Memorabilia from NASCAR racing champion Alan Kulwicki and its new home, the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Student Center at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM) will be unveiled at a public dedication on Friday, May 14.
The new space, designated for UWM engineering students, is in the Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (EMS) Building. The student center, along with a scholarship fund, was established last fall with a gift from Thelma H. Kulwicki, the late racer’s stepmother, who also donated the memorabilia, some of which is coming from the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
UWM Chancellor Carlos E. Santiago will lead the event at 4 p.m. on the first floor of EMS, 3200 N. Cramer St. His remarks will be followed by a surprise announcement by Michael Lovell, dean of the UWM College of Engineering & Applied Science.
In addition to the dedication, the dean will introduce Kelsey Bauer, a UWM junior who is the first recipient of the Kulwicki scholarship. Bauer, who is originally from Elkhart Lake and graduated from Howards Grove High School, will receive $8,000 for the 2010-11 academic year. She is majoring in mechanical engineering and is very involved in late-model stock car racing. Like Kulwicki, Bauer believes her engineering degree will make her a better driver.
The display is being curated and designed by Rebecca Ann Sirek, a UWM alumna who interned as an archivist at the Harley-Davidson Motor Company.
Alan Kulwicki graduated in 1977 from UWM with a degree in mechanical engineering. The Greenfield native also received a UWM Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1992, the year he won the Winston Cup Series title by the closest margin in the series history – beating Bill Elliott by 10 points. Less than a year later, he died in a plane crash. He was the first college graduate to win stock car racing’s premier title, now called the “Sprint Cup Series.”