Giving Back Even on a Tight Budget
College is an important time in a person's life where they learn about who they are and what they want to do with their future. For Valerie (Koelsch) Woiak, a 1974 graduate from UW-River Falls, this couldn't be truer. "Without attending and eventually graduating from a great college like UWRF I would have never become the person I am today," explains Woiak. "Socially, it created friends that I keep to this day, gave me a wonderful opportunity to go abroad, started my love of traveling and involvement in the fiber arts. Professionally it gave me a basis and background that allowed me to work for a large company which valued my education." Thanks to the foundation that UW-River Falls built for Woiak, she is now able and more than willing to give back to the University in a unique way.
In 2006, Woiak placed UW-River Falls in her estate plans, a concept of giving that she found intriguing, "The planned giving idea was one that I saw many years ago in a Falcon Features magazine. I noticed Kurt and Ruth Wild were contributing and felt that right now I may not have a large amount of money to donate, but through estate planning I can still be a contributor." Woiak points out that planned giving is the perfect solution for those who want to generously support the University yet still feel comfortable with their current finances. "Giving through my estate was a good option for me and is a good option for anyone who may not feel like they can contribute as much as they would like to right now."
About the personal legacy Woiak will leave, she states, "I only want to have the knowledge that a UWRF student will still be able to become a better prepared, compassionate, socially responsible citizen in this global world." She also encourages the students who will benefit tomorrow to "pass it on by considering donating to UWRF when the time is right."
Valerie Woiak received her bachelor's degree in Secondary Education with a major in Broad Area Art from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She is recently retired from 3M and lives in Houlton, WI with her husband, Mike.