Retired UW-Green Bay faculty member endows $1 million strings professorship

Green Bay, Wis. — Founding UW-Green Bay Band Director, dedicated educator, generous benefactor.

Robert J. Bauer, retired University of Wisconsin-Green Bay music faculty member, and his wife and UW-Green Bay alumna (’78, Master’s Degree in Environmental Arts and Sciences) Joanne, a retired English and language arts teacher in the Green Bay Area Public School District announced their $1 million gift to the University.

Robert Bauer UWGB Series 68 Box 2 Fol 17 1978The gift will be used to create an endowed professorship fund designated to support and advance the academic activities of the strings music faculty and students at the University. The fund will be known as the Robert and Joanne Bauer Endowed Professorship in Strings.

A strings program is central to the University’s vision as an artistic beacon for the Green Bay community and Northeast Wisconsin. The Robert and Joanne Bauer Endowed Professorship in Strings is a prestigious position that will attract international interest in the recruitment of a high-caliber faculty member to lead the strings program. The Bauer’s generous endowment will provide for state-of-the-art equipment, innovative research, touring, concert and performance support, student recruitment events and strings student scholarships.

During Bauer’s 25-year career at UW-Green Bay, he was the University’s first Director of Bands. In this role, Bauer founded the Marching Band, directed the Symphonic Band and initiated the Wind Ensemble for advanced students that provided early visibility for the new University within the community. In the early days, Bauer led the Marching Band in performances at Green Bay Packers games at Milwaukee County Stadium and Lambeau Field. An eight-week international tour in 1973 throughout several European countries also featured an instructional residence for UW-Green Bay student musicians in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. He retired as the Dean of Professional Programs, Outreach and Adult Education.

Reflecting upon the gift, Bauer commented, “Joanne and I have spent our careers as educators. We understand the opportunities that a professorship at a university offers students, faculty and the community. Playing and teaching music has been my life-long passion,” Bauer continued. “Strings instruments add elegance and vitality to music compositions. We wanted to ensure that strings are part of the music program at UW-Green Bay for generations to come.”

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller sees a strings program as vital to the University’s music program. “This new endowed strings professorship puts our University in a prime position to take the cultural lead in music within the community and the broader performance arena. Our strings students have the opportunity to play in the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, University Theatre and community venues,” said Miller. “The Bauer’s generosity is inspiring and has special meaning given that Bob was a founding member of our music program.”

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


Robert Bauer UWGB Series 68 Box 2 Fol 17 circa 1969 Robert Bauer UWGB Series 68 Box 2 Fol 17 2