UW-Green Bay and its extended community mourn the loss of Prof. Robert Bob Wenger
Prof. “Bob” Wenger passed away unexpectedly on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. Prof. Wenger served the UW-Green Bay community as a professor of mathematics in the Natural and Applied Sciences faculty for 30 years, joining the University as an assistant professor of mathematics in 1969, and achieving the title of full professor in 1985.
That same year he was awarded the Founders Association Award for Excellence in Institutional Development. Faculty colleagues noted in his 1985 Founders Award nomination, “As chair of mathematics, Professor Wenger has performed his duties with a sense of responsibility and integrity that is, in my opinion, unmatched by any individual I have ever known.” Among the many recognitions he received was the Barbara Hauxhurst Cofrin Professorship of Natural Sciences (in 1997).
He was also a leader of the International Visiting Scholars Program which brought people from around the world to the Green Bay area to share their expertise in a vast number of fields. He continued his contributions to UW-Green Bay even after retiring and achieving professor emeritus status in 1999—mentoring students, being involved in research and writing, and continuing his work on environmental issues, specifically water-quality issues in Wisconsin and around the world. His specialty was applying mathematical principles and techniques to a wide range of scientific problems with practical real-world applications.
He, along with Prof. Jack Day were honored with the Founders Association Award for Collaborative Achievement in 2005, recognizing their work to launch the groundbreaking International Visiting Scholars Program, the first formal joint venture between UW-Green Bay and St. Norbert College. He served as chair of an interdisciplinary science unit for many years and was engaged in university governance as well. His obituary notes that he was a kind and gentle man, well-respected by administrators, faculty, and students.
According to friends, he was appropriately characterized as one who “never crossed paths with someone without showing them respect, kindness, and curiosity.” He was a tremendous supporter of Green Bay basketball, especially the women’s program. A celebration of life will be held at the Mauthe Center on March 25 at 1 p.m. To send online condolences, please go to www.PfotenhauerFuneralHome.com. Pfotenhauer Funeral Home & Cremation Services, East-Town, is assisting the family. See the full obituary.