News Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kim Schmelz, External Relations & Alumni Development
Phone: 608.822.2379
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date of Release: September 4, 2020

Lewison pays it forward by endowing two scholarships for Southwest Tech students

Fennimore -

Sue Lewison, retired Southwest Tech business instructor, taught at Southwest Tech for 25 years and met her husband, Vern Lewison, Farm Production instructor, while on campus.  Sue retired in 2002.  “Joining the staff at Southwest Tech was a good decision for me and played an important role in my life. I always enjoyed the students, and I always said that I learned just as much from them as they may have learned from me,” said Lewison.

Sue was never planning to go to college. Her father was a farmer, and her mother stayed at home. She didn’t see herself as a college student until her high school typing teacher encouraged her. “She saw something in me and really pushed me to go,” said Lewison. “I’m so glad I was able to go, but I always wondered how my parents came up with the money to help pay for my tuition.”

Lewison wanted to be able to pay the gift of education forward and help students who didn’t have other means to support their education. By offering them a scholarship, she hoped they could try something. “I want the students to know someone is supporting them with this opportunity,” Lewison said.

Lewison has set up two endowed scholarship using different methods of giving. When Vern passed away, Sue used the memoriam gifts to set up the Vern Lewison Memorial Scholarship. A short time later, Sue created the Suzann (Sue) Lewison Scholarship with a planned gift, documenting that a portion of her estate will eventually be added to her endowed scholarship. She also currently contributes to both scholarships with her required minimum distributions. For her she sees it as a win/win. She is able to help students, and she isn’t penalized for the taxes on her gift either.

“When I receive the thank you letters from the students who have received our scholarships, I cannot believe the life they have already lived! A $500 scholarship means a great deal to so many students, and I’m glad I can support them in that way.”

To learn more about Southwest Tech, the Southwest Tech Foundation or how to set up a scholarship or planned gift, please contact the Foundation at 608.822.2379 or

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