging the first floor administrative offices, which included student services, business office, university relations, and continuing education. A meeting room/ continuing education classroom was created inside the front entrance. The front entrance was remodeled to eliminate the problems created by the wind. The maintenance area was also remodeled to create more faculty offices, and art graphics lab and a large art classroom.

In 2008, the campus received unanimous support for a new expansion project to add a third floor. The new space includes mechanical and electrical engineering labs, five classrooms, a learning resource center, conference room, and faculty offices.

The 2000s were a booming time for scholarships as well. WCCF awarded 631 scholarships during this time, totaling over $1.9 million. Currently, over 100 students receive scholarships from WCCF, with over $150,000 annually given out in awards. And we’re not done yet!

How Can You Help?

To make a difference in the lives of UW-Washington County students, you can contribute to our scholarship fund. Furthermore, if you would like to donate to a specific scholarship, please "add special instructions to the seller" in the final stage of the PayPal donation process online. 

Click the button below to donate securely online through PayPal! 

If you would like to find out more information about donating, you may contact Iva Thelen, Executive Director of the WCCF at (262)-335-5200.

To connect with the Washington County Campus Foundation on social media, click the links below: 

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