Jeffrey Bartell, a member of the Board of Regents, represented the UW System and offered brief welcoming remarks at Saturday’s mid-year Commencement at UW-Green Bay.
Bartell posed back-stage before the ceremony with two students honored during the event: Wendy Huber of Monroe (left), a Theatre major and recipient of the Outstanding Student Award for top graduating senior; and Lauren Caruso of Sun Prairie (right), a Human Biology major selected to be the graduating class speaker.
In his remarks, Bartell praised UW-Green Bay’s role in invigorating Northeast Wisconsin’s economy and encouraging the next generation of thinkers, leaders and problem-solvers.
He also acknowledged the challenges of paying for college today. He shared his own experience of “working in the shoe department of a J.C. Penney’s store and playing in a rock band” at a time when tuition was significantly less. He reminded the graduates, though, that higher education today remains subsidized in part by state taxpayers and by gifts and grants from alumni and others. He urged graduates to remember to “pay it forward” when their own opportunity arrives.
Bartell, a Madison-based attorney and former state Securities Commissioner and assistant attorney general, closed his remarks with three simple words of advice: Make a difference.
“Use what you have been given, indeed what you have earned here at UW-Green Bay, to make a positive difference in your life, in the lives of those around you, in your community and in our country.” Bartell said. “Please accept that role – that responsibility – and make a difference.”