When people think of on-campus relationship building, many picture a bond between students, faculty and alumni. However, Wanda Brown and Phyllis Goldin, River Falls residents, have proven that the University of Wisconsin-River Falls can catalyze a bond with those outside the campus walls. Both are long-time supporters of the University through participation in campus events and involvement with the music and art departments. "The local culture is enriched by the University," states Goldin. "Wherever anything of great interest was going on we were there."
In 2012, Brown and Goldin decided to take the next step in their support of the University by starting the Wanda Brown and Phyllis Goldin Music Major Scholarship. The scholarship awards $1,000 to an incoming freshman music major. Calyssa Hall, a Music Liberal Arts major, was the first student to receive the scholarship, which will be renewed every year until she graduates. "It's hard for incoming freshmen to get a scholarship, so we wanted to be able to provide that," says Brown.
The idea for the contribution started when Brown and Goldin were working with the film and music departments to make a video for the UW-River Falls Spirit Song "Our Chance to Fly," which Goldin wrote and composed. "We realized how little funding the film and music department have," explains Brown. After making a contribution to the film department, Brown and Goldin decided they wanted to give back to the music department in a unique way. "We met with David Milne (Chair of the Music Department) and he suggested we set up a scholarship," states Brown. "Establishing a scholarship is a learning process over time. You need to seek out the information," explains Goldin. "What we get out of giving is social capital returns. Relations in the community and at the University enrich us more," states Brown. "We wanted to put our money where our hearts are."
Phyllis Goldin is a psychiatrist in private practice. Wanda Brown owns Brown and Kirkwood: Sales Management Consulting. Goldin is a well-known songwriter, composer and visual artist. Brown is an accomplished poet and photographer. Both were awarded the Outstanding Service Award from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.