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Robert O. Wise's Legacy Lights Up Broadway for UNI Theatre Students


Thanks to a thoughtful bequest, UNI theater students Rachel Russell, Kenosha Carr and Chelsea Clegg gain firsthand experience on Broadway.

Since 2006, the UNI theatre department has benefited from Robert O. Wise's thoughtful planning. Through his will, Robert made a bequest that established the Robert O. Wise Broadway Tour Endowment and the Robert O. Wise Fund for Theatre Excellence.

In 1950, Robert completed his degree at Iowa State Teachers College in communication/theatre education. He went on to serve 34 years on the administrative staff at Rochester Community College in Minnesota until his retirement in 1991. Robert strongly believed students should experience professional theatre firsthand and on Broadway.

A Life-Changing Experience for Three Students
Rachel Russell, Chelsea Clegg and Kenosha Carr were the most recent beneficiaries of Robert's legacy. They all agree it was a life-changing experience. "The Wise Broadway tour was the most beneficial experience that UNI has had to offer me as a theatre performance student," Chelsea says. "The trip solidified my decision to move to New York City after graduation and pursue work as an actor. I was motivated, inspired and amazed by the experiences I got to share with two of my classmates."

The Wise Fund for Theatre Excellence enhances the program in a number of ways. "The fund allows the department to bring theatre professionals to campus to act in, direct and build productions for the Strayer-Wood Theatre, as well as contribute to theatre coursework and conduct workshops in such topics as sound design, acting for the camera and Shakespearean text," says Eric Lange, UNI theatre department head and associate professor. "The fund has also made it possible to secure specialized course materials and host discipline-specific conferences such as the Costume Society of America.

"Students benefit immensely from the direct interaction with theatre artisans and professionals and from other program enhancements that would be difficult to deliver were it not for Robert Wise's caring generosity."

Learn How You Can Help
Contact Jane Halverson at (319) 273-4665 or to find out how you can make an impact in an area you're passionate about at UNI.

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