Friends, fans and family of UW-Green Bay have witnessed some monumental moments this year, bashing records, basking in international spotlights and celebrating major accomplishments. Take a scroll through the best moments of 2016 at UW-Green Bay:
Green Bay men’s and women’s basketball teams experience March Madness
For the first time since 1994, both Green Bay men’s and women’s basketball teams clinched spots in the NCAA tournament after winning their respective Horizon League tournaments. It was the 18th consecutive Horizon League title for the women!
Campus hosts presidential candidates
The year 2016 brought prominent presidential figures to campus. In March campus hosted an MSNBC nationally televised Town Hall Meeting hosted by Chris Matthews and featuring now U.S. President Donald Trump. April brought presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to the Kress Events Center. Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine made a visit to campus in November.
Regents recognize Cofrin Library
The UW System’s Board of Regents bestowed the Regents Award for Excellence on the staff of the Cofrin Library on April 8, 2016. This is the UW System’s highest recognition for members of academic staff.
Largest-ever graduating class
Spring Commencement (May 14, 2016) set University records for both total master’s degrees and total degrees awarded. A total of 953 students where eligible to participate.
Reorganization brings new four college model
After institutional self-reflection, four freestanding colleges have emerged, along with leaders stepping into roles that are among the most significant in the University’s history. The new deans will put business and community priorities front and center as UW-Green Bay grows.
Alumna Olympian takes home bronze
Former Green Bay women’s basketball standout Megan Lukan and her Canadian Rugby team brought home bronze medals this past summer at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Following a stellar basketball career at UW-Green Bay, Lukan jumped at an offer to return to Canada and play for the national Canadian rugby developmental team (a sport she had given up in high school to focus on basketball.) That led to making the Canadian Rugby Sevens Olympic roster in July and then, of course, winning bronze in August. The Phoenix Family was proud to cheer on their Canadian!
Phoenix painting paves the way for a new tradition
As a part of FOCUS (First-year Opportunities for UW-Green Bay Students) Orientation, Class of 2020 incoming freshmen painted the first-ever giant Phoenix between the University Union and Mary Ann Cofrin Hall on September 1, 2016. Organizers hope it is the start of a new orientation tradition.
50th Anniversary Mural dedication
On Wednesday, August 24, the campus dedicated the 50th Anniversary Mural by alumnus Beau Thomas (’15). This 12′ by 13′ mural on the exterior of the Studio Arts Building (facing the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts) references scenes from UW-Green Bay’s 50 years of history. The Bluewhale Coffee House, once a Midwest destination for some of America’s leading blues performers, a Ferris wheel — with a nod to the 25-year run of Bayfest; Shorewood Golf Course; the Cofrin Library; the Shoe Tree; Phoenix athletics and the UWGB pep and marching bands, are also featured in the mural.
50th Anniversary Time Capsule dedication
On Wednesday, September 7, a time capsule was dedicated, concluding the University’s 50th anniversary celebration. Among a crowd of University faculty, staff, alumni, retirees and friends, UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller, University Archivist Deb Anderson, 50th Anniversary Committee Chair Tracy Heaser, Trustee Lou LeCalsey and student Sean Gleason, placed the items that represent UW-Green Bay as it stands today into the new time capsule, not to be opened until 2065.
Largest Phuture Phoenix visit
On October 14 and 15, a record number of fifth graders participated in Phuture Phoenix Fall tour days at UW-Green Bay. About 1,500 students visited classrooms, residence halls, the Cofrin Library and other parts of campus, and connected with hundreds of UW‑Green Bay student mentors who volunteer as tour guides. Phuture Phoenix tour days are a coordinated effort to inspire academic success and alert children to educational opportunities beyond high school.
Packers Partnership provides opportunities to students and alumni
UW-Green Bay’s role as Higher Education Partner of the Green Bay Packers continued into 2016. The partnership, which began in 2014, has provided unique opportunities for the UW-Green Bay community. In 2016, UW-Green Bay hosted a sold-out Ted Talk-like event called Lambeau Lectures at Lambeau Field in March. In fall, UW-Green Bay veterans and military personnel were honored as they took to the field to present a large American flag during the National Anthem at the Green Bay Packers’ Salute to Service military appreciation game. Additionally, two UWGB alumni had the unique opportunity to sing the National Anthem at Lambeau Field this year.
Military Friendly, again
For the eighth consecutive year, UW-Green Bay has been deemed a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media, Inc, placing UW-Green Bay in the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools doing the most to embrace America’s service members and veterans as students. Factors that contribute to our ranking include UW-Green Bay’s high enrollment of active-duty and veteran students, a strong student organization (the Vets for Vets Club), a dedicated staff person for active-duty and veterans students’ needs, a dedicated veteran lounge and active programming and outreach efforts.
Green Bay’s most famous playwright brings his show back to UW-Green Bay
After a run at the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival, Prof. Brian Sutton’s Searching for Romeo returned to where it all began. Sutton is an associate professor at UWGB who teaches English composition and directs the University’s student Writing Center. He wrote both script and music for the play. His New York production was the winner of the 2014 Stage Rights/NYMF Publishing Award, a program of The New York Musical Theatre Festival. As far as we know Sutton is Green Bay’s most famous playwright!
Enrollment records broken
This year brought UW-Green Bay’s highest enrollment and most diverse fall enrollment to date. UW-Green Bay saw significant gains in minority students, graduate students and “undergraduate specials,” including high school students taking college courses. This enrollment surge went against a UW System trend of lower enrollments.
Voices come together for first-ever Messiah singalong
UW-Green Bay Music performs Handel’s Messiah biennially. For the first time in December of 2016, the performance included an audience singalong. Three local high school choirs, Green Bay Choral Artists, Festival Orchestra, and alumni soloists, joined UW-Green Bay choral ensembles for this year’s beautiful, festive performance.
Global Buzz over Snapchat acceptance
In early December, UW-Green Bay attracted global media attention about its innovative practice of sending snaps on Snapchat to admitted students. It began with local coverage by WBAY and spread rapidly from there, including Seventeen, NPR and Good Morning America. Check out the full list of coverage.