With careers spanning some combined 60-plus years in the education field, Jon and Dr. Tori Erickson have had an insider’s look at higher education – both the challenges students can face and the opportunities an education can provide. That’s why they hope their recent gift to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Foundation to establish an endowed scholarship will help more students access an education.
“We wanted to establish this scholarship because we believe that everyone has a right to an education,” said Tori. “However, there are barriers that students have to face, and one of those is the financial aspect of higher education. We hope to eliminate at least one of those barriers with this scholarship.”
The Jon and Tori Erickson Scholarship will be awarded to underrepresented students and students facing hardships or overcoming obstacles.
“I think it’s important that at the university, there be a wide range of students,” said Jon. “It’s good for understanding different people, cultures, places and situations that students come from.
The Ericksons have been longtime supporters of the UW-Platteville Foundation, and Tori currently serves on the Board of Directors. Tori is a two-time alumna of UW-Platteville, having earned her bachelor’s degree in education in 1983 and her master’s degree in counseling and student personnel in 1988. She eventually earned her Ph.D. in higher education from UW-Madison. She spent the first 20 years of her career in admissions, both at UW-Platteville and UW-Whitewater, where she eventually served as executive director of admissions.
“UW-Platteville is a special place for me, because I had such a good experience there,” said Tori. “The students enrolling at UW-Platteville are hardworking and bright and want to better themselves. That’s what has always attracted me to giving to UW-Platteville. It’s a great place, and we want to keep it great.”
Tori continued her work in higher education with a 10-year career in development at the University of Iowa. She was executive director of development-major gifts for the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, where she raised funds for medical student scholarships, and executive director of development for the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she fundraised for cancer research.
Jon, a 1976 graduate of UW-La Crosse, majored in history and social studies before eventually earning his master’s degree in educational psychology from UW-Milwaukee. He spent his career in education, working at UW-Milwaukee as an academic affairs specialist and then holding a 32-year career at ACT, where he eventually retired as president of the college admissions testing organization.
“Tori and Jon continue to be wonderful supporters of our students at UW-Platteville,” said Joshua Boots, assistant vice chancellor for Development and Alumni Engagement. “They consistently give their time, talent and treasure to ensure current and future Pioneers receive a high-quality education at an affordable price. We are extremely fortunate to have them part of our Pioneer family.”
For more information about supporting the UW-Platteville Foundation, visit www.uwplatt.edu/give. Those interested in establishing a scholarship at the UW-Platteville Foundation, please contact Stacia Stephenson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608.342.1690.