Tag: donors

UW-Green Bay selects experienced Cavanaugh as Advancement leader

Chancellor Gary L. Miller announces that J. Lance Cavanaugh, vice president for development for the University of Arizona Foundation, will join UW-Green Bay on Jan. 1 as vice chancellor for university advancement and president of the UW-Green Bay Foundation, Inc. A native Midwesterner, Cavanaugh has more than three decades of leadership experience in fundraising and institutional advancement at major public universities including the University of Arizona, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Iowa State, Wright State, Minnesota-Duluth, and the University of Nevada. “He was the one candidate,” Miller noted, “with significant experience in working with a foundation, donor stewardship, alumni relations, major gifts, planned giving, coordinating with athletics, the arts and other program-based fundraisers … all of the varied functions he will be responsible for here.” We’ll have more links for Cavanaugh in our illustrated Log Extra, coming shortly, or check the news release.


Scholarship receptions: Bringing donors and recipients together

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Chancellor Gary L. and Georgia Nix Miller hosted a series of smaller, more intimate receptions at various venues this fall to give donors, recipients, and others more of an opportunity to engage. Enjoy the photo gallery. Photos by UW-Green Bay graduate Tammy Resulta.

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King, Nick, Potts to receive UW-Green Bay’s highest alumni honor

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will recognize a total of five meritorious graduates of the institution at the 2015 Alumni Association Awards Night on Friday evening, Oct. 16. The program is part of the annual, two-day Alumni Days celebration, which this year coincides with UW-Green Bay’s 50th Anniversary.

The list of honorees begins with Mark King, class of 1981, Barbara Nick ’83 and Jack Potts ’71, each receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award. Additionally, Andy Rosendahl, ’07 and Kelly Ruh ’01 will receive the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award. Ronald and Suzy Pfeifer will receive the Honorary Alumni Award.

The annual awards spotlight UW-Green Bay alumni who have made special contributions to the University, their communities and professions.

The ceremony takes place in the Grand Foyer and on stage at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay.

The event is open to the public. It begins with a 5 p.m. social and includes dinner at 6 p.m. followed by the program. The cost is $35 per person. For more information, contact the UW-Green Bay Alumni Office — (920) 465-2226 or e-mail.

Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Mark-King-72Mark King is a 1981 Business Administration graduate of UW-Green Bay. As President of adidas Group North America, King oversees adidas and Reebok in the U.S. and Canada and is responsible for driving the brand strategy and direction for the worldwide company’s North American operations. King began his current role in June 2014 after 34 years with TaylorMade. King’s celebrity status within the golf industry derived from making TaylorMade the No. 1 brand on the PGA tour and boosting sales from $300 million to $1 billion annually. He was named golf executive of the year within two years of being named president in 1999, at age 40. He has been profiled in PGA Magazine, Fortune and the Harvard Business Review, among others. He was inducted into UW-Green Bay Phoenix Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2011 the UW-Green Bay Foundation Inc. added King to its board of directors.

Barb-Nick-72Barbara A. Nick received her bachelor’s degree in Communication and the Arts in 1983. Since December 2014, she has served as President and CEO of Dairyland Power Cooperative, which provides wholesale electricity to more than 40 member cooperatives and municipalities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. Nationwide, she’s one of only a few female chief executives in her industry. Nick joined Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (now Integrys Energy Group) in 1981 as a technical writer. At WPS, she rose through the ranks to become senior VP of energy delivery and customer service. She was president of the Upper Peninsula Power Co. subsidiary, and by 2014, when she concluded her career at Integrys, she was president of its Minnesota Energy Resources and Michigan Gas Utilities corporations. Nick is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

Jack_Potts-72Dr. Jack Potts graduated in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in Humanism and Cultural Change. He received his medical degree in 1979 from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and has been a practicing psychiatrist for 36 years, primarily in the state of Arizona. Throughout his career, Potts became active in various issues involving forensic psychiatry including working on insanity and competency legislation, human rights activities, and pro bono service to many. He taught both law and social work at Arizona State University, and served for a decade as chief of the Forensic Services Unit for the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County before returning to private practice in 2002. He is a past president of his state’s American Psychiatric Association affiliate.

