A crowd of more than 6,500 at the Phoenix men’s basketball home game on Dec. 7 applauded the announcement of a Green Bay Packers Foundation gift of $250,000 to the UW-Green Bay scholarship fund.
Taking part in the center-court ceremony during the game’s first timeout were representatives of the Packers and the Foundation including, from left, Foundation Chairman Charlie Lieb, Wayne Wichlacz, Terry Fulwiler, Packers CEO Mark Murphy (holding the check with UW-Green Bay Chancellor Tom Harden), John Zakowski and Tom Arndt.
The gift, a single-grant record for the Foundation, was doubled with a matching effort by the university to ultimately add $500,000 to the scholarship fund.
“The Packers Foundation and Packers organization are very excited to support UWGB with this grant,” Murphy said a day earlier in announcing the gift. “UWGB is an outstanding university in the region, and this donation and the matching effort allows more scholarships to be available. The grant will also make UWGB more affordable for students in the area. In the long term, our hope is that this grant increases the number of college graduates in the Green Bay community.”
“UW-Green Bay’s partnership with the Green Bay Packers is a special one,” Harden said earlier. “This generous gift by the Packers Foundation once again demonstrates their true support of public higher education and our efforts to keep college affordable for the students and families of Northeast Wisconsin. One of our highest University priorities has been increasing the scholarship endowment to assist a growing number of students with financial need. We are proud and deeply grateful to have the Green Bay Packers Foundation, its leadership and President Mark Murphy as advocates for the University and its mission.”
The Packers Foundation’s contribution and other recent gifts make possible dozens of new awards to high-ability and high-need students. Scholarships help improve student recruitment and retention. They ease loan burdens, lessen financial strain on families, and enable students to focus on their studies rather than work extra hours at outside jobs to defray expenses. Following graduation, about 33 percent of alumni live and work in Brown County, 70 percent in Northeast Wisconsin.
The Foundation has distributed more than $3.25 million for charitable purposes since it was established in 1986 by Judge Robert J. Parins, then-president of the Packers Corporation, “as a vehicle to assure continued contributions to charity.”
The Green Bay Packers Foundation Trustees include, along with Lieb, Arndt, Fulwiler and Zakowski, Valerie Daniels-Carter, Rick Chernick, Ricardo Diaz, Jerry Ganoni, Mark McMullen and Tom Olson. Bobbi Jo Eisenreich is the secretary of the Foundation.
The grant, combined with other Green Bay Packers charity endeavors, contributes to a comprehensive Packers charity impact that was in excess of $6 million in the past year.