Fluno Gift Launches Executive Education Center

September 3, 1997

Jere and Anne Fluno, Lake Forest, Ill., have made a gift of $3 million to help the School of Business build an executive education center in downtown Madison.

The naming gift for the center, to be built in the 600 block of University Avenue, was formally announced at a luncheon at the Madison Club Wednesday, Aug. 27. Attending were Gov. Tommy Thompson; the donors, Jere and Anne Fluno; Madison Mayor Susan J. M. Bauman; UW System President Katharine C. Lyall; UW–Madison Chancellor David Ward and School of Business Dean Andrew J. Policano.

The Fluno Center for Executive Education will be run on behalf of the UW–Madison School of Business by the Center for Advanced Studies in Business Inc. (CASB), a nonprofit organization that furthers business executive education at UW–Madison. It will be located two blocks from the business school’s Grainger Hall on what is currently a surface parking lot. The three- to five-story facility will include 100 guest rooms for participants in continuing education programs offered by the School of Business and other university departments. Plans call for the structure to also contain classrooms, faculty and staff offices, and dining facilities. UW–Madison will own and operate an underground parking ramp with 300 parking spaces on the site.

Mayor Susan J. M. Bauman said, “This state-of-the-art learning center, two blocks from Grainger Hall and the Kohl Center, adds further luster to a highly visible corner of the city. The Fluno Center will bring executives to Madison from across the country, indeed, from around the world, to participate in top-level continuing education programs.”

Jere D. Fluno, a 1963 graduate of the UW–Madison School of Business, is vice chairman and a director of W.W. Grainger, Inc., Lincolnshire, Ill., a leader in the distribution of maintenance, repair and operating supplies in North America. After earning his degree in accounting from UW–Madison, Fluno, a CPA, worked for Grant Thornton in Chicago for six years before joining W.W. Grainger, Inc. in 1969.

Fluno is a governor of the Chicago Stock Exchange and a director of Andrew Corporation. He also serves as trustee of the Museum of Science and Industry and a director of the University of Wisconsin Foundation. He is a native of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.. Anne Fluno is a native of Stevens Point, Wis., and attended UW-Stevens Point. She is active with the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and other Chicago-area charities.

Jere and Anne Fluno have provided generous support for a number of UW programs. They established the Rexford H. Fluno Scholarships in his father’s name to assist students from his hometown of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., and the couple also funds a scholarship for graduate students in accounting. Enthusiastic supporters of Badger athletics and the UW Band, the Flunos established a $300,000 Challenge Fund in 1995 to encourage gifts to endowment funds for the UW Marching and Varsity bands.

“Jere and Anne Fluno’s gift is a milestone in the history of the School of Business,” said School of Business Dean Andrew J. Policano. “Today’s successful organization is a learning organization. This facility will allow us to provide one of the highest quality executive education programs available in the country.”

The Fluno Center for Executive Education was approved by the Board of Regents and the State Building Commission in June 1997. Groundbreaking is expected in 1998, with completion in 2000.

The $22.5 million cost of building the center will be covered by the Flunos’ $3 million gift, other anticipated private gifts and funds borrowed by CASB.