Outlook Magazine - Fall 2020



Steinhilbers support Laboratory Modernization Endowed Fund to ‘help the university keep current’

A t UW-Stout, labs and the technology within them are essential to supporting the school’s polytechnic mission. Since its inception in 1891 as Stout Manual Training School, the university has promoted the value of hands-on learning in labs and with real-world experiences. Today, UW-Stout remains mission-focused with three times as many labs as classrooms. Therein lies a challenge with declining state funding: How to keep those spaces updated with the latest equipment and technology? The new computer science tutoring lab in Jarvis Hall Science Wing, opening this fall after a spring remodeling project by Facilities Management, is an example of this challenge. The lab rotated between several rooms until funding was allocated to fix the problem for about 1,000 students a year who use it. “Typically, the conference room was overcrowded, standing room only and many times with a line down the hall. Moving the lab was confusing for students as well. I am very pleased that UW-Stout invested in this project to support students with a larger, permanent location,” said Professor Diane Christie, director of the computer science program.

Since spring 2017, close to $3 million has been invested in more than 100 lab and classroom modernizations. The estimated annual cost of keeping them updated is $1 million. The ongoing need for more renovations is why alumni Barbara Steinhilber and her late husband, Howard, have made an estate commitment to the Laboratory Modernization Endowed Fund, part of Stout University Foundation’s Pathways Forward comprehensive campaign. The endowed fund is made up of private donations and will provide critical annual support for lab upgrades. “This was of utmost importance to me because UW-Stout has a high percentage of programs that are hands-on and require frequent updating. I hope our gift will help the university keep current and in step with the times,” Steinhilber said. She and Howard have made other gifts to the Foundation for more than 20 years. Barb, a 1962 dietetics graduate, also has served for 10 years on the Alumni Association board and on the Pathways Forward Steering Committee. Howard earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UW-Stout in 1959 and 1965. “Following graduation, I have continued to spread the word about the great opportunity I had, and I recommend Stout to anyone and everyone that I can,” Steinhilber said, noting that a brother and sister also attended UW-Stout. “The programs, staff, students, friends and my family have all had a role in the development of who I am, and for this I am truly grateful. Therefore, I feel that it is my turn to reciprocate.”

Barbara Steinhilber ‘62


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