WFAA Annual Update

WFAA Annual Update: Fiscal Year 2023

During the 2023 investors’ meeting, Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association CEO Mike Knetter looked back on a period of growing organizational health and stability.

“Our organization’s in really good financial health,” he said, “and I’d also like to say that we’re also in really good human resources health. The great resignation that has affected a lot of industries during the pandemic and after really hasn’t materialized. Our retention rates remain quite high. We are really in the long-term relationship business, so preserving relationships that have built over many years is essential to the long-term success of an organization like ours.”

Knetter and WFAA President and Chief Advancement Officer Alisa Robertson ’94, MBA’03 reviewed the organization’s successes from the previous fiscal year and looked ahead to 2024. Carl Laurino, WFAA’s interim chief operating and financial officer, and Chris Moore, deputy chief investment officer, added their perspectives as well.

Watch the video below to learn more about WFAA’s investments and UW–Madison’s priorities.

Key Figures


82,645 Total Gifts

In fiscal 2023, generous donors made more than 80,000 gifts and pledges to UW–Madison.

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350 New Teachers in Wisconsin Classrooms

Thanks to help from the Wisconsin Teacher Pledge, UW–Madison is helping address the state's teacher shortage. The pledge pays for a student’s tuition and fees in return for a promise to teach in the state for at least four years.

Pledge Allegiance >


63% Debt-Free Grads

Nearly two-thirds of UW–Madison's seniors graduated without any student-loan debt. That’s the highest share in recent decades and well above last year’s 57 percent.

No Debt, No Doubt >


350,000 Square Feet of New Educational Floor Space

The forthcoming UW School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences building adds room for the university's most in-demand areas of study. In 2022–23, computer sciences was UW–Madison’s most popular major, with 2,731 students; data science had 915 students. The building’s construction began in 2023 and should be completed by 2025.

Construction Update >


1 Miss America

Nuclear engineer Grace Stanke x’24 was crowned Miss America 2023. Her social impact initiative, Clean Energy, Cleaner Future, takes what she’s learned at the UW into the world as she advocates for nuclear energy. Stanke has received multiple scholarships, including the Thomas F. Plunkett Scholarship and the Walter Olson Memorial Scholarship.

Crowning Glory >


6,374 Endowments at Work

Bringing the best people to learn, work, and teach at the UW is possible because of endowed funds. Endowed funds are designed to support the university in perpetuity, ensuring that donor impact lasts for generations.

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800+ New Paths to Higher Education

Beginning in fall 2023, Bucky’s Pell Pathway provides full financial support for Wisconsin residents who are Pell Grant eligible. The program expands Bucky’s Tuition Promise by covering housing, supplies, and other costs that are often deciding factors in whether a student can attend the UW.

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60,260 UW Hopefuls

A record number of applicants sought admission to UW–Madison in its 175th year. The UW’s reputation for world-class education, cutting-edge research, and an unparalleled student experience persists.

The UW’s Impact >


7,826 New Alumni

In May 2023, Camp Randall hosted the commencement ceremony for the largest graduating class in the university’s history.

Onward >


8,200+ Fans Support Women's Sports

UW–Madison was the only school in the country to have three different women’s sports draw 8,200 or more fans for events in the 2022–23 season.

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29 Million

29 Million Gallons of Soy Sauce

Kikkoman creates an ocean of soy sauce in Walworth, WI, every year. The Japanese company has benefited from UW–Madison research and gave the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences a $3 million grant to study ways to protect the state’s agricultural resources.

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Previous Reports

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