UW-Platteville receives $10M gift to establish scholarship fund

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — A new generation of students at UW-Platteville will have the chance to graduate debt-free thanks to a multi-million dollar gift from a university alumnus.

During a Friday afternoon ceremony, UW-Platteville Chancellor Dennis Shields announced a historic $10 million gift from Todd and Susan Johnson, which is the largest in the school’s history.

University leaders said the gift will be used to set up the Capstan Scholarship Program, which will cover the costs of tuition and room and board for recipients every year, starting this fall.

“From all of us here at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, I thank Todd and Susan Johnson for their monumental investment in our institution and the future of our students,” Chancellor Dennis J. Shields said. “Investing in the future of our students and university is one way that we can work together towards realizing a better tomorrow.”

The scholarships are renewable for four years and are available for students majoring in STEM-related fields or accounting and finance. Students must also be from Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota or Michigan to qualify.

Students should also have a “willingness to work hard, overcome obstacles, showcase gumption, demonstrate moral character and have financial need,” according to a news release.

“Just as I was surrounded by people that helped me succeed, the Capstan Scholarship was created for just that purpose – to remove obstacles, lift financial burden and provide a support system of other Capstan Scholars throughout their college career,” said Todd. “Every Capstan Scholar should know that they have a team around them that wants nothing more than to champion them toward success. A greater outcome can be achieved when people work together in support of one another. Just as the capstan provides a mechanism to achieve greater results than a single individual, so does the Capstan Scholarship.”

In the time since graduating from the university in 1981, Todd has gone on to work as chairman and CEO of Capstan Corporation, a holding company based in Minnesota. Last year, he was recognized as a 2021 Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni award winner.