Are you ready for some Packers history?

Green Bay, Wis. — If you thought you knew everything there was to know about the green and gold, the work of some University of Wisconsin-Green Bay students may surprise you.

This semester, UW-Green Bay History, Democracy and Justice Studies, and Humanities students and faculty  collaborated on an exciting project to document the history of the Green Bay Packers as the franchise celebrates 100 years. Students will share their findings during a special open-to-the-public, free presentation on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Student projects cover a wide terrain of Packers history. One project created by Grant Fischer, Kilian Carlson, Jamie Stankevitz, Rich Rehberg and Fisher Stathes, for example, explains how the Packers revolutionized professional football by deepening the use of the forward pass. Another, developed by Madeline Cichoki, Gwen Drumheller, Joseph Karrmann, Rachel Scray and Emily Bork, draw on the Lyle Lahey cartoon collection to show how the Packers were integral in how Green Bay residents understood national politics.

“It was my hope that the students would learn about the early history of the Green Bay Packers, the beginnings under Curly Lambeau and some of the history not everyone is familiar with,” says Brett Hensel, curator and historian of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. “We also hoped that the students might discover some interesting new Packers history.”

Whether a tidbit or two informs a future project at the Hall of Fame remains to be seen, but Hensel said working with the UW-Green Bay students was a great experience.

“The Green Bay Packers history is such a beloved topic that it has been researched over and over again by many scholars,” he said. “So many different books done, especially depending upon the topic, and then with the organization approaching its 100th anniversary, there is even more research being done. Still, it’s difficult to find something original.”

Hensel co-taught Associate Prof. Heidi Sherman’s Introduction to Digital and Public Humanities and Associate Prof. Jon Shelton’s Craft of History course. Under the direction of Hensel, Sherman and Shelton, and using primary sources from archives (including UW-Green Bay’s award-winning Archives and Area Research Center), students from each class combined forces to develop a series of unique digital projects.

“I do believe partnerships and projects like these are very beneficial to both the University and the Green Bay Packers organization,” Hensel said. “We can learn a lot from each other, and the Packers organization prides itself in giving back to the community. I also believe that the projects are extremely value tool in learning for the students. Working in high level group projects is extremely important as they transition into the professional world.”

Members of the campus community and the public are invited to attend. Guests should enter through the Bellin Health Gate and will be directed by events staff to the presentation venue.

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