Friends on the UW-Green Bay campus recall local philanthropist Patricia Wood Baer, who died Sunday at age 88 after a short illness, as a dedicated civic leader and supporter of higher education. She and her husband of 59 years, Fred Baer, were generous and continuous supporters of the University since its founding four decades ago. Among their milestone contributions were leadership gifts to the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts and donation of its beautiful 3,702-pipe Wood Family Organ; to the student scholarship fund; and to the creation of two named professorships — one in education, one in business administration. The Baers received the University’s highest community honor, the Chancellor’s Award, in May 1991. Fred Baer passed away in August 2006. Mrs. Baer and their son Rick returned to campus for mid-year commencement two years ago when the University marked the inaugural awarding of the Baer professorships. One of them, the Patricia Wood Baer Professorship in Education, ties to Mrs. Baer’s interests and work as a teacher. Click here for a photo and more from that celebration.
Family’s connections to UW-Green Bay pre-date founding
The Baer Family came by its affinity for UW-Green Bay courtesy of Patricia’s father, L.G. Wood, who in the 1960s helped lead the community’s drive to bring a four-year university to Green Bay. (Wood Hall is named for him.) The Baers’ personal story and affection for this institution were captured by feature writer Sue Bodilly in a 2005 edition of the “Inside UW-Green Bay” magazine.