UW‑Green Bay learned about the passing of Robert (Bob) Schaefer in Cocoa Beach, Florida, this week. Bob served as president of University Village Housing (UVHI) at UW‑Green Bay. He was a founding member of the organization, created in 1984, to ensure UWGB students would have affordable on-campus housing. In 1989 a new Residence Hall was named in his honor (Robert W. Schaefer Hall) and in 1995, Bob received the University’s highest honor — the Chancellor’s Award.
Kelly Franz, UWGB’s former vice chancellor for business and finance, who worked with Bob for more than 25 years, said that Bob’s leadership has been instrumental in the private/public partnership that has allowed UW‑Green Bay Residence Life to grow to meet campus demands. On campus housing is at capacity (about 2,000) this fall.
“In the 1980s, other UW campuses had empty rooms, and there was a UW System-wide moratorium on new campus housing, even though UW‑Green Bay was in desperate need,” Franz said. “Bob and the other UVHI founders (Roy Downham, John Robishaw, Don Long and James Temp) had the idea to build the housing privately, but allow UWGB personnel to use best judgement to run the apartments the way they saw fit. It is a sound partnership that continues to this day.”
The University continues to recognize Schaefer on a plaque in the building named for him and on the UW‑Green Bay website, where a profile reads, “Robert Schaefer has been the catalyst for bringing to fruition dreams for traditional student housing at UW‑Green Bay. He has worked tirelessly to keep projects on track. And when hopes had grown faint and bureaucracy had threatened to overwhelm efforts, Robert Schaefer unraveled the tangles and assured the continuation of planning and building of on-campus housing.”
Bob was born in Salina, Kansas, and moved to Green Bay, becoming an eventual partner in the law firm Trowbridge, Planert & Schaefer.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Monday, August 22, at Beckman-Williamson Funeral Home, 101 North Brevard Avenue, Cocoa Beach, FL. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., with visitation starting at 9 a.m., on Saturday, August 27, at Resurrection Catholic Parish, 333 Hilltop Drive, Green Bay, with Bishop Robert Morneau officiating.
A full obituary is available for viewing online.