UW System honorees have positive impact at UW-P
The Board of Regents recently bestowed its inaugural Regents' Award for Distinguished Service to the University of Wisconsin System to John and Tashia Morgridge. Both UW-Madison alumni, the Morgridges are being recognized "for their extraordinary commitment and dedication to the advancement of higher education in Wisconsin."
The couples' latest gift to the system, a $175 million donation, created the Fund for Wisconsin Scholars, which provides grants each year to public high school graduates who attend a public college or university in Wisconsin. That donation has had a profound and positive impact--an impact estimated at a million dollars during the past five year--here at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
"There are actually two awards: grants and stipends," said Randy McCready, the university's director of financial aid and scholarships. "Between them, about 250 of our students have received over $1 million in aid."
McCready said 110 students have received renewable grants of up to $14,000 each over a four-year period thanks to the Morgridges' generosity. The stipend awards, valued at $1,000-1,500 per award, have helped another 140 or so recipients. These are one-time awards.
John and Tashia Morgridge each earned their undergraduate degrees at UW-Madison in 1955. He received a master's in business administration from Stanford University. Joining Cisco Systems as president and CEO in 1988, the company grew from $5 million to more than $1 billion in sales and from 34 employees to more than 2,200. Cisco continued its meteoric rise to when Morgridge was later named chairman of the board. It became the world leader in networking technology and grew to more than $25 billion in revenues and 50,000 employees by 2006.
Tashia, who earned a master's degree in education from Lesley College in Massachusetts, worked as a special-education teacher and has maintained a lifelong passion for the power of education. She works as a volunteer teacher for the learning disabled, and serves on several boards.Uniquely different from other Regent awards, which honor achievements at individual UW System institutions, the Regents' Award for Distinguished Service recognizes commitment, dedication, contributions, or service that have significantly advanced the UW System.