WHITEWATER — Another $56,000 has been awarded to vaccinated University of Wisconsin-Whitewater students as part of the ongoing efforts to keep the campus community as safe and healthy as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest round of scholarships comes as UW System announced Tuesday 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. Eight Warhawks were chosen.

“I got vaccinated to keep those around me safe. I completely isolated myself during quarantine, and it affected my mental health tremendously,” said Sydnie Holmes of Kenosha County, a women’s and gender studies major and one of UW-Whitewater’s scholarship winners. “Getting vaccinated meant I could see family and friends again without having the anxiety that something bad would happen to them. I was extremely proud of our campus for reaching the 70% goal. It gives me more hope that our society can bounce back from the pandemic and return to ‘normal.’”

Scholarship winner Hannah Mayer of Oak Forest, Ill., a human resource management major, got vaccinated to protect her family and classmates, and was excited to do her part to help UW-Whitewater surpass the vaccination goal.

“Knowing that enough of my fellow classmates took protecting their peers seriously showed me that I chose this school for a reason,” Mayer said. “I will always be proud to be a Warhawk, and this just adds to my pride!”

In addition to the $7,000 scholarships, earlier this semester UW-Whitewater was able to award $500 each to 40 vaccinated students as part of a weekly drawing. University Housing also is awarding first-assignment rights to two randomly selected vaccinated students, who will get first choice of their residence hall next year.

“All of the vaccination incentives — funded by UW System and generous donors to UW-Whitewater — made it possible for us to have a vibrant university experience this year with in-person classes and events,” said Interim Chancellor Jim Henderson. “It’s a win-win situation for our university community in that we are encouraging safe behaviors to combat the pandemic and also helping our students financially.”

The university’s vaccination rate currently is 77% for students and 91% for employees. Students, faculty and staff who have not yet done so are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated if they are able, and to report it to UW-Whitewater as soon as possible.

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