Platteville Receives $10 Million Scholarship Fund


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

Chancellor Dennis Shields announced the record-breaking $10 million Capstan Scholarship program funded by Todd and Susan Johnson on April 15.

The goal of the program is to provide a debt-free education for students pursuing STEM-related or finance and accounting degrees.

According to a university press release, the “Capstan Scholarship program will provide scholarships to deserving students each year, continuing in perpetuity. The scholarships are renewable for four years, allowing the Capstan Scholars Program to grow every year.”

The program covers the cost of tuition, room and board for students from Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan.

The reported average cost of tuition, fees, room and board for the 2021-22 academic year for a Wisconsin Resident is $15,384, according to the university’s “Tuition and Fees” page. For non-residents of Wisconsin or Minnesota, the reported total average cost is $24,003.

If funded students utilize the room and board coverage for all four years of their involvement with the program, the Capstan Scholars program can fund a range of 100 to 162 students, depending on their state of residence, with the $10 million gift.

Johnson spoke during the announcement ceremony. “Just as I was surrounded by people that helped me succeed, the Capstan Scholarship was created for just that purpose – to remove obstacles, lift financial burden and provide a support system of other Capstan Scholars throughout their college career. Every Capstan Scholar should know that they have a team around them that wants nothing more than to champion them toward success. A greater outcome can be achieved when people work together in support of one another.”

Johnson graduated from UW-Platteville in 1981 with a degree in Engineering and Management. He is the Chairman and CEO of the Capstan Corporation, a holding company based in Duluth, MN, that owns assets in Viant Crane, LLC, Fraser Shipyards Inc., Northern Engineering Company and more.

Additionally, Johnson was among the Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni award winners for 2021.

“Capstan Scholars will know they are cared about,” remarked Johnson. “Our family wants the recipients of this scholarship to receive a unique, debt free education that prepares them for a successful career.