Eco U? It’s one of our trademarks, officially

UW-Green Bay now holds legal rights to the words “Eco U.” The move both honors the University’s ecological roots and protects the institution’s right to the nickname first bestowed upon it four decades ago (see below). Chancellor Thomas Harden says don’t expect any immediate changes because of the trademark. The University had legal counsel Dan Spielmann pursue the procedure in order to protect the term for the future. “I didn’t want to get in a situation where we were prohibited from using it,” Harden said. “It makes sense to trademark it given our long history and commitment to the environment.”

Nickname dates to 1970s

UW-Green Bay, described as America’s first environmental university, where every day was Earth Day, was called “Eco U” shortly after its founding roughly 40 years ago. The University was dubbed “Eco U” by Harper’s Magazine, Newsweek and other national and regional media in the early 1970s. The nickname came about in large part because of the University’s multidisciplinary approach to solving environmental problems. As former interim Chancellor David Ward once put it: “We were green long before green became mainstream.” That tradition continues today with the Environmental Management and Business Institute, strong undergraduate and graduate programs in environmental science and policy, the ongoing development of the 290-acre Cofrin Memorial Arboretum and many other sustainability programs.

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