Retired professors still support UWS studentsDonald and Karen Bahnick each devoted 31 years to the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
Donald and Karen Bahnick each devoted 31 years to the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
Although they retired in 1997, they continue to support the university, most recently by making a $50,000 gift to the Lake Superior Research Institute.
“We benefitted greatly over the years while we worked at UW-Superior,” Donald Bahnick said. “We were treated very well and enjoyed our time there. We just want to pay back now.”
The Bahnicks both joined the faculty in 1966. Donald Bahnick taught chemistry and retired as chairman of the Chemistry Department. He also spent 11 years as director of LSRI, or the Center for Lakes Superior Environmental Studies, as it was known then. Karen Bahnick taught German, business and economics, and served in a variety of key administrative positions.
Chancellor Renée Wachter said she’s impressed with the Bahnicks’ continuing dedication to UWS.
“We deeply appreciate Donald’s and Karen’s gift to LSRI, as well as their support of other programs over the years,” she said. “They dedicated their careers to helping our students, and they’re continuing that dedication in their retirement. Their thoughtfulness in sharing continues to help the university excel.
“LSRI is a key part of UW-Superior and the scientific community,” Wachter added. “Supporting the scientists there is important to freshwater research and to preparing our students for careers in science.”
Karen Bahnick has made gifts over the years through the UWS Foundation to support the university’s German program and Music Department. Donald Bahnick said the couple decided to include LSRI in their giving in recognition of the important role it plays in studying Lake Superior and adjacent waters. How the gift will be used is at the discretion of LSRI.
“It could be used for a number of things. We’re looking to support them and help them with whatever they need,” he said.
The Bahnicks, who live in Arizona, visited UWS last summer. They received an update on LSRI activities from institute director Dr. Mary Balcer, and toured new and renovated campus buildings.
LSRI conducts environmental research and provides environmental education and public information for the Great Lakes region. It is funded primarily through grants and other external sources. Scientists and staff members associated with LSRI possess a wide range of expertise in chemistry, biology, toxicology, microbiology, geology, statistics, database management, data processing, computer programming, and geographic information systems.
Many UWS students participate in LSRI research as research assistants or interns.