Real estate management program receives $1M donation from industry partner Weidner

Private support for workforce-based programs at Heritage Hall tops $11 million
The Weidner Center for Residential Property Management is in Heritage Hall at UW-Stout, thanks to a 2012 donation from Dean Weidner and Weidner Apartment Homes.
​Jerry Poling | March 29, 2023

Private support for the renovation of Heritage Hall at UW-Stout has continued to grow, highlighted by a new, major donation for an important undergraduate program.

Dean Weidner, who founded and owns Weidner Apartment Homes based in Kirkland, Wash., has announced a $1,050,000 donation to Stout University Foundation. The gift includes $500,000 for major scholarships benefiting new and transfer students in the real estate property management program.

The gift brings Weidner’s total support for the program to $2.5 million. He donated $1 million in 2012 to create the Weidner Center for Residential Property Management at Heritage Hall and another $500,000 in 2015 for additional program support.

Dean Weidner, founder and owner of Weidner Apartment Homes in Kirkland, Wash.
Dean Weidner, founder and owner of Weidner Apartment Homes in Kirkland, Wash., has donated $1,050,00o to UW-Stout’s real estate property management program and $2.5 million total. / Weidner Apartment Homes

“Our long-term investment into the real estate property management undergrad program at UW-Stout reflects my confidence in the curriculum that is being taught to students; the fact that the educators in the program have prior industry experience and can help to personalize the education with real world examples; and that we’ve seen strong results in terms of the students that have been recruited to our team,” Weidner said “I look forward to our continued partnership with the university and this program for many years to come.”

In the past decade, the company has hired 84 UW-Stout graduates and 161 UW-Stout student interns. Three spring 2023 graduates will begin their careers with the company.

The donation raises to more than $11 million the amount of private support UW-Stout has received for programs based in Heritage Hall. The Heritage renovation project received priority approval from the UW System Board of Regents, is ranked No. 1 in the Chippewa Valley and No. 3 for major academic building renovation projects across the UW System.

Heritage Hall Renovation

This project creates a new, unified home for the College of Education, Hospitality, Health & Human Sciences (CEHHHS) within Heritage Hall.
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Other programs, all areas of critical workforce needs in Wisconsin, based in the building include teacher education, counseling, dietetics, food science, and hospitality and tourism.

Weidner Apartment Homes helps Wisconsin meet its affordable housing needs with facilities in 13 cities, mostly in southern and southeastern areas of the state. Overall, the company manages apartment units in 12 states and in Canada.

Programs like the one at UW-Stout are important to the industry. “There continues to be strong demand in the residential property management sector for workers to lead the day-to-day operations of the nation’s numerous multifamily housing communities,” Weidner said.

Dean Weidner visits UW-Stout in 2015 for the dedication of the Weidner Center for Residential Property Management in Heritage Hall.
Dean Weidner visits UW-Stout in 2015 for the dedication of the Weidner Center for Residential Property Management in Heritage Hall. / UW-Stout

“To meet that demand, employers like Weidner Apartment Homes have looked toward career pathway programs that focus on applied learning such as the one at UW-Stout to identify, support and target students who are looking to grow their skills and move directly into the workforce post-graduation,” he added.

Chancellor Katherine Frank thanked Weidner for his generosity and ongoing support of UW-Stout.

“Mr. Weidner’s incredible gift to support teaching and learning at UW-Stout has already and will continue to impact students’ learning and career trajectory far into the future. He recognizes the value of our distinct approach to education at UW-Stout and how this approach produces future leaders in the workplace who positively impact their communities,” Frank said.

Weidner Apartment Homes has properties in 12 states and Canada, including La Bella Vita in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Weidner Apartment Homes has properties in 12 states and Canada, including La Bella Vita in Colorado Springs, Colo. / Weidner Apartment Homes

Supporting students and REPM program

The new Weidner donation will provide up to 20 scholarships a year for five years. First-year and transfer students in the program are eligible for one $5,000 award — about one-third of the cost for one year at UW-Stout.

The awards are available to new students beginning this fall. Students do not have to apply but will be awarded directly through the Financial Aid office, if eligible.

The $550,000 program support portion of the donation includes funding a program ambassador position to help recruit students.

With 60 students, UW-Stout’s program already is believed to be the largest of its kind in the U.S. Another 27 students are enrolled in the property management minor.

Daymark in Minneapolis is one of the Weidner Apartment Homes properties in Minnesota.
Daymark in Minneapolis is one of the Weidner Apartment Homes properties in Minnesota. / Weidner Apartment Homes

“The workforce of the future requires an adaptable mindset of lifelong learners who continuously upgrade their technical skills as well as the ‘soft’ skills that are valued by employers,” Weidner said. “By partnering with colleges and universities, we can help shape the education of the upcoming workforce and embed the requirements of the industry into the curriculum. In this way, we are helping to create the workers we need, instead of merely trying to find them on the open market.”

In UW-Stout’s new First Destination report, recent graduates from the program reported 100% employment within six months of earning their degree.

About Weidner Apartment Homes

Founded by W. Dean Weidner in 1977, Weidner Apartment Homes is a real estate investment and management company recognized industrywide as an efficient provider of quality rental homes and a creative developer of new housing.

To provide the benefits of regional and economic diversity, properties are located in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Canada. For additional information, visit https://www.weidner.com/ or e-mail info@weidner.com.

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