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Morgridges pledge a new gift to continue investment in UW-Madison faculty

Investing in Nelson

March 23, 2020

Gift of $20k bolsters the Environmental Futures Fund

In honor of the Nelson Institute’s 50th anniversary, Lloyd and Pat Eagan made a generous donation to the Environmental Futures Fund. The Eagans bring both a professional and personal commitment to the environment and education.

“Sustainability and climate change continue to loom larger in our in lives. The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies provides world class people that can make practical environmental contributions in their personal and professional lives. They/we can make a difference,” shared Pat.

Lloyd Eagan, an environmental protection expert with over 38 years of experience in water resources management, air quality and environmental restoration, is a Nelson Institute Water Resources Management alumna. She worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for 30 years where she was able to have a real impact as both a policymaker and a policy program implementation. Pat Eagan, professor emeritus, College of Engineering, was a leader in adult professional education programs on sustainability, water resources, industrial environmental engineering and management, and related environmental issues. In addition to this role, he also served as the Environment & Resources Program Chair for the graduate program housed within the Nelson Institute.

Through the continued generosity and leadership of John and Tashia Morgridge, the University of Wisconsin-Madison recently announced a new $70 million dollar Morgridge Match campaign for faculty professorships and chairs at UW-Madison.

We are pleased to announce that Nelson Institute Board of Visitors member and alumnus Jeff Rudd has made a $500,000 pledge to support the Jeff Rudd and Jeanne Bissell Professorship in Energy Analysis and Policy. This professorship will guarantee the continued success and growth of campus-wide graduate training in energy, as embodied by the Nelson Institute’s Energy Analysis and Policy Program.

Nelson Institute donors also supported a similar Morgridge Match program in 2015 that resulted in two new professorships and a faculty chair position: Bradshaw Knight Professorship of the Environmental Humanities, Nelson Institute Professorship in Water Resources, John P. Holton Chair in Health & the Environment.

As every dollar is matched, this is a great opportunity to invest in growth areas within the Nelson Institute. Chairs and professorship funds help us recruit and retain outstanding faculty members.

If you are considering a transformational gift to support the teaching, research, and outreach mission of the Nelson Institute through support of our incredible faculty, please contact Dan Fallon, Director of Development, UW Foundation and Alumni Association at or (608) 852-7929.


Getting to know Dan Fallon, Director of Development, UW Foundation and Alumni Association


Dan Fallon

What I do at the Nelson Institute: In my role I help Paul
Robbins, dean of the Nelson Institute, stay connected to alumni and supporters, and work to secure private financial support for the Nelson Institute and the University.

When I started: February 11, 2019. I was very excited to join the Nelson Institute in advance of our 50th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. We have much to celebrate this year.

Why I joined the Nelson Institute: I was motivated by the opportunity to support the efforts of this truly remarkable interdisciplinary organization in its quest to grapple with, and develop solutions to, the world’s most wicked environmental challenges.

My first memories of nature: When I was four and five years old, we lived in Youngstown, Ohio in a house across the street from a ravine. With my older siblings I would explore the area, including sledding in the winter, and getting into all sorts of outdoor trouble. Parenting may have been a bit more lax back then!

My hometown: Glen Cove, N.Y. but I’ve lived in Madison longer than any other place I’ve lived! Going on 8+ years…

Where you can find me: I have plans to be at alumni events and donor meetings in Washington DC, San Francisco, Denver, New York, Chicago, Twin Cities, and Florida in 2020. If you would like to meet, please email me at And, you can find me in room 122 Science Hall each Wednesday.


Environmental Futures Fund

The Environmental Futures Fund is a catalytic resource that provides the Nelson Institute with the ability to pursue emergent priorities and to explore, enhance, and expand innovative partnerships, collaborations, and programs. These resources help us turn vision into reality.

In the Nelson Institute, the Wisconsin Idea is more than just a concept, it is a philosophy that is woven into the fabric of every Nelson experience. Global citizenry and change agency requires an interdisciplinary approach and willingness to collaborate. We know that the Earth is changing and there’s no going back. The Nelson Institute is training students to find innovative ways to address the challenges that lie ahead, adapt our societies, mitigate undesirable change, and to imagine new environments and economies. We are developing visionaries and equipping them with the tools they need for success.

Whatever the future of the environment brings, it will not be the same as the past we have known. This fact demands new and extended public engagement and novel forms of curriculum and research.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Nelson Institute, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and grapple with the swift-moving chaos of the environment, we seek to raise a brand-new $2 million endowment. This fund will support projects and programs that:

  1. Advance the Wisconsin Idea by providing new, transformational, and disruptive public engagement to solve emerging environmental problems.
  3. Reach new and diverse publics that would significantly engage new kinds of life-long learners, diverse communities, and students.
  5. Create new resources through program revenue or increased efficiencies.
  7. Scale existing environmental knowledge from the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus into regional, national, or international programs, policies, or products.