Green Bay, Wis. — As its inaugural mechanical engineering students prepare to begin class this fall, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and the Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) Foundation are announcing the creation of a $200,000 endowed professorship fund as part of the foundation’s $1 million gift to the collaborative Phoenix Innovation Park project. The fund will be known as the Wisconsin Public Service Foundation Endowed Professorship in Engineering, and will support and advance the academic activities of the engineering faculty and students at the University.
The WPS Foundation announced its $1 million contribution to support STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in February of 2018—the largest single donation made by the charitable organization in its 55-year history, according to Kevin Fletcher, chief executive officer of WEC Energy Group and the foundation’s chairman.
As an electrical engineering graduate of The Georgia Institute of Technology, Fletcher has seen firsthand the impact an engineering degree can have on a personal, professional and community level.
“Each day, WPS depends on dozens of engineers to reliably and safely power communities throughout northeast and north central Wisconsin,” Fletcher said. “As an engineer, I know from experience these careers are among the most versatile, valuable and rewarding positions available. The WPS Foundation is proud this portion of our gift will allow UW-Green Bay to develop the skills needed for student success in this field for decades to come.”
The professorship was created to recognize and retain the highest quality faculty in the Richard J. Resch School of Engineering. The WPS Foundation professorship will ensure excellence in teaching while creating additional opportunities for faculty and student research along with collaborations with regional partners and community leaders.
UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller said the community’s shared vision and support for STEM at the University is a game changer for Northeast Wisconsin.
“The WPS Foundation was the first donor to step forward and pledge its support to take this initiative from concept to reality,” he said. “This donation is a significant gift to the University and the region, and will create a great legacy for future generations.”
UW-Green Bay’s inaugural Mechanical Engineering students will begin class in the Richard J. Resch School of Engineering this fall (2019). Engineering Technology programs with emphases in mechanical, electrical and environmental engineering, have been in place for five years and have more than 150 students currently enrolled.
About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to nearly 8,000 students with campus locations in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Established in 1965 on the border of Green Bay, the University and its campuses are centers of cultural enrichment, innovation and learning. The Green Bay campus is home to one of the Midwest’s most prolific performing arts centers, a nationally recognized 4,000-seat student recreation center, an award-winning nine-hole golf course and a five-mile recreational trail and arboretum, which is free and open to the public. This four-campus University transforms lives and communities through student-focused teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, powerful connections and a problem-solving approach to education. UW-Green Bay’s main campus is centrally located, close to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of Northeast Wisconsin, the Fox Valley region and the I-43 corridor. UW-Green Bay offers in-demand programs in science, engineering and technology; business; health, education and social welfare; and arts, humanities and social sciences. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.
About Wisconsin Public Service Foundation
Wisconsin Public Service Foundation is funded by the shareholders of WEC Energy Group, not by the customers of its utility subsidiaries, and is in its 55th year.
Since its inception, the foundation has provided more than $34 million in contributions to programs that support work in the areas of arts and culture, community and neighborhood development, education, human services and health, and care for the environment. Learn more at www.wisconsinpublicservice.com/company/wpsfoundation.aspx.
WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC), based in Milwaukee, is one of the nation’s premier energy companies, serving more than 4.4 million customers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota. Visit wecenergygroup.com.