Driving Innovation from the Inside Out
In fall 2007, the Wisconsin School of Business received the biggest single gift in University of Wisconsin-Madison history when a group of 13 alumni joined together to create the Wisconsin Naming Partnership and donated $85 million to preserve the school’s name for at least 20 years. In 2010, the partnership grew to include another anonymous donor and Knetter, who was named an honorary partner, raising the total number of partners to 15 and the gift to $95.4 million.
The gift was an innovative twist to conventional business school naming gifts, which traditionally name the school after a single donor or entity in perpetuity. Instead, the Wisconsin Naming Gift leaves open the option of future naming gifts.
Announcing the gift to a large gathering of students and alumni during Homecoming on Saturday, October 27, 2007, Knetter proclaimed, “This is the start of us building one of the greatest business schools in America.”
"The generosity of these alumni will enable the business school to build on its reputation of leadership and innovation. It’s the sort of forward thinking you can expect from Wisconsin alumni."
The Wisconsin Naming Partnership continues to provide strategic advice to the Wisconsin School of Business, including future naming opportunities.