Text of Riopelle doctorate presentation

Virginia Riopelle doctorate presentation

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay awarded an honorary doctoral degree to community advocate Virginia (Ginny) Riopelle during the University’s commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 13 at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.

Riopelle, a longtime UW-Green Bay Trustee, successful University fundraiser and the co-founder of the University’s award-winning Phuture Phoenix program, received a framed Doctor of Laws degree from UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller (at right in photo).

Miller and Associate Provost Greg Davis (left) presented Riopelle with her doctoral hood. Earlier, Davis had introduced Riopelle to the audience of nearly 2,000 with a recounting of her long and exemplary service to the University and its students.

Excerpts from his prepared text are as follows:

Ginny Riopelle has been a lifelong supporter of UW-Green Bay and its students.

Beginning with her own days as a student here — she received her teaching certification from UWGB — and continuing through her present-day involvement as co-chair of the UW-Green Bay Foundation, Inc…. she has been a tireless and influential advocate for local higher education.

• She co-chaired this University’s largest capital campaign ($30 million), which resulted in construction of the Kress Events Center, enhancement of the Cofrin School of Business, and major gains in student-scholarship funding.

• She is a trusted advisor and community voice for UWGB, having served for nearly two decades as a member of the Chancellor’s Council of Trustees.

• Perhaps most notably, she is the creator and co-founder of the award-winning Phuture Phoenix program, which in little more than a decade has shown more than 15,000 local schoolchildren that education matters … that college is possible.

Mrs. Riopelle’s service to our community is by no means limited to UW-Green Bay. She has held leadership roles in support of the United Way, the Service League, Encompass Child Care, the Boys & Girls Club, N.E.W. Curative, and the YMCA.

Her contributions to campus and community are many … her nomination for today’s honor is well-deserved.

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