Packers President Mark Murphy says education is the key

Mark Murphy, president and chief executive officer for the Green Bay Packers, poses in front of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Sue Pischke, University Photographer.

“Natural leaders” may indeed exist, but for Mark Murphy, leadership is a lifelong pursuit. And as president of the Green Bay Packers, not a pursuit for the faint of heart or thin of skin.

Beyond the confines of legendary Lambeau Field, Murphy has demonstrated a consistent ability to grasp a situation from multiple points of view. Then work toward a positive outcome for all involved. His post-playing days were invested earning an MBA in finance and a law degree. Those achievements opened doors beyond the locker-room including leadership roles representing both NFL players and management, NFL Players Association, stints as the athletic director at Colgate and Northwestern University, as well as a successful law practice.

The common thread in all these accomplishments? Education. Murphy’s willingness to take on big challenges extends to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Council of Trustees where he takes an active role in focusing the University’s mission and strategic goals. Plus, he brings a dash of Packers resolve to the spirit of the Phoenix. Or as another UW-Green Bay advisor Vince Lombardi once said, “There is only one way to succeed at anything, and that is to give it everything.”

In Summer of 2021, Murphy took part in a public service announcement about UW-Green Bay, and the University’s commitment to help their students and this community RISE. 

Here Mark Murphy shares his RISE story.

What keeps you up at night? 

“Not much. Worry sometimes does keep me up.”

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

“I’m very fortunate—I have a family I love to spend time with and a job that I enjoy and doesn’t feel like work, so I look forward to each day.”

Why will you never stop learning?

“You must in order to be successful. It also makes life more interesting.”

What are some of the biggest lessons life has taught you?

“Don’t burn bridges – build them. Don’t sweat the small stuff – keep things in perspective. The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

How has education ignited your personal growth?

“It taught me the value of hard work and study.”

How has education opened doors for you or others?

“Education has been the key to all my success in my career.”

How has education leveled the playing field for you or others?

“I worked in higher education for more than 16 years and saw numerous examples of how education transformed the lives of people.”

What are higher education’s biggest challenges?

“Access and the rising cost of tuition.”

How can higher education answer the hardest questions…

…about justice? 

“By viewing, addressing, and forcing us to think about justice issues.”


“By making us focus on what is most important in life.”

…our world?

“By opening our eyes to different views.”

Why should we stand up for other people’s right to a higher education?

“Because we are in a privileged position and can help others.”

How are you using your power to rise?

“To focus on helping others who are in need. The more people are educated, the better prepared we all are to face the future. Education teaches us to solve problems and address challenges.”

At UW-Green Bay, every person has the power to Rise. No matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you want to be. Find more Rise Stories about people from all walks of life who are blazing a brighter future for our region.

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