They were UWGB’s first students — watching the campus grow from corn field to conglomerate — and some even helped move in the furniture that can still be found in remote pockets of campus. They are the UW-Green Bay graduates of the Class of 1970, and they returned to campus recently to celebrate the University’s 50th anniversary with the faculty members who inspired them, and to trade stories about the good ol’ days. In a casual environment at the Shorewood Clubhouse, nearly two dozen alumnimade the return trip. They enjoyed a trip down memory lane via a photo and memorabilia display provided by University Archives. They shared many, many stories from UW-Green Bay’s earliest days and the school’s “Eco U” roots. Among the treasured memories? The time maintenance workers knocked on the classroom door to install the University’s first blackboards… while class was in session. Being welcomed beyond imagination as returning adult students. Being led by a chancellor (Ed Weidner) who wanted to know them personally. And, of course the relationships… favorite faculty, mentors and friends.
They came back to the UW-Green Bay campus green from head-to-toe, but the UWGB chalk team members said it was well worth it. They had a ball helping turn the city of Green Bay green following the renaming of Broadway (and Hubbard) to Phoenix Way on Monday, August 31. The activities were part of UW-Green Bay’s 50th Anniversary kick-off. Acknowledging it would take a team of 50 to canvas a town, the group managed to spread Phoenix spirit at about two dozen high traffic locations downtown, and in front of businesses owned or led by UWGB alumni in Brown County. The 50th committee extends thanks to the chalk team, and special thanks to the many businesses that support UW-Green Bay, both with bright green storefront visibility and behind-the-scenes acknowledgement and support.
A busy day of public events celebrating the 50th anniversary of UWGB’s founding opened with a Wednesday morning breakfast program in the University Union’s Phoenix Room.
The University’s first Student Government Association president, Scott Knapp, was the keynote speaker. Now the CEO of Central Maine Community College, Knapp shared memories of his relationship with Founding Chancellor Edward Weidner, the earliest days of the new campus, and being asked to speak at the official groundbreaking for UWGB in November 1967.
Also offering remarks were UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt (who presented Miller and the University a key to the city), and proud Class of 1971 alumnus Sen. Dave Hansen (who presented a flag that had flown over the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison). Ron Pfeifer was emcee.
The invitation-only breakfast was also attended by other early 1970s graduates, current students and student government leaders, longtime community supporters (including Dr. Herb and Crystal Sandmire, friends of UWGB since 1969), emeriti faculty, University officials, the senior member of UW-Green Bay’s faculty (Prof. Kumar Kangayappan), Marge and Ellen Weidner, UW System officials including the deans of nearby UW Colleges, System President Ray Cross and Regent President Regina Millner, Regent Tim Higgins, Council of Trustees and Alumni leadership, and others. First graduate Nancy Ably Deprey ’70 and “most recent graduate” Victoria Zacarias ‘15 were acknowledged for their participation in the campus 50th anniversary video.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of UW-Green Bay, the Green Bay Athletic Department has announced a number of new initiatives for the 2015-16 season:
For the first time since 2011, Green Bay Athletics will induct a new class into the Athletics Hall of Fame this coming winter, scheduled for a home basketball weekend. Nominations are open to the public.
The department will release a list of its Top 50 moments in Phoenix athletics history.
Fans can enjoy free admission to all home Green Bay soccer games for both the men and the women.
GREEN BAY — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is sharing more details about a series of celebrations marking five decades of history that began Sept. 2 1965 when Governor Warren Knowles signed legislation creating a new four-year university for Northeastern Wisconsin.
Fifty years later, UW-Green Bay is embarking on a year-long celebration designed to broaden its engagement with alumni, students and the community. The 50th anniversary date happens to coincide with the University’s opening day of the fall semester, Wednesday, Sept. 2.
Activities planned for the academic year include alumni and student events, opportunities to share memories and campus history, a special lecture series and, later in the year, a focus on the next 50 years and the ways tomorrow’s UW-Green Bay can take a greater lead in innovation, transformation and service to the region.
Festivities begin Monday, August 31. Members of the media and friends of UW-Green Bay are invited to commemorate the occasion at 10:30 a.m. when UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary Miller and Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt will temporarily rename a one-block stretch of the Broadway District ‘s Hubbard Street “Phoenix Way,” at its hub intersection with Broadway. Chancellor Miller will also create the first chalk stencil that will appear throughout the city in support of UW-Green Bay’s long and continued relationship with the City of Green Bay.
UW-Green Bay will celebrate with several activities on Sept 2:
- “Turning the Market Green” — celebrating with the Phoenix at the Farmers Market on Broadway from 3 to 8 p.m. The public is encouraged to wear green in support of UW-Green Bay. The evening includes activities and giveaways at the UW-Green Bay tent, corner of Broadway and Hubbard, and music by the campus-affiliated