Helping Students Discover Their Passion for Learning

Whether for business or philanthropy, the Lubar families have a knack for recognizing and supporting potential. This is evident in part by their long-standing support of University School of Milwaukee, and most recently, Our Common Bond. Siblings Joan ’77 and David Lubar, along with their spouses, Dr. John Crouch and Madeleine Lubar, were among the first to support the campaign with their gift to the Lubar Center for Innovation and Exploration.

This two-story, open-concept space is open to all students in prekindergarten through grade 12, allowing them to participate in purposeful and playful investigation of their own interests and ideas in order to build skills in asking questions, seeking answers, challenging themselves, taking action, and solving problems. USM is among a handful of PK-12 schools in the country to have such a space. “Creativity and innovation is the wave of the future,” said Madeleine Lubar. “We were very attracted to this non-traditional space that isn’t necessarily connected with a specific program but is a resource for all students.” Added Joan Lubar, “We looked at what USM is trying to accomplish and what aligns with our families’ visions and goals. This was a good fit for what we value in a school. I think creativity, exploration, and innovation are such important components of an education and we feel fortunate that we were able to make this space a reality.”

“We love the idea of creating a devoted space with specialized equipment, experienced staff, and advanced programming,” said David Lubar. “We believe the students who come here will learn additional skills and knowledge which will be valuable in their careers and their lives ahead.”

Joan has a similar vision. “I see the space as highly collaborative, so children of various ages will be interacting and working together to share ideas,” she said. “I hope the Lubar Center will be a place where students can discover what they are interested in, good at, and passionate about. They may not otherwise have those opportunities until later in life.”

Their collective Our Common Bond gift is the most recent among their numerous leadership gifts to the school. Both families made substantial gifts to previous capital campaigns, and also supported the full-tuition scholarship established by David and Madeleine in memory of their late son, Joe Lubar ’08. For them, education is a worthy investment. “We respect USM’s commitment to excellence and openness to change,” said Madeleine. “That is so important in today’s world. We believe in supporting educational institutions if they have responsible leadership and proven success. That is pretty compelling for us.” Added Joan, “Our family is a strong proponent of education because it really helps shape and improve a community. USM graduates contribute to improving the city of Milwaukee, the state, the country, and even the world.”

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