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Alumni offer matching grant of $400,000 for UWRF donations

A Red Wing, Minn., couple, both alumni of UW-River Falls, have pledged $400,000 for a scholarship program if others will match that amount.

Arlin Albrecht, Class of 1958, and Marilyn Albright, Class of 1956, will match gifts of $1,000 or more to the newly established Falcon Scholars program.

Funding the first four years of the scholarship program will require $800,000 and the Albrechts are pledging half the amount needed.

"We truly understand the importance of scholarships and want to do what we can to promote the university's mission of providing a high-value education to deserving students," said Arlin Albrecht, who was named UWRF Distinguished Alumnus in 2010.

Marilyn Albrecht added, "As the recipient of the university's first-ever scholarship in 1954, the opportunity to encourage others to support a new signature scholarship program at my alma mater is doubly sweet.

"The university has enriched our lives and it is our pleasure to create new opportunities for future Falcons."

UW-River Falls Chancellor Dean Van Galen called the Albrecht's pledge "an extraordinary generous commitment that will shape the lives of many future UW-River Falls students."

"The need for increasing scholarship support has never been greater," said UWRF Foundation President Chris Mueller. "Arlin and Marilyn Albrecht are leveraging the support of others by making a signature investment in the future of UW-River Falls."

Like many current UWRF students, the Albrechts came to River Falls as first-generation college students. While a journalism and economics double major, Arlin was named editor of the student-run newspaper, the Student Voice, during his sophomore year.

Upon graduation he went to work for the River Falls Journal, then the St. Paul Pioneer Press and eventually the Red Wing Republican Eagle that came to be recognized as one of the nation's best small daily newspapers.

He served in a variety of jobs, including being a Vietnam War correspondent. In time, he became chairman and CEO of Red Wing Publishing, which under his and his wife's leadership grew to include 21 community newspapers in Minn. and Wis.

Marilyn Albrecht, a speech/theatre major, was active in theatre activities in Red Wing, including the restoration of the municipal Sheldon Theatre.

About Falcon Scholars

Beginning with the entering class in fall 2012, 80 freshman students each year will be selected as Falcon Scholars to receive a renewable four-year, $1,000 per year scholarship.

In addition, each Falcon Scholar will be provided $2,000 in his or her junior or senior year to study abroad or engage in undergraduate research. The funds for the study abroad or research experience are provided through student differential tuition funds, part of the Falcon Promise program approved by students in 2011.

When fully funded in 2015, the university will support 320 Falcon Scholars requiring $320,000 per year in private support.

"UW-River Falls has become a leader in study abroad and undergraduate research," said Chancellor Van Galen. "Falcon Scholars is a unique partnership between the university and its students that will afford generations of future students to have life-altering experiences."

For information on the Albrecht Challenge or to make a gift to the Falcon Scholars program, contact the UWRF Foundation at 715-425-3505 or visit