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UW-River Falls Hudson Center caters to adult learners

The Chamber of Commerce welcomed the new UW-River Falls Hudson Center to the community with a ribbon cutting on Sept. 29. Pictured from left are Chamber members Dave Robson, Ann Hall, Lynn Robson, Pete Keskey, Hudson Mayor Dean Knudson, UW-RF Chancellor Dean Van Galen, UW-RF Hudson Center director and special assistant to the chancellor Blake Fry, Chamber member Traci Lefner, Chamber president Kim Heinemann, Chamber members Mary Ellner, Susie Radunzel, Debby Wood, Jill McNamee, Jim Wookey and Randy Penkw...

Just a few months after finding a Hudson home and just a few weeks into the fall semester, the new UW-River Falls Hudson Center is the campus of choice for close to 100 students, most of them adults.

At an open house at the center last week, the Hudson Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting to officially welcome the university to Hudson. "We are excited about establishing a facility to serve the St. Croix Valley in new ways, and to further strengthen our partnerships with the community," said UW-RF Chancellor Dean Van Galen.

The idea for the center came during listening sessions held by Van Galen with area business and civic leaders, organizations and residents.

"They expressed a desire to see the university have a presence in the area," said Blake Fry, the director of the center and a special assistant to the chancellor. "The demographics we have looked at show that within a five-mile radius there are more than 6,000 adults, age 25 and over who have some college credits but never completed their degrees. We located and designed the center to appeal to them. It is in a convenient location, just off I-94, easy to get to after work with lots of parking. There's even a sandwich shop right next door run by some alumni."

Fry had high praise for Dave Robson of Greystone Commercial who worked diligently to find the right space and get it up and running by the fall semester. The center is located on the second floor at 2501 Hanley Road at the intersection with Carmichael Road. It includes three classrooms in varying sizes to accommodate both large and smaller classes. The center offers wireless Internet with printing capability. Just off the reception area is an office where students can meet with instructors. The center has capacity for 94 students. Some classes meet during the day but the center is busiest at night with classes meeting until 10 p.m.

The center will be the home of the university's Masters in Business Administration program as well as offering classes in the business administration adult degree completion program. Other offerings include master's degree classes in secondary education that will be held on the weekends along with other undergraduate courses and professional certification programs.

The courses are taught by members of the UW-RF faculty who can meet with students individually at the center as well as in classes. Fry says the center's first students, mostly adults, represent a diverse group. "We believe that our classes reflect the same diversity these students find in their professions and in the workplace."

The classes are open to the public and tuition depends on the program a student is pursuing. For more information about the UW-River Falls Hudson Center including a complete list of class offerings, hours of operation and directions go to or call (715) 381-5060.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

(715) 808-8604