We celebrate you – our donors – who give graciously to our students and programs. You help transform lives by partnering with the Foundation to encourage, support, and promote the educational goals of our students. Your philanthropic investment allows them to enhance their lives through education, training, and experience to realize their dreams.
We invite you to meet a few of the people who have chosen to contribute to the Nicolet College Foundation. Each individual and organization has different reasons for making a contribution. These donors share why it’s so important to them to support the Nicolet College Foundation.
A Vision for Education
After graduating from Nicolet College, Lynn Hudson earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a PhD in genetics and cell biology at the University of Minnesota, and completed her post-doctoral work at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hudson spent 30 years doing research at the National Institutes of Health as the head of the Laboratory of Developmental Genetics and later taking the helm at the Office of Science Policy Analysis.
Her father, Dr. Steger, helped create Nicolet College. “People figured, you go to high school, you may or may not go to college, and then you’re pretty much done,” Dr. Hudson says. Neither of her parents believed in that philosophy. Even though her mom did not work at Nicolet College, she was one of its biggest advocates. “She was pleased with the directions that the college took at a time when other schools weren’t doing what Nicolet was doing. Even when my dad started in 1969, he really believed in lifelong learning. That was a time when that was such a novel concept,” Dr. Hudson recalls.
Dr. Hudson never forgot the important role Nicolet College played in her life, saying, “It really prepared me. I look back at my educational life, and I’d say in all that time, about a half dozen people really influenced me with their passion for the subject and their drive, and half of those were here.”
Dr. Hudson established the Dr. Robert Steger Award in her father’s memory for students graduating from Nicolet College and transferring to a four-year college or university. She makes a donation for this award every year.
The Steger family continues to make a positive change in the quality of education students receive at Nicolet College. They continue to make that education accessible and affordable. Most importantly, by changing one person’s life at a time, they are changing our entire community. After more than 50 years, the Steger family is still making a difference in the Northwoods community. Theirs is a lasting legacy made possible by a lifetime of philanthropy carried on from one generation to the next.
1969 Dr. Robert Steger moved his family to Rhinelander to become the first dean of instruction at Nicolet College
1972 Lynn Hudson, Dr. Steger’s daughter, graduated from Nicolet College
1986 Dr. Steger retired from Nicolet College
2007 Dr. and Mrs.Steger established an endowment
2007 Dr. Robert Steger passed away
2007 Dr. Hudson established the Dr. Robert Steger Award.
2020 Dr. Hudson made an additional donation to ensure the endowment her parents created. She also increased the student award.
2021 Dr. Hudson returned to the Nicolet College campus and met the current Dr. Robert Steger Award recipient, Samantha Bullard, and reunited with Josh Welch, a pharmacist, who now serves on the Nicolet College Foundation Board.
Friends and Partners Award
The Nicolet College Foundation is pleased to honor Rouman Amusement Company with the 2022 Friends and Award for George Rouman’s long-standing commitment to advancing higher education and skills training in the Northwoods.
“Over the years, he has taken numerous Nicolet student interns under his wing, giving these students the invaluable experience and opportunity to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it in a real-world business setting. He clearly has a real passion for teaching and sharing his vast business knowledge,” said Ellen Mathein, Nicolet College dean of business and entrepreneurship, who nominated Rouman for this award.
“I’m very proud of my relationship with Nicolet College. I think we can impact a tremendous amount of lives, of all ages,” Rouman says.
Rouman has also served as chairperson of the Nicolet College Business Advisory Committee.
A Local Partnership
Superior Diesel President Brian Wendt believes his company’s partnership with the Nicolet College Foundation is a collaborative way to support the educational community. “I believe anything can be achieved if a person has the right attitude. But an individual must take the initiative to find a mechanism that continually stretches or challenges him or her to learn more and pursue their passion. There is no better way to do that than by taking courses at Nicolet College,” says Wendt.
The Superior Diesel Endowment solidifies the company’s commitment to students by providing them with scholarship funds to be used for a student enrolled in any Nicolet College program. Wendt adds, “Nicolet has a great ability to work with people and come up with creative ideas to help businesses solve a problem, address a concern, or develop a curriculum to help students prepare for what is needed in the workforce.”
–Brian Wendt, Superior Diesel President
“I don’t think I’ve ever considered not giving.”
A Community Commitment
Paul Marquardt has come a long way since he started working for Vern Kohlbeck at Northwoods Mobil in 1979. At the time, Marquardt was a Rhinelander High School student and, looking back, readily admits he didn’t even know how to change oil.
“Vern taught me about customer service and automobiles, as my mentor, for a decade. He took a risk on me by selling me his shop.” Vern must have known what he was doing because almost 30 years after that sale, Marquardt still owns, what is now, Northwoods Auto Techs.
Marquardt cares about this community. One of the ways he gives back is with contributions to the Nicolet College Foundation. “I wanted to pay it forward. Somebody took a chance on me years ago. Vern did that for me. Once we were in a position to help someone else achieve their goals, it seemed like a good fit.”
Marquardt contributes to a scholarship in Vern’s name every year. “If we’re making an impact on one person’s life, it’s well worth it. It’s a good feeling and it’s the right thing to do. I don’t think I’ve ever considered not giving.”
– Paul Marquardt, Master Technician/Owner, Northwoods Auto Techs and Nicolet College Foundation Donor
“We believe in the opportunities Nicolet Provides students”
After the death of George’s mother, Grace Juetten, we established the Culinary Arts scholarship in her memory. Grace was actively involved in scholarship support for the Rhinelander Community. We decided to ensure these scholarships continue after our deaths by including a bequest to Nicolet College in our estate plan. We encourage others to consider the Nicolet College Foundation in their estate plans. It’s a wonderful way to ensure financial support isa available for students to achieve their dreams.
–Sondra and George Juetten
Are you interested in becoming a donor?
To discuss a gift that changes the lives of Nicolet College students, please contact
Heather Schallock, Nicolet College Foundation executive director