Outstanding Recent Alumni

AndyRosendahl-72Andy Rosendahl graduated in 2007 with a Public Administration degree and began work as a neighborhood development specialist for the City of Green Bay. Since 2013, he has served as the Chief of Staff for Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt. Rosendahl has been president of the Astor Neighborhood Association, VP of the Mediation Center of Greater Green Bay and a board member of Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity and the Bay Area Community Council, and co-chair of its Self-Sufficiency Committee. In 2014 he received the community’s Inky Meng Resident Leadership Award for volunteer service to others.

KellyRuh-72Kelly Ruh graduated in 2001 with degrees in Business Administration and Accounting. She is the controller for PDQ Manufacturing Inc., based in De Pere, widely known for its service and industry-leading advances in touchless car wash technology. Ruh started as a staff accountant, spent time as a CFO at a local non-profit, and returned as controller of PDQ at age 32. She recently completed her MBA with a focus on international business. An active volunteer, she serves as an officer of the Brown County Trust for Historic Preservation and the Brown County Republican Party and as a coach for the Junior Achievement Business Marathon. She is a former president of the UW-Green Bay Alumni Association.

Honorary Alumni Award

Ronald and Suzy Pfeifer are longtime friends of, and advocates for, UW-Green Bay. Ron was recently named Associate Chancellor for External Affairs at UW-Green Bay. He came to UWGB from Schneider National Inc., where he worked as Associate General Counsel since 2013 following a 28-year career as an employment-law attorney with Godfrey & Kahn. In 2012, the Pfeifers endowed a Phuture Phoenix Scholarship to help students at Green Bay East High School involved in the Institute for the Fine Arts to attend UW-Green Bay. They are active supporters of Phoenix Athletics. Ron has served on the board of directors for both the Phoenix Fund and the former Fast Break Club, and for the University’s Founders Association philanthropic organization. Suzy Pfeifer, recently retired as Director of Marketing and Fund Development for Encompass Early Education and Care, Inc., was employed by UW-Green Bay as Director of Major Gifts in the early 2000s. She is a past member of the Council of Trustees.



Early grads help celebrate UWGB’s 50th

A busy day of public events celebrating the 50th anniversary of UWGB’s founding opened with a Wednesday morning breakfast program in the University Union’s Phoenix Room.

The University’s first Student Government Association president, Scott Knapp, was the keynote speaker. Now the CEO of Central Maine Community College, Knapp shared memories of his relationship with Founding Chancellor Edward Weidner, the earliest days of the new campus, and being asked to speak at the official groundbreaking for UWGB in November 1967.

Also offering remarks were UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt (who presented Miller and the University a key to the city), and proud Class of 1971 alumnus Sen. Dave Hansen (who presented a flag that had flown over the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison). Ron Pfeifer was emcee.

The invitation-only breakfast was also attended by other early 1970s graduates, current students and student government leaders, longtime community supporters (including Dr. Herb and Crystal Sandmire, friends of UWGB since 1969), emeriti faculty, University officials, the senior member of UW-Green Bay’s faculty (Prof. Kumar Kangayappan), Marge and Ellen Weidner, UW System officials including the deans of nearby UW Colleges, System President Ray Cross and Regent President Regina Millner, Regent Tim Higgins, Council of Trustees and Alumni leadership, and others. First graduate Nancy Ably Deprey ’70 and “most recent graduate” Victoria Zacarias ‘15 were acknowledged for their participation in the campus 50th anniversary video.

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Photos by UW-Green Bay staff members Dan Moore and Kelly Selner

Skogens share lessons, success with UW-Green Bay

Dave and Mark Skogen feature storyNote: An edited version of these interviews was published in the May 2015 print edition of the Inside UW-Green Bay magazine.

