South Campus plans shared: Surprise funding source, new partnership and location all announced


Adrienne Oliva / Clarion

Madison College President Dr. Jack Daniels III speaks at a news conference about the South Campus Initiative.

Adrienne Oliva, Editor in Chief

Madison College recently announced one big answer and two pleasant surprises about the South Madison Campus Initiative. When Madison College set up the news conference, many community members assumed it was to answer the question of where the new South Campus location would be, but many did not anticipate the other two big announcements that happened that day.

College President Jack Daniels III announced not only the location of the new campus, but also announced who is funding the initiative, as well as an extended partnership with MMSD.

Daniels himself described the initiative as a “major catalyst for change in South Madison.”

The biggest surprise from the announcement was concerning the collective $11.3 million donated to complete phase one of the South Campus Initiative. The generous donations from the Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman foundation ($10 million) and the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation ($1.3 million) will cover the purchase of the new property, redevelopment of the property into a full service campus, and the inclusion of space for community activities.

Both foundations understand the value of enriching the education of the South Madison community. According to E.G. Schramka, the executive director of the Goodman Foundation, “The South Madison college campus and the early college STEM academy will help individuals change the world.”

The new South Campus will be named after the Goodman brothers to honor their philanthropy, and a portion of the building’s instructional or support service area will be named to acknowledge American Family Insurance’s generosity according to Daniels.

Not only will the South Campus initiative be able to expand services to more college students because of their donations, but the South Campus will also expand services to high school students. Madison College will be creating opportunities for high school students to earn dual credit in STEM and IT-related classes. Superintendent of the Madison Metropolitan School District Jennifer Cheatham describes the goal of the project to increase access “to the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, especially to those students of color, who are currently underrepresented.” The program will encourage women and students of color to get involved with STEM and IT, according to Cheatham.

Though the program will only be open to 25 high schoolers at the Truax campus in 2018, the program is on track to accommodate 200 students in 2019 at the South Campus according to Cheatham. The program would have participating students attending their home school from grades 9 to 10, and then attend Madison College for grades 11 to 12.

The new South Campus will be located at the intersection of Bader Road and Park Street in the building which is currently the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds. A major factor that decided this location was based on whether or not the campus could be reached by “all modes of transportation,” according to President Daniels.

Students are unable to complete programs at the South Campus as it is now. This is why Daniels is excited about the expansion of the campus. The new building will be significantly larger than the current location, which will enable 3,000 students to have access to a full range of services 7 days a week in order to help them complete their degrees and programs.

Accessibility is a major focus of the South Campus initiative. As Daniels recognizes, the South Side of Madison is “historically underserved.”

“A strong and prosperous South Madison is good for all of us,” explains Joe Hasler, Madison District Board Chairman. By increasing accessibility to higher education in South Madison, Madison College hopes to strengthen the community not only in South Madison, but the greater Madison area as a whole.