The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts and Letters was founded in 1870 by a distinguished group of Wisconsin citizens. At that time, it was recognized that the work of the Academy would be enhanced by creation of a permanent endowment fund, with the annual earnings to be applied to Academy operations. By 1875, a fund of $5,000 had been established for this purpose through annual membership dues.
Between 1960 to 1980, several large bequests, notably from University of Wisconsin–Madison professors Harry Steenbock and Elizabeth McCoy, added substantially to the corpus of this fund. In the 1980's, Ira Baldwin (1895–1999), a renowned bacteriologist and UW vice president, spearheaded the development of the Wisconsin Academy Foundation.
Today the Wisconsin Academy Foundation is a separate nonprofit organization dedicated to managing the Wisconsin Academy’s endowment. Managed by the Foundation Board, the Foundation provides the Academy with a steady source of income, which in recent years represents approximately one-third of total funds for Academy operations.
If you want to help secure the Academy's future, please consider a gift to the Wisconsin Academy Foundation. For questions about estate plan giving or the Academy Foundation, contact Amanda E. Shilling, director of development at 608-263-1692 x16.