Towers Halls get a new name

A generous donation from an alumni couple leads to the renaming of Towers

More stories from Jessie Meyen


Photo by Kar-Wei Cheng

Two alumni donors, Marilyn and David Karlgaard show their gratitude at the renaming of the residence hall.

On Friday, Sept. 29, Towers North and South were renamed Karlgaard Towers as an acknowledgement to two alumni donors, Marilyn and David Karlgaard.

They have been a huge part in supporting the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. The alumni’s financial support for their alma mater exceeds $6 million.

According to the Eau Claire website the couple has started a number of different scholarships including the computer science scholarship in 2002, scholarships in mathematics and physics in 2010 and a few of the largest scholarships to more than 130 students.

They’ve also provided funds for computer science labs and were the first major fundraising campaign on campus, Fulfilling the Promise of Excellence.

Marilyn Karlgaard was a part of the first group of students to live in Towers when the building was developed in 1967. Towers South was built as a women’s residence hall while Towers North was built as a men’s residence hall.

David and Marilyn met on the Eau Claire campus and have been happily married since Marilyn’s junior year. They are currently living in Great Falls, Virginia and continue to contribute to UW-Eau Claire.

According to an article on the UW-Eau Claire website, the Karlgaards said they had no idea the resident halls were going to be rededicated.

“Our students are so wonderful to be able to help them, that’s what we need to do, is help our students,” Marilyn Karlgaard said.

“It makes our lives very important and it’s important to our lives,” David Karlgaard said.

David graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1967, and Marilyn attended from 1965-68 to graduate and complete her master’s degree.

The students living in the newly named dorms, like Natalie Carbon, a junior accounting major have conflicting feelings or are simply unaware.

“I heard about the name change, but I never thought to ask why the name was changing,” Carbon said.

Katie Kirmse, a first-year student, hadn’t heard about the name change either. She didn’t feel the change was significant to her personally.

“It’s kind of cool that they’ve donated so much money and they’ll have the name, but it doesn’t really affect me because I’ll be out of the dorms next year,” Kirmse said.

Quincy Chapman, the Director of Housing and Resident Life and the association took students’ requests seriously.

“In the case of the Towers naming, the Residence Hall Association was consulted for feedback on the proposed name, and students asked that the word ‘Towers’ be retained,” said Chapman. “That’s why it is the Karlgaard Towers, versus just Karlgaard Hall.”

With the new name agreed upon, the Karlgaards put the importance of education as the biggest reason for their giving.

“Education has always been important in our lives,” David said. “It’s the way anybody can rise up and be successful in life.”