The Weyers: Longtime partners with UW-Green Bay

When Larry L. Weyers ran Wisconsin Public Service Corp., the regional utility was among the first companies to earn the UW Regents’ Partnership Award for its work with UW-Green Bay.

As CEO and president of WPS and later Integrys Energy Group, Weyers helped power University initiatives including the construction of Mary Ann Cofrin Hall as a national showcase for energy-efficient technology. WPS organized an annual “Solar Olympics” for local high schools and sponsored a solar research station on campus, and supported faculty and student research.

On a personal level, Weyers’ commitment to education led to involvement with Partners in Education, which the University supported and which was in some ways a model for the Institute for Learning Partnership.

He and his wife, Lois, have been philanthropic supporters, as well. From the Phuture Phoenix pre-college program to the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, their interests have spanned a range of University activities and offerings.

Recently, the couple made a major pledge in support of the revitalization of the Weidner Center and the objective of increasing the number of both local and touring productions.

“UW-Green Bay is a tremendous asset for this community, providing quality education at a reasonable cost” Larry Weyers says. “The Weidner Center is icing on the cake. Both deserve and need our support.”

Larry and Lois, a retired school teacher, are particularly big fans of Phuture Phoenix. The program began in 2003 and has since served roughly 11,000 school children from elementary schools with significant low-income populations. Phuture Phoenix encourages local fifth-graders by providing campus tours and follow-up programming, pairing them with college-age mentors, and motivating them to graduate from high school and pursue higher education.

The WPS Foundation made a major gift to underwrite dozens of $1,000 Larry L. Weyers Phuture Phoenix Scholarships upon his retirement in 2010, benefitting students who started as Phuture Phoenix fifth-graders. The first of those freshmen started arriving in 2010.