Mark Murphy: Stands tall as a fan of Green Bay’s public university

Mark Murphy spent 16 years as athletics director for Colgate and Northwestern. He holds a bachelor’s from Colgate, an MBA in Finance from American University and a law degree from Georgetown.

Those experiences with higher education —
and some of the nation’s most prestigious private institutions — have no doubt served Mark Murphy well. He was highly regarded as a college athletics director before joining the Green Bay Packers as president and CEO in 2008. Before that, he was a trial attorney with the federal Justice Department, and an NFL Players Association executive during and immediately following his All-Pro playing career.

Nowadays, though, Murphy is a prominent advocate for public higher education. He is a member of the Foundation Board of Directors and Chancellor’s Council of Trustees at UW-Green Bay.

“I’ve learned a great deal about public universities,” he says of his involvement with the Foundation. “Certainly, what UW-Green Bay is able to accomplish with relatively limited resources is very impressive.”

Also impressive is Murphy’s commitment to the University. NFL executives work long hours, year-round, and travel extensively, but Murphy still finds time to be an active and engaged volunteer for an institution that relies increasingly on rallying private support.

“The University is important to me because it’s important to Green Bay,” Murphy says. “It’s a good fit. The Packers are a community-owned, community-based team. We want to be involved with the community and support things important to its future.

A strong University might not relate directly to wins and losses, but there’s a link.

“We’ve done a lot of research on our fan base,” says Murphy. Despite a national and global following, that fan base remains solidly rooted in Wisconsin.

“We know that the Green Bay area has a relatively low percentage of college graduates, and that’s an issue for future economic growth. It’s in everybody’s best interest, including the Green Bay Packers, to support higher education.”