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Putting Their Money Where Their Heart Is: Couple Donates $1M to Pablo Center, Another $1M for Scholarships

one of arts center’s galleries will be renamed for Brady & Jeanne Foust

V1 Staff |

Brady and Jeanne Foust. (Submitted photo)
Brady and Jeanne Foust. (UWEC photo)

An Eau Claire couple with a passion for the arts is helping kick off a new fundraising campaign at the Pablo Center at the Confluence with a $1 million gift as well as giving another $1 million to UW-Eau Claire to establish a scholarship fund.

The Pablo Center announced the donation from Brady and Jeanne Foust on Thursday afternoon, and said the arts center’s Graham Avenue Gallery would be permanently renamed in their honor.

“We are honored to be able to provide this gift to Pablo Center,” the couple said in a statement. “Support of the arts is one of our passions. Pablo is one of the gems in the redevelopment of downtown Eau Claire and has already become a great recruiting tool attracting people and businesses to our wonderful city.”

Support of the arts is one of our passions. Pablo is one of the gems in the redevelopment of downtown Eau Claire and has already become a great recruiting tool attracting people and businesses to our wonderful city.

BRADY & JEANNE FOUST

EAU CLAIRE PHILANTHROPISTS

Jason Jon Anderson, the Pablo Center’s executive director, called the donation “an incredible lasting legacy.”

“Brady and Jeanne Foust have been passionate advocates for Pablo Center since the inception of the Confluence Project,” Anderson added. “They helped secure countless pledges ensuring the project’s construction. With this tremendous gift they ensure a lasting legacy to the fine, visual and performing arts of the region as well as for the 100,000-plus guests Pablo Center welcomes each year.”

The Graham Avenue Gallery at the Pablo Center will now be renamed the Brady & Jeanne Foust Gallery. It is shown here in 2018 during an exhibit titled
The Graham Avenue Gallery at the Pablo Center will now be renamed the Brady & Jeanne Foust Gallery. It is shown here in 2018 during an exhibit titled "A Seat at the Table." (Photo by Andrea Paulseth)

The Fousts’ gift will go to the Pablo Center’s new “Turn It Up To Eleven Campaign,” which has a goal of raising $7 million for the arts center, which will begin its fourth season of operation this month. Money raised as part of the campaign will help retire the arts center’s construction expenses and fund a pair of endowments.

Brady Foust is a retired UW-Eau Claire professor and co-founder of HazardHub, a provider of geospatial hazard data. Jeanne Foust recently retired after a 30-year career with Esri, a producer of geographic information systems software.

The UW-Eau Claire Foundation also announced Thursday that the couple is donating $1 million  $500,000 this year and $500,000 next year – to create the Brady Foust Geospatial Analysis and Technology Double Major Scholarship. The scholarships will start in the 2022-23 academic year. Here are further details from the UWEC Foundation: 

Each Foust scholarship recipient at UW-Eau Claire will receive $10,000 a year for a total of $40,000 over four years. Two scholarships will be available to students entering UW-Eau Claire in 2022-23 and two more to students entering in 2023-24. The scholarship fund may eventually provide four scholarships per year.

Recipients must major in the geography and anthropology department’s geospatial analysis and technology program while maintaining a 3.0 GPA.

Additionally, recipients must have a second major, with a preference for mathematics or computer science; a second major also could be in business, English, French, German, history, economics, political science, biology or art. The combination of the double major is intended to prepare scholarship recipients to be highly sought after in many career areas following graduation from UW-Eau Claire.

“Brady devoted his career here at UW-Eau Claire to his students and their success,” Kimera Way, UWEC Foundation president, said in a media release. “His and Jeanne’s gift is tangible proof that commitment to excellence and student success is a lifetime promise. We are deeply grateful that they have chosen both UW-Eau Claire and the Pablo Center as the entities where they are furthering their legacies.”

You can learn more about the Fousts’ gift to the UWEC Foundation on the UWEC website. Details on their gift to the Pablo Center are below:

Graham Avenue Gallery Garners New Name with $1 Million Donation

Pablo Center Unveils the Brady & Jeanne Foust Gallery, the foundation of a new campaign to unlock outreach and programming potential.

(EAU CLAIRE, WIS - September 2, 2021) Pablo Center at the Confluence is excited to announce that Brady and Jeanne Foust have donated $1 million to Pablo Center’s new Turn It Up To Eleven Campaign. With this gift, Pablo Center will permanently rename the Graham Avenue Gallery the Brady & Jeanne Foust Gallery.

“We are honored to be able to provide this gift to Pablo Center,” says Brady and Jeanne Foust. “Support of the arts is one of our passions. Pablo is one of the gems in the redevelopment of downtown Eau Claire and has already become a great recruiting tool attracting people and businesses to our wonderful city.”

Brady Foust taught in the geography department at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire from 1971 to 2008. After retirement, he was one of three founders of HazardHub which was established six years ago. It quickly became one of the leading providers of geospatial hazard data to the insurance industry. It was purchased by Guidewire Software in August 2021. Jeanne Foust had a 30-year career at Esri, the world’s leading geographic information systems (GIS) software producer. She retired in 2021. Brady and Jeanne are longtime supporters of the arts in Eau Claire. Brady was involved in the development of Pablo Center from the beginning. During its construction, he conducted over 60 tours of the work in progress. He also served on the Confluence Council, Inc. Board of Pablo Center as a member, Vice President, President, and Past President. His term as Past President ends in September.

For Executive Director Jason Jon Anderson, the Fousts’ gift can be described in three words, “Incredible lasting legacy.”

“Brady and Jeanne Foust have been passionate advocates for Pablo Center since the inception of the Confluence Project,” Executive Anderson goes on to say. “They helped secure countless pledges ensuring the project’s construction. With this tremendous gift they ensure a lasting legacy to the fine, visual and performing arts of the region as well as for the 100,000+ guests Pablo Center welcomes each year. This gift launches our Turn It Up To Eleven Campaign, which focuses on the retirement of our remaining capital construction expenses along with the funding of two lasting endowments. Their gift springboards the campaign reducing the remaining capital construction liability by one-fifth and funding one-seventh of each of the endowments.”

The Turn It Up To Eleven Campaign is a $7 million fundraising campaign that will enable Pablo Center at the Confluence to expand programming and accessibility to reach its full potential. Director of Development Monica Frederick speaks to the importance of their gift, “This generous gift to Pablo Center has kicked off our Turn It Up To Eleven Campaign in the best way possible. We are so thankful for the support and kindness of Brady and Jeanne Foust. Their legacy will live on to impact our community for many generations to come.”

Dan Gustason, President of the Confluence Council, Inc. Board of Directors shares, “On behalf of the Confluence Council, Inc. Board of Directors, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Brady and Jeanne Foust, for their extremely generous gift to the Pablo Center at the Confluence. This contribution will assist us in retiring the remaining capital debt on the facility, and will begin to fund two new endowments, earmarked for improving access to events for the whole community, and expanding our existing programming in new ways.”