Phuture Phoenix program to bring 800 eighth graders to campus in April 2019

Green Bay, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has a vision to expand its Phuture Phoenix program. The signature program is best-known for hosting fifth graders from across the region in October of each year. In the month of April 2019, it will be expanding the program to include 800 eighth graders from Franklin, Edison and Washington Middle Schools. Within the next few years, organizers hope to host every eighth-grader in the district. All tours begin and end at the Kress Events Center. Students arrive at 9 a.m. and return to their schools before noon. Members of the media are welcome. This year’s campus visits are:

  • April 1-2, Franklin Middle School
  • April 10-11, Edison Middle School
  • April 23-24, Washington Middle School

Phuture Phoenix collaborates with schools that have high percentages of students from low-income families and encourages students to graduate from high school and pursue a college education. The program is expanding to bring students to campus prior to beginning high school. Due to family transiency, nearly 30 percent of local eighth-graders did not get a chance to visit campus as fifth-graders.  To help support the eighth-grade campus experience, more than 75 UW-Green Bay students will serve as role models and group leaders for the day and more than 30 UW-Green Bay faculty and staff members are contributing with mock lectures and college-going of activities.

This year’s campus experience will differ from the fifth-grade trip, as eighth graders will actively participate in a wide range of college-going activities, including a financial literacy seminar, an admission and advising session, and an abbreviated lecture or activity—delivered by a UW-Green Bay professor. Additionally, all eighth graders will tour the Kress Events Center, on-campus housing, and the University Union to experience what a “college day” feels like. Director of Phuture Phoenix, Mary Sue Lavin, will emphasize to the eighth graders that once they enter high school, “everything counts.”

“Grades, participation, extracurricular activities, attendance and positive attitude are all building blocks to an enjoyable high school career that leads to post-secondary success, a fulfilling career, and meaningful involvement in one’s community,” said Lavin. “We are excited to give the eighth graders this experience on the UW-Green Bay campus. We feel the more ‘touches’ we can provide, the more likely students are to pursue post-secondary educational opportunities.”

Phuture Phoenix is a coordinated program to inspire academic success and alert children to educational opportunities that are available to them. College prep starts early, and the Phuture Phoenix campus experiences offer students a first-hand look at the necessary steps to pursue and attain higher education goals, as well as everything a university education can offer.

Included in this spring’s campus experience are expanded partnerships with the Kress Events Center and UW-Green Bay’s Office of Residence Life, making it possible for every eighth grader to experience two essential elements of college life: recreational opportunities and on-campus housing.

“The Office of Residence Life is happy to be able to participate in the Phuture Phoenix program, as it’s never too early to introduce the concept of attending college,” said UW-Green Bay Director of Residence Life, Gail Sims-Aubert. “It’s so important that today’s youth understand going to college means they will be a part of a vibrant educational experience both inside and outside the classroom. This program is an outstanding opportunity to provide a sneak peak of life on campus.” More information about Phuture Phoenix is available at

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 more than 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, Division I athletics, 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


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