Father and son Dave and Mark Skogen have piloted the growth of Festival foods from humble beginnings to 20 stores with more than 5,000 employees today. Dave took over the business from his father, Paul, and transformed what was a small chain of IGA stores in the 1970s and ‘80s into Festival Foods in 1990. Mark became President and CEO in 2006, and through his leadership, Festival Foods has grown into an industry leader. Dave, now Chairman of the Board, was named “Wisconsin Grocer of the Year” in 2005, and he and his wife, Barb, were named Outstanding Philanthropists in 2007 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Upper Mississippi Valley Chapter. Dave published a book in 2013, Boomerang! Leadership Principles that Bring the Customer Back. He was the keynote speaker at UW-Green Bay’s Business Week dinner this spring. Mark serves as a member of the UW-Green Bay Foundation Board and also serves on boards for the Green Bay Packers, Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay. He is a devoted Phoenix fan and active member of the Phoenix Fund.

What does servant leadership mean to you?

MARK: My definition of servant leadership is removing barriers and obstacles for those whom you lead. Helping others to be the best they can be in life, work, family, etc. Give those you lead the resources they need to win. It’s not just a “work thing” either. Leadership in family life is very important, as well. Giving your kids what they need — not always what they want — is an act of leadership. They want to stay up until 2 a.m., want to eat junk food, want to watch TV for three hours… but what they need is good rest, good nutrition, and good study skills.

DAVE: Plain and simple — putting others’ needs (not wants) before mine.

What have you learned from each other?

MARK: There are many things I could list here so I’ll just name a few. I have learned to do whatever it takes to make the guest happy. There is rarely a step my Dad won’t take to satisfy a guest. I have learned to be passionate about the business. My Dad gives 100 percent when it comes to thinking about what can make us better and what changes should happen to raise our game to the next level. The commitment that he has shown to our company is second to none. I have also learned a lot about giving back in our communities. My Grandpa valued community involvement when he started the business and my Dad has championed it to this day. I have never known another way to operate than to be involved and give back wherever we can.

DAVE: When businesses are passed on through generations, a lot of times you hear that the next generation doesn’t have the same qualities that the previous generation had. The business changes, and not for the better. Through passing on the business to Mark, I have learned that your own children can be as good, or better, than their parents. Mark took what we built and he continues to make it better than what it was.

Festival Foods is known for its response to community needs and opportunities to give back. What is your personal philosophy on philanthropy?

MARK: Community involvement is one of our five values at Festival. We have the support of our guests and we feel its right to give that support back out to the community. We want to be more than a grocery store; we want to make an impact in the cities where we do business. The old corner grocery store in the 1940s had an importance that was greater than just selling groceries. Even though the stores are bigger today we want to still be the place a community can count on for giving.

DAVE: Giving isn’t a choice, it’s an obligation. We are born takers — babies and children take. Only when we are taught to give do we learn to give. The only choice we have is: Will we give to our capacity; or as little as we can?

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome that has perhaps led to the greatest opportunity?

MARK: The transition from the small Skogen’s IGA grocery store format to the Festival Foods format in 1989 was not an easy transition. We went from 25,000 square feet stores to 60,000 square feet. It’s a different kind of operation that we had to learn on the fly. This bold move to a larger format store was the catalyst to our growth. We would not be where we are today had we stuck with the smaller, conventional format store we were operating prior to 1989.

DAVE: For 35 years of our existence we were a small store operator. In 1990, we decided the Big Box model was going to be our future niche. There was a huge learning curve, but it ended up being a nearly seamless transition.

What are the qualities of a great employee?

MARK: A great associate has a bounce in their step and an energy level that is ready to take on any challenge the day may bring. We always say we hire great attitudes and we will train the skills.

DAVE: In two words, Character (our moral maturity) and Humility (which comes from a Greek word that means “close to the ground”).

What about a great leader? How do you identify the future leaders in your company?

MARK: A great leader can rally the hearts and minds of associates around a goal that is identified as being good for all concerned. The leader needs to be a good listener and good at organizing priorities. In retail there are so many moving parts that prioritizing goals can be harder than you may think. A great leader cannot be afraid of holding others accountable. If fear of making an associate “mad” can’t be overcome, the leader will ultimately fail.

DAVE: Humble, honest, forgiving, fearless, kind… more of a plow horse than a show horse.

To what do you owe your success?

MARK: I believe I owe my success to my parents, who set the great foundation in which I grew up. I recognized the amazing career opportunity they provided me without being told I had to get into the business. I would say that the support they gave me for being involved in sports was also important. Basketball in particular taught me so much about drive, determination and the desire to win. On the court I learned how to work hard and find ways to be successful with a team full of different personalities.

DAVE: Focus, passion and luck. If you don’t attribute luck, you’re giving yourself too much credit.

How do you start your day?

MARK: After my cup of coffee I start the day with a run, several games of racquetball, or a workout with a personal trainer. I enjoy getting my exercise in first thing in the morning so that when my day is done I can relax and not feel tempted by excuses to not workout.

DAVE: The daily God Calling Devotional Journal and a healthy XS Energy Drink.

Some would say brand loyalty is dead? Do you agree?

MARK: There are so many more choices for shoppers today. I don’t believe there is zero possibility to earn brand loyalty… you may just have to work harder for it. If you listen to guests to understand what they need, stay on top of trends in your industry, and maintain a strong dedication to customer service, why would a guest not return? We know there are choices and that guests may check out other retailers, but we believe that if we maintain focus on what we do best our guests will come back.

AVE: Brand loyalty dead? Disagree! I believe those who feel differently aren’t in the trenches enough with their antenna up. When you build relationships, you’re building loyalty.

How do you consistently engage the consumer?

MARK: Engagement starts with “ten tiling,” which is greeting any guest within ten floor tiles. Any guest within ten floor tiles of an associate should get a hello, goodbye, how are you, or can I help you find something today. This is basic stuff and an easy way to break the ice with a guest. From there the door is open to deeper conversations about product or anything else a guest may need from us that day.

DAVE: With patience and energy. You need to be in good shape to continually engage guests. You can’t do it behind a desk.

Name three characteristics that describe the other, and three characteristics that describe yourself.

MARK: Three adjectives I would use to describe my Dad are passionate, change-agent and innovative. As for me, I believe I am driven, generous, and compassionate.

DAVE: For Mark, I would say intelligent, risk-taker and passionate. For myself, passionate, focused, humble.

How do you handle conflict?

MARK: I believe the best way to handle conflict is to meet it head on. So often what may be viewed as a negative situation isn’t so bad once you ask some questions and share your feelings with others. There is always room for improvement when it comes to this approach, but I do believe asking questions to find the root of the conflict gets you to resolution much quicker.

DAVE: Carefully! Be open and honest with people – no sugar coating. Have faith that both parties will prevail in the end.

What has been your biggest challenge in keeping your company nimble and responding to the needs of consumers?

MARK: Empowerment. We have always used the word in the past but it’s just a word until others believe they are empowered to make decisions. This year, and the years forward, we will be focusing more and more on showing the team that it is OK to make decisions on their own. If mistakes are made along the way we will support the decision maker and use it as an opportunity to coach on how their next decision can be even better. I despise the sluggishness of bureaucracy and will do what it takes to keep things moving quickly in our business.

DAVE: Coaching our teammates on the importance of change. To go from good to great, we must continually change. We need to look at who we can be, not who we are. Old paradigm: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. New paradigm: continuous improvement.

Is there a reason you are so successful in Wisconsin? Will we see Festival expand to other parts of the Midwest?

MARK: We have been successful because of a culture that puts people first. We feel we must find the best teammates and take care of them in a way that they won’t be taken care of elsewhere. If our associates feel good about how they are treated they will, in turn, take care of our guests. Sure, we need to have good products, clean stores and competitive prices, but our base for success is our associates. I wouldn’t say we won’t ever have a store in another state but controlled growth has always been important to us. We still have opportunities in Wisconsin and until we’ve exhausted our opportunities here that is where we will maintain our focus.

DAVE: We diligently study the markets we serve, and we’re reasonably patient to not get ahead of ourselves. (We’re not just throwing darts at cities!) If my father had built his first store in Minnesota, I think we’d find the same success in Minnesota. Will we see Festival expand in the Midwest? Probably not in my time. There are still plenty of opportunities in Wisconsin.

What is one thing most people wouldn’t know about your father (son)?

MARK: I think it may be how passionate he has been about sports his entire life. He has told the story a few times about how as a younger man he thought he wanted to have a career as a coach. He realized that while his dream of coaching a baseball team wasn’t going to happen, he had an opportunity to coach in retail grocery. He and I both realize that while grocery isn’t a sport as most people would define it, you are still coaching every day. His passion for coaching has served him well in the retail grocery world.

DAVE: Growing up, Mark was introverted. Upon graduating from college, he was headed to Marshfield to run one of our grocery stores. It was as if overnight he became an extrovert. He chose to do the hard work of changing to develop himself in order to lead.

How would you end this statement? “If I had to do this all over again, I would…”

MARK: Change very little. We can all name little things that we would like to have play out differently over time, but we also learn a lot from things that don’t go well. I had a great childhood. I enjoyed and benefited from a sports background. I was thrown into the fire at a young age to lead two failing grocery stores that we had purchased. I was fortunate to come across a lot of great teammates who helped us grow to 22 stores strong in Wisconsin. I have two great children who are off to a great start in their lives. I couldn’t ask for much more.

DAVE: Learn how to fly a small plane, for personal and business use.

The Schobers: Couple gives for community — and for mom

top-schobersTom Schober and Suzan Schober Murray have plenty of reasons to give back to UW-Green Bay.

For one, the bayshore campus is practically in their front yard. For another, Suzan is a master’s grad and Tom spent a dozen years on the University’s Founders Association Board of Directors. They love on-campus activities and are keenly aware of UW-Green Bay’s impact in Northeastern Wisconsin and beyond.

Still, their motivations run deeper than that. For Tom, it’s knowing their gift might help a student have opportunities his own mother did not.

“My mother had to drop out of college after her first year,” he said, “because my grandfather said, ‘well, one year is enough’ — this was back in the mid ‘30s — and I think she felt intimidated by some of her friends all her life.

“And I just would hate to see somebody have to drop out of school just because they didn’t have enough money to pay the tuition for a semester, or something like that. So that’s kind of what we hope we’re able to do.”

The pair is doing so through the Schober Family Endowed Scholarship for Business, established in 2013. The scholarship benefits students enrolled in the Cofrin School of Business who are majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resource Management.

“It’s very gratifying to know we are supporting future professionals in the field of business and human resources,” Suzan said. “I also think there’s a return to the community, if these students stay local, to support their goals and vision — and maybe a business’s goals and vision. It’s a gift that will keep giving. There’s good return on that. It’s an investment.”

UW-Green Bay — and indeed the larger higher education landscape — is different than it once was, Tom added.

“The school has changed over the years,” he said. “The student body is larger, and the people that go here, a lot of them are first-generation college students. I know they need the help — the costs of education are just going right through the roof. So we thought that would be a good way to try to help somebody out.”

It’s that help, they hope, that will make a difference now — and well into the future.

The Andersons: Fans, donors and patriots

top-story-AndersonsThere is no question from November to mid-March where Kathy and Lee Anderson’s loyalties lie — with the UW-Green Bay women’s basketball program. From the home of the Phoenix to the home of the Huskies, from Green Bay to Dallas, Texas, or Ames, Iowa, the Andersons can be found in the stands rooting for their home team.

“When people find out we are from Green Bay, they say, “Packers?” we say, “Phoenix,” says Lee.

The longtime men’s and women’s basketball season ticket holders never fail to be impressed by the athletic qualities and strength of character that define their favorite student-athletes.

“Of all the games we’ve watched and the highlights through the years, the thing that impresses me the most is when we were named No. 1 out of the 64 teams in the NCAA Tournament based on the team’s GPAs,” says Lee. “It’s such a reflection of the girls and a very big part of why we are so proud to support this team.”

“This is our vacation, our social life, “ said Kathy. “People ask us when we are going to become snowbirds, but winter in Wisconsin is where we chose to be. We love getting to know the girls and their families, many who come in as intimidated freshmen, and blossom into these confident, strong women who remain in our lives.”

Although much of their free time is committed to the Phoenix, the Andersons have extended their support beyond Athletics, most recently committing to an endowed scholarship for the new Engineering Technology program at UW-Green Bay. They also have a similar scholarship at NWTC.

The Andersons reason for supporting higher education is clear — they each grew up watching their working-class families struggle to make ends meet. Lee worked his way out of a poor boyhood Milwaukee neighborhood and into engineering, thanks to the Falk Corporation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Eventually he used that to build a thriving business — Recycled Plastics Industries, Inc.(RPI) — a manufacturer of plastic lumber used in recreational, marine, agricultural, outdoor furniture and numerous other applications.

Kathy recalls working alongside her locally-famed father Marv Bins — a sports reporter, photographer, referee and a member of the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame — who worked as a local postal carrier in Luxemburg, Wis. to support a large family. “As early as 10 years old I was helping him keep stats at local games,” she said. Kathy grew to know the struggles of a single mom and is grateful for the scholarship support her son received while she was working to help him through college.

Math and education student Gabriel Michaels is the recipient of the first Lee and Kathy Anderson Scholarship for Engineering Technology at UWGB. Because the University is just beginning to enroll students in the program, the Andersons extended this year’s nomination to Math students.

“He is a future math teacher who will be teaching future math students and engineers, so it made sense,” said Lee.

Although Michaels has only “met” the Andersons through e-mail so far, his appreciation is apparent. “It amazes me how two people could care so much about someone they have not even met. I am truly grateful for the gift that they have given me in the form of a scholarship. To donate money to someone’s education is a such a selfless act and I am very humbled to have received this scholarship from them.”

The Andersons’ commitment to Northeast Wisconsin extends beyond UW-Green Bay. The cat (and giraffe) lovers are volunteers at NEW Zoo and Happily Ever After — a no-kill animal sanctuary owned by UW-Green Bay alumnus Amanda Reitz.

Passionate patriots, this year the Andersons are taking 92-year-old World War II Veteran and Normandy survivor Reuben Schaetzel to the annual Liberation Festival in Pilsen, Czech Republic, where Americans are honored each year for their role in liberating the European Continent.

“We are here because a lot of good and talented people spent time teaching and inspiring us. The best way to thank them is to do the same for someone else. Taking one’s gifts for granted is a mistake. For us sharing our gifts is a given.”

Where philanthropy is a team game

top-story-tek-mclAt Bay Tek Games and MCL Industries in Pulaski, a culture of giving back pervades life in the workplace — and beyond.

It’s in the way the businesses give 10 percent of their profits to charitable causes — and in how each month, two employees from each company are randomly selected and awarded $500 for the charity of their choice. Beyond that, says Larry Treankler, chairman of both companies (and second from right, above), employees take the giving spirit home, infusing philanthropy in day-to-day living, as well.

Bay Tek and MCL began supporting UW-Green Bay Phoenix Athletics a number of years ago, and have ramped up their giving to include annual and ongoing support.

“I was watching a women’s basketball tournament game five, six years ago now,” Treankler said. “They were playing somebody they had no business beating, and the way they left everything out there, the sense of shared fate, the passion … I just came away inspired. The way they conducted themselves is very, very similar to the way we try to conduct ourselves as a business.”

That sense of admiration for the “Green Bay Way” only increased when Treankler and some of his colleagues had the chance to tour the Kress Events Center and meet Phoenix coaches and staff.

“Athletics is a great teacher,” Treankler said. “You have to be humble when you win, you have to be gracious when you lose, you have to operate within a team.”

MCL CEO Bob Rupp is a UW-Green Bay grad and former trustee, and Treankler’s daughter, Layne, is an alumna as well. Bay Tek (a leading maker of coin-operated games) and MCL (electrical and mechanical assemblies) employ about a half-dozen UW-Green Bay alumni, Treankler said — and their education stands out.

“They come to us well-schooled in terms of the curriculum they’ve been trained in,” he said. “And to a person, they come to us with something extra. … Each and every one of them is a leader.”

(Photo at top, from left: Shareholder Terry Hansted, MCL CEO Robert Rupp, Chairman Larry Treankler and Bay Tek CEO Gaeten Philppon. Not shown: Shareholder Carl Treankler.)

Giving back: Morgridges ‘planting trees’ for next generation

John and Tashia Morgridge reception, UW-Green BayUW-Green Bay students, parents and a number of UWGB staff members and administrators had the extreme pleasure of meeting with John and Tashia Morgridge and the Executive Director of their “Fund for Wisconsin Scholars (FFWS),” Mary Gulbrandsen, Monday, March 9.

The Morgridges are among America’s foremost philanthropists, endowing a grant program for UW students in 2007 that began with a $175 million gift. At present, more than 100 UWGB students are beneficiaries of the FFWS grants, which provides more than $340,000 yearly and has provided nearly $2 million in grants to UWGB students over the past seven years. Recipients receive $3,500 per year for up to 10 semesters as long as they maintain full-time status and show academic progress toward their degree.

The couple, now married 60 years, has bicycled across the United States, cross-country skied above the Arctic Circle and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, among other adventures. They stopped in at UW-Green Bay for a brief reception to meet the grant recipients and their families, and offer a bit of advice.

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Miller extended greetings and deep gratitude on behalf of UWGB, describing the Morgridges as the most generous people in the country, thanking them for helping to transform the lives of UWGB students through higher education.

Tashia Morgridge asked those in attendance to think about the quote written by Nelson Henderson — “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”

“You are the trees,” she said. “You will change the world for the next generation. You will provide the expertise, the communication, the education … and as a result you will be planting your own trees providing shade for your own children.”

John Morgridge said that each student should have mental and physical goals, and they should be ready to make important decisions when opportunities present themselves. Decisions like marriage, job opportunities, etc.

The Morgridges, who met at Wauwatosa (East) High School, and earned undergraduate degrees at UW-Madison, asked the students to be responsible with their education, and hoped the FFWS grants would help them graduate with minimal debt.

John earned his master’s in business administration from Stanford, and Tashia a master’s degree in education from Lesley College in Massachusetts in 1975, before dedicating her life’s work to special education instruction. John joined Cisco in 1988 as president and CEO when the internet was in its infancy. He led a handful of employees and new technologies to a growing company, which by 1994 had more than 2,200 workers and more than $1 billion in sales. Today Cisco employs more than 74,000 people through operations in 165 countries and net sales of $47.1 billion in 2014.

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— Photos by Eric Miller, photographer, Office of Marketing and University Communication

Alumni grab center stage with generosity

first-year-donors-topIn the last few years UW-Green Bay has virtually doubled the number of endowed scholarships it has available to students. The school’s graduates helped make that happen.

UW-Green Bay alumni or alumni couples created a long list of new endowed scholarships in the past two years.

Steve ’78 and Janelle Maricque ’82, at left center in red tie and fuchsia jacket, respectively, were among those on stage. They’ve always had a soft spot for their alma mater, and with good reason.

“The first time we met was in Wood Hall one day on lunch break,” Steve recalls. “We started talking, and we’ve been together ever since.”

The Maricques have long supported the annual fund drive, and Steve has served on the Alumni Association board, currently serving as president of the association. Well aware that UW-Green Bay’s largely first-generation, working-class students rely greatly on outside help to pay for college, the couple decided to fund a scholarship. The Steven and Janelle Maricque Endowed Scholarship serves new freshmen from Northeast Wisconsin.

“We recognize the value of the education that these students are receiving, and truly need, in today’s world,” says Steve. “We felt we were in a position to help, and to do something immediately so current students can benefit.”

Other members of the UW-Green Bay alumni family posing for the group photo (above) were Dean Basten, Kathy and Jim Wochinske, Kate and Mike Meeuwsen, Suzan Schober Murray, Jeanne Stangel, Tom Schober, Diane and Pat Ford, Mike Jackson, Donna Sheedy, Steve Lapacz, Pam and Rich Spangenberg, and Barth Wolf.

Stangel, the University’s vice chancellor for advancement, says alumni support demonstrates “that the people who know us best believe strongly in what we’re doing.

“They benefitted from a UW-Green Bay education, they have been successful, and they want others to enjoy those same opportunities.”