Couple hopes Rolls Royce bolsters UWS gift-giving
When Faith and Neil Hensrud decide to make a donation, they do it with style. Instead of dropping change in a bucket or writing out a check, the Hawthorne couple pulled up in a 1973 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow and handed over the keys, so to speak....
When Faith and Neil Hensrud decide to make a donation, they do it with style.
Instead of dropping change in a bucket or writing out a check, the Hawthorne couple pulled up in a 1973 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow and handed over the keys, so to speak.
Actually, the donation was made with a conversation. Neil Hensrud told Jill Schoer she could take a monetary donation or she could take the car. Hensrud thought auctioning the car was a way to raise interest in the University of Wisconsin-Superior and Campaign Superior, the college's fundraising drive.
"It's a beautiful car. It should provide some interest in the Chancellor's Ball and activities that have to do with UW-Superior," he said.
Schoer, assistant chancellor for university advancement, chose the car. Campaign Superior is taking bids online at eBay Giving Works. People can also bid online at the Chancellor's Ball Saturday night. Computers will be available at the ball along with instructions on how to register for eBay.
Campaign Superior is a fundraising drive to support building projects, faculty development, student scholarships and the Superior Fund, which covers unforeseen expenses at the university. The campaign started in July 2004 and runs through 2009 with a goal of raising $17.5 million.
The $17.5 million figure covers 20 to 25 percent of the cost to reconstruct the school's library and student center, and to build a new academic building, Schoer said.
Money raised through private sources by UWS has helped to encourage state support for the projects, she said.
Neil Hensrud is a retired UWS professor and Faith Hensrud is the interim associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the university.
The university has been good to the Hensruds and they wanted to give back. The auction is more fun than a check, he said.
Faith Hensrud, too, is happy Schoer chose the car in place of a check, Neil Hensrud said.
"She's probably happy that I have one less car," he said.
Hensrud purchased the Rolls Royce last spring while attending a classic car auction with his 13-year-old son.
"(He) said 'Dad that's a cool car,'" Hensrud said. "Next thing I knew I owned it."
Hensrud enjoys collecting cars, especially Studebakers, which he's been collecting for years. He hadn't planned on buying the Rolls Royce and wasn't going to keep it forever.
"I was probably going to sell it myself, and I thought well here's a better use for it," Hensrud said. "I would like to think that they'll do well with it."
As of this morning, someone already made a bid for more than $13,000 on eBay for the car. The car is appraised at more than $25,000.
The auction runs through 9:45 Saturday night. The winning bid will be announced at about 10:30 p.m. at the ball.
Campaign Superior is $10,000 from the $12 million mark and will collect more than that from the sale of the Rolls Royce.
"We're well ahead of where we thought we'd be at this point in the campaign," Schoer said.
A silent auction is held every year during the Chancellor's Ball, but the money raised is for alumni association projects.
Campaign Superior has had its own silent auctions in the past. It's received donations other than cash worth as much as $4,000 to $5,000 -- artwork and jewelry. The campaign also once received a bronze eagle from an organization that donates to charity auctions.
"This is the first time we've gotten an item of this magnitude," Schoer said. "This is much larger than we've ever had before, and it's created a buzz about the ball."
So much so that tickets for the ball are sold out. Anyone without a ticket can see the car at Benna Ford, 3022 Tower Ave., where the car is on display until Saturday when it will be on display at the Chancellor's Ball.
Hensrud said he thinks the buzz is because the car itself is interesting. Many people have already stopped at Benna Ford to see it.
"Whether you're 5 years old or 75 years old, it's a car that's pretty neat," he said.
The Hensruds have driven the car. They've taken it to the golf course.
"It drives like your driving your living room sofa down the highway ... We had fun with it," he said. "When you go to the parking lot you can't mistake it."
Anna Kurth covers education. Call her at (715) 394-4411, ext. 138 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .