UW-La Crosse has received its biggest donation in history.
The gift of $2.2 million comes from the estate of Bill and Yvonne Hyde.
Bill Hyde taught for more than 30 years in the English department on campus. Yvonne Hyde worked even more years at the Murphy Library.
Chancellor Joe Gow announced the gift Wednesday, during his remarks for the opening of the spring semester at UW-L.
“People like the Hydes and Jay and Carolyn Scott are powerful reminders that we are a UWL family,” Gow said in a statement. “They appreciate what we’re trying to do and how good we are, and they want to support it and keep it going for a long, long time.”
The donation will be divided evenly between the library and the English department.
“We were absolutely amazed to receive this extraordinary gift — a testament to the Hydes’ generosity and their long-standing commitment to the value of a liberal arts education,” English Chair Kate Parker said. “Their gift will immeasurably impact the department and inspire faculty and students and the communities we serve for years to come.”
Bill taught in the English Department from 1956 to 1992, while Yvonne worked in Murphy Library, mostly in cataloging, from 1957 to 1995.
They previously funded scholarships and other programs at the La Crosse campus. Yvonne Hyde died last year. Bill Hyde passed away in 2015.
“In the history of UWL, few people have been as generous, supportive and impactful as Bill and Yvonne Hyde,” Greg Reichert, vice chancellor for Advancement and president of the UW-L Foundation, said. “This endowment is a transformational gift for our English Department and Murphy Library, as well as a reminder of Bill and Yvonne’s unwavering commitment to our university and our students.”