LA CROSSE Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Donations are the third-largest funding source for UW-La Crosse, but none have been as large as what two former faculty members are giving to the school. Despite the frigidly cold temperatures, this week marks the beginning of the spring semester at UW-La Crosse, and it’s starting on quite an exciting note. Exciting to the tune of a 2.2-million-dollar gift, the largest in school history. 

“I’ve been here almost 15 years and never experienced anything like this.” 

The money comes from the estate of Bill and Yvonne Hyde, who each worked at UWL for more than three decades. Bill taught in the English department; Yvonne worked at murphy library…so the money is being evenly split between the two. 

“Typically, we do not get big gifts for things in the humanities, and the library for that matter, so this is really kind of unfamiliar territory. Exciting for our people because suddenly, they have some resources that they didn’t have before,” said Chancellor Joe Gow. 

Administrators are still determining how exactly to use the funds, but murphy library director John Jax has at least one idea. “The main building that you’re in right now was built in 1969, so we’re in that fifty-plus-year-old age range of a building, and then there was a newer addition in 1995, and some updates in different areas of the library, so space would be very foremost on our mind, and doing kind of an audit of access points in the library.” 

No matter what, Jax says the library will put the funding towards projects that benefit the entire campus community. 

“Whether it’s space, facility, technology, equipment…everything’s going to go to help the students, faculty, and staff at UWL,” said Jax. 

Chancellor Joe Gow expects the faculty to discuss specific uses for the gift over the coming months. UWL says the Hydes were longtime supporters of the library and English department. Bill passed away in January 2015, and Yvonne in April of last year.