UW-Green Bay receives $1 million gift for student scholarships

For Immediate Release: 25 August 2008

GREEN BAY — A promise Captain Craig A. Mueller made to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay five years before his death will be realized Friday, Sept. 5, at Lambeau Cottage on the bay shore.

In 2002, Mueller pledged to make a $1 million gift to start a scholarship endowment in his name at his alma mater. That gift, the largest ever for the University’s scholarship funds, will make scholarships available annually to students enrolled in both the Arts and Visual Design and Communication academic units.

Mueller also bequeathed $10,000 for scholarships for students participating in the Phuture Phoenix program who attend UW-Green Bay after graduating high school.

Craig A. Mueller

Craig A. Mueller

Mueller’s sister, Marcia, will present the gifts to University officials at a reception Friday, Sept. 5, at Lambeau Cottage on the UW-Green Bay campus. Mueller passed away in September 2007.

“Craig was a special man who lived life to the fullest, even when he encountered his life-changing challenges,” said Assistant Chancellor for University Advancement Steve Swan. “He taught all of us who knew him life-long lessons on how to live life, and he did it without ever saying a negative word. He cared deeply about his fellow man, and did so to the point where he felt it was important to impact the lives of others after he was gone, just as he did when he was with us.

“This scholarship will benefit students in an area of study that is all about the expression of life, and Craig’s love for others will enable that expression to be manifested in his hometown and at his alma mater in perpetuity.”

Mueller, class of 1971, was among the first students to graduate from UW-Green Bay. A creative communications major, and member of student government and the Fourth Estate student newspaper staff, Mueller was at the 1967 groundbreaking for the current campus.

Mueller was a commercial airline pilot and avid sailor. He suffered life-threatening injuries on a runway in 1998 that ended his piloting career.

Upon coming out of a coma, Mueller acknowledged a second chance at life; and lived it, with optimism, passion and gratitude.

An avid fan of the Green Bay Packers, Mueller previously helped fund a $150,000 renovation of Lambeau Cottage.

Arts and Visual Design (formerly known as Communication and the Arts) has more than 560 students enrolled and supports majors in Art, Arts Management, Design Art, Music and Theatre. Students and faculty within Arts and Visual Design strive for exceptional teaching, scholarship, creative work and community service.

Communication enrolls students in Electronic Media, Journalism, Organizational Communication, Photography and Public Relations areas of emphasis. It currently supports more than 160 students in the major.

Mueller’s gift to the Phuture Phoenix program will add to the named scholarships given to students of the program who choose to attend UW-Green Bay. The Phuture Phoenix program encourages at-risk students, starting at the fifth-grade level, to complete high school and attend college. UW-Green Bay students serve as role models and mentors to the students from area elementary and middle schools and motivate them to continue their educations past high school. The program is in its fifth year and the first participants will be graduating high school in 2010.