MADISON, Wis.—University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson today announced that 70 students have been selected through a random drawing to receive a $7,000 scholarship under the System’s Vax Up! “70 for 70” campaign.

The 70 students attend the 11 UW System universities that participated in the campaign and that also achieved a 70 percent COVID-19 vaccination rate among students.

“We took up a challenge to educate and inform students as a part of a vaccination campaign to help keep our universities safe – and it has succeeded,” Thompson said. “What a thrill it is to be able to tell students they have won a $7,000 scholarship. I am so proud of our students, faculty, staff, and administrators who helped make this happen.”

Also today, the UW System released a short video on social media featuring Thompson celebrating the accomplishment with all university mascots. In the video, the “Board of Mascots” convenes to hear Thompson announce the success of the Vax Up! “70 for 70” campaign.

Thompson set a goal for 12 universities to reach a 70 percent student vaccination rate by Oct. 31. All but one reached the goal, while UW-Madison ran its own campaign.

“I believe in encouraging, rather than mandating, vaccines, and the scholarship incentive was a great motivator,” Thompson said.

Student scholarship winners have been notified by their universities. Funding for the scholarships is coming from the UW System.

President Thompson, chancellors, and other university officials will continue to encourage students to become vaccinated against COVID-19. Numerous universities also offered their own incentives, including scholarships, iPads, and gift cards to local merchants.

The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 165,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. Nearly 90 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree – with a median salary of more than $66,000. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System universities also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.


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Mark Pitsch UW System (608) 265-3419