The phenomenal success of the UW-Green Bay Phoenix women’s basketball team, and all it means for campus and community, took center stage Nov. 13 during the University’s After Thoughts program.
Jeanne Stangel, UW-Green Bay Director of Development and former Associate Director of UW-Green Bay Athletics, presented “The Green Bay Way: The Impact of National Recognition in Collegiate Sports at UW-Green Bay” before a packed audience in the Grand Foyer of the University’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.
Through a presentation that offered a broad-brush overview of collegiate athletics and then delved more closely into the success story of the Phoenix women, Stangel painted a picture of all a successful team can do for a University — both on the court and off.
For a team like the Phoenix women — who cracked the national Top 10 last year and made a Sweet 16 trip the year before — that means perhaps millions of dollars in economic impact and exposure during March Madness, measured in media both traditional and social, Stangel said. The team is successful both on the court and off, notching a national No. 1 academic ranking this past season — and contributing more than 3,000 volunteer hours last year alone.
It’s a well-rounded experience that helps prepare student athletes — and here Stangel emphasized the “student” — prepare for success in their lives beyond college, Stangel said.
“Who is doing this?” she asked the engaged crowd. “UW-Green Bay is doing this.”
And Stangel knows that of which she speaks. The former Jeanne Barta had a phenomenally successful Phoenix women’s basketball career, and is one of just two women to have their jersey retired by the team. Her UW-Green Bay education has prepared Stangel for a successful career and extensive community involvement.
Stangel’s After Thoughts presentation came on the eve of UW-Green Bay’s launch of its new brand, “360° of Learning,” and Phoenix women’s basketball is just one example of this idea, she said. The brand reflects the well-rounded, multifaceted education a student gets at UW-Green Bay — a 360° perspective that helps them solve problems and prepare for their careers and whatever life may hold.
And for all the success the Phoenix women’s team has had, it wouldn’t have been possible without the community, Stangel told the group. In concluding her presentation, she offered a challenge to the audience to do one of three things — stay connected to UW-Green Bay, spread the word about the University to family and friends …
“Or do both. You’re overachievers,” she told the crowd, which laughed appreciatively. “Who are we? 360° of Pride.”
— Photos by Eric Miller, photographer, Office of Marketing and University Communication