Dr. James and Patricia Hinckley of Green Bay will be recognized at UW-Green Bay spring commencement this Saturday, May 12, with the institution’s highest community honor, the Chancellor’s Award.
The couple will be presented the award by Chancellor Thomas K. Harden during ceremonies that begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Kress Events Center.
The Hinckleys’ relationship with the University dates to the late 1970s and includes substantial involvement with, and support of, the University’s academic mission, the fine arts and Phoenix Athletics.
They are best known for their enthusiastic support of intercollegiate athletics. An orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Hinckley has devoted time, medical expertise and philanthropic support to the Phoenix since 1978. His close working relationship with the program began with the men’s soccer teams under the direction of his friend, former coach Aldo Santaga. Hinckley offered his time to provide team physicals and a medical presence on the bench at both home and away games. That role grew to include other teams — basketball, in particular — and he continued that volunteer service over three decades as medical consultant, team physician and as a mentor to many of the program’s student trainers.
He is a member of the UW-Green Bay Athletics Hall of Fame. Prior to the opening of the University’s new Kress Events Center in 2007, it was decided to honor him by naming the training and sports medicine area of the facility the James Hinckley Sports Medicine Center.
Patricia Hinckley is a former teacher and gifted and talented coordinator for Ashwaubenon High School, where her social studies team won a local Golden Apple Award for excellence in education. She is active in the American Association of University Women. She supplemented her master’s degree preparation with secondary education certification at UW-Green Bay and served three years on the Founders Association Board of Directors during that time. In 2008 the Hinckleys endowed a UW-Green Bay scholarship fund — one of the University’s largest — in Patricia’s name, with preference to women student athletes pursuing careers related to mathematics, science or education.
The couple’s philanthropy on behalf of the University began in 1981 with generous annual contributions to the Founders Association for student scholarships and academic enhancements. They later became active supporters of the Phoenix Fund for athletics, and the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. Their involvement has occasionally had an element of fun, as well: Jim Hinckley allowed Phoenix basketball players to shave his head and 30-year beard at midcourt of the Kress Center when the team and its fans met a “Pink Zone” challenge to raise money for cancer awareness and research.
Dr. Hinckley is a longtime affiliate of Prevea Health Ashwaubenon. A graduate of the University of Illinois College of Medicine, he received training in orthopedics and sports medicine while serving eight years on active duty with the U.S. Navy before coming to Green Bay.