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Our sincere thanks to the many alumni and friends who have generously supported the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Psychology. As State funds to support the University have steadily declined in recent years, we are increasing reliant on private gifts to ensure that the Department maintains its stature as one of the world’s preeminent psychology departments. Your donations help us to create enriching instructional and research experiences for our undergraduate and graduate students as well as attract and support the research of outstanding faculty.

We invite you to help us achieve our goals for the future by contributing to any of the Department funds described below. Gifts of any size are most welcome and gratefully received. Please use the links below to make your gift to the Department.



As a Wisconsin Psychology alum, you have a lot to be proud of! For example,

  • We’re ranked among the top 5 psychology departments nationally, right up there with Stanford and Harvard. (Scientific survey by the National Research Council)
  • Eight of our current faculty had received Distinguished Teaching Awards from the University, three of whom have also been honored by UW System.

You can help us maintain our excellence for future generations. The Department’s Top 5 Priorities for Alumni Support are listed below, in no particular order.

1. Department of Psychology Annual Fund

Given State budget woes and an excruciatingly tight budget for the Department, the Chair is frequently faced with needs that cannot be met with the base budget.As an example, the costs for recruitment of new faculty and new graduate students exceed the amounts provided by the College.

  • Faculty recruitment:In faculty recruitment, the College will provide support to invite two candidates for on-campus interviews and the amount provided does not cover the full cost of these visits.Moreover, typically we interview 3 or more candidates for each position, to ensure that we identify the best candidate.The burden for paying for additional candidates (travel, lodging, food) falls to the Department.Once we make offers, in most situations, candidates appropriately want to make a second visit.Again the burden for this part of the recruitment process falls to the Department.
  • Graduate Student Recruitment:In recruitment of graduate students, the Department typically can offer students about $300 to help defray costs of a visit to the university.This amount does not cover the cost of travel, let alone food and lodging.The students we recruit are of the highest caliber and we are in serious competition with other top-ranked departments. Our recruitment efforts would be improved if we could cover more of the costs of these visits.
  • Undergraduates receive support from this fund as well, in areas of greatest need.

Gifts to the Annual Fund give the Department the most flexibility in using them.All amounts are welcome.For more information about this fund or any other giving opportunities, please contact the Director of Alumni Relations, Professor Janet Hyde,, or (608) 262-9522.

  1. Colloquium Series

An important way to enrich the intellectual experience for our graduate and undergraduate students is to invite scientists from other universities to share their research and expertise with the Department.The visits involve costs for travel, food and lodging, and an honorarium. Our goal is to be in a position to support 6 – 8 outside visitors each year to ensure that our students are getting exposure to cutting-edge science and the opportunity to interact with outstanding scholars from other universities.


  • Cost for one colloquium: $2,000
  • Cost for a series of 6 colloquia across the academic year: $12,000
  • Cost to endow the series: $265,000
  1. Endowed Graduate Fellowships: Dissertation Year and Summer Dissertation Fellowships

The core prelude to pursuing truly independent scholarship is the completion of the dissertation.We have been highly successful in mentoring students through the process to complete exciting and innovative dissertation projects that have become highly cited staples in field (e.g., dissertations just in the last 20 years by Amodio, Bailey, Barron, Cronin, Durik, Elliot, Haeffel, Hankin, Hulleman, Jaffee, Kang, Kaschak, Krueger, Lynam, McNeil, Monteith, Nusslock, Plant, Reyes, Thiessen) and today these former students are respected scholars in their own right.Yet students’ progress toward completing their dissertation is often hampered by the need to serve as a teaching assistant for classes or research assistant for their advisor’s grants. Planning innovative and ambitious dissertations requires a protected time during which students can immerse themselves in the relevant literature, learn new methods for testing their hypotheses, and so on. These graduate students are the next generation of psychological scientists, so investment in them is a good strategy.We want to be able to provide students with support during the time when they plan their dissertations (a summer fellowship), or the time when they complete data collection, analysis, and writing (an academic year fellowship).Our success in mentoring the next generation of psychological scientists who do cutting-edge, field-shaping work will be enhanced with a program that provides this type of support.


  • Cost for one student, one summer: $6,400 (salary + fringe) Cost to endow: $145,000
  • Cost for one student, one academic year: $39,000 Cost to endow: $865,000
  1. Endowed Faculty Chairs

Recruiting a senior-level faculty member who is a superstar in his or her field is somewhat like recruiting a top NFL free agent.Other prestigious universities are also bidding on this same superstar.These competitor universities, both private and public, have endowed chairs to use as an incentive to lure the superstar. One or more endowed chairs, which can be named for the donor, would place the Department in a much better position to win these superstars who are so crucial to the student experience, the advancement of groundbreaking research, and our national and international reputation.

  • Cost to endow at two levels:
  • Named Chair: $2 million (mid-level faculty)
  • Named Distinguished Chair: $3-5 million (senior faculty)

Even as we try to recruit stars from other universities, we are faced with other universities attempting to recruit our stars.In such cases, approaches such as a Named Bascom Professorship, which offers a 5-year salary increase of $10,000-$15,000 per year and $10,000-$15,000 per year in discretionary research funding, can be enormously helpful.

  • Cost to endow Named Bascom Professorship:$500,000
  • Cost for expendable, 5-year Named Bascom Professorship: $125,000 (donor can elect to build the fund over 5 years)
  1. Endowed Funding for Department Special Events

Annually, the Department hosts special events for students that must be paid from gift funds.Examples include the May Graduation Reception for Undergraduates and their families, immediately preceding their commencement ceremony and the Ph.D. Graduation Reception.Students and their families love these events, including the opportunity to introduce parents and other family members to faculty members who have been important to the students.These events also strengthen the relationship between the Department, our students, and our new cohort of alumni.

  • Annual cost of the undergraduate graduation reception: $3,500 Cost to endow: $78,000
  • Annual cost of the Ph D. graduation reception: $1,500 Cost to endow:$34,000


For more information on how you can help, please contact the Director of Alumni Relations, Professor Janet Hyde, or (608) 262-9522.

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