Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Institute alumni support Dresang scholarship

Dennis Dresang

Support the Dresang Fund

Information available online; by telephone, (608) 263-7657; or by email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Donors who give $500 or more will be recognized on a plaque to be presented to Dennis Dresang. Donations will support a scholarship fund for La Follette School students.

Sustaining Donors
contribute $1,000 or more

Supporting Donors
contribute $500 or more

Founding Donors

  • Anthony Earl
  • Mark W. Huddleston
  • Mark Hadley
  • La Follette Institute Alumni Association
  • Ronald S. Luskin &
    M. Therese Ruzicka
  • Northwestern Mutual Foundation
  • Eric and Paul Stanchfield
  • Kathy Sykes
  • Eric Tempelis
  • Melinda Tempelis
  • Peter Tempelis
  • Michael Youngman

A missive from the Wisconsin Secretary of State's office and another from the bank led to a donation to the La Follette School. When Carolyn Heinrich was going through files after taking office as director, she found an official notice that the La Follette Institute Alumni Association had been decertified. Then a bank statement appeared at the school showing a $491.01 balance for the association.

Outreach director Terry Shelton tracked down the names on the bank account and got in touch with treasurer Judith Nugent, who graduated from the institute in 1985. Turns out she periodically ran across the account's checkbook in her desk at home and wondered what to do about it. She conferred with Sue Plasterer, class of 1991, and they agreed with Shelton's suggestion to donate the money to the Dennis Dresang scholarship fund at the La Follette School, making the alumni association a founding donor.

The two are part of a group of alumni who meet regularly for lunch ever since they graduated. Nugent, Plasterer and then career placement advisor Terese Berceau established the La Follette Institute Alumni Association in 1988. The group was active into the early 2000s, collecting dues from members, holding dinners, spring flings and conferences, and giving scholarships.

The bonus was that when Nugent went to the bank to close the account, she found out a savings account had another $500 or so, bringing the total donation to $1,000.

Nugent says she is pleased to be able to turn over the association's funds — and to clear out the checkbook from her desk.

Honoring Dresang is important to Plasterer, who served as the alumni group's president from 1994-96. "Dennis played a big role in my life and graduate school career in the 1980s," she says. "Had I not gotten to know him when I worked on comparable worth in Governor Tony Earl's office, I probably would not have gone to La Follette and completed a degree in public policy. He was instrumental in my getting a La Follette fellowship, which certainly made grad school possible. His presence changed my life and my career."

This article appeared in the fall 2009 La Follette Notes newsletter for alumni and friends.

Catching up: Lunch Bunch revels in classmates' company for 25 years, July 22, 2009, La Follette School News