Frances “Fran” Jaeschke ’71
Frances “Fran” Jaeschke was a life-long advocate for the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Before UW-Parkside was founded in 1968, Fran was one of the few women on the "Committee of 100," the original advocacy group that worked to garner support in the community and throughout the Wisconsin Legislature to establish a four-year UW campus in southeastern Wisconsin.
Fran was not only involved in the efforts that helped create UW-Parkside, she was also among the first students to ever earn a degree from the new UW school. In May 1971, UW-Parkside’s second commencement, she was honored with the UW-Parkside Outstanding Graduate award.
While UW-Parkside held a special place in Fran’s heart, she was also very active in the Kenosha community throughout her life. Over the course of seven-plus decades in Kenosha, Fran served on the Kenosha Unified School Board for 10 years and participated in more than 40 community organizations, from the PTA to the Kenosha Woman’s Club and the League of Women Voters.
UW-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford was well acquainted with Fran before her death in March of 2016. Chancellor Ford remembers, "She was passionate about all forms of education and remained a lifelong learner." Fran created scholarships that, to this day, provide access to education for students in each of the university's four colleges. Her generosity also established the Ralph Jaeschke Solutions for Economic Growth (SEG) Center in memory of her husband, who passed away in 1996.
In October 2013, Fran’s commitment to education was honored when she was introduced to the UW System Board of Regents during the Regents' meeting at UW-Parkside. Chancellor Ford described her as a "UW-Parkside giant of education and learning." Fran was presented with a commissioned sculpture titled "Come About" which was created by former UW-Parkside art student Mallory Olesen ‘13. The sculpture remains on permanent display in the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities, to honor the memory of UW-Parkside's most ardent supporter – Frances Jaeschke ‘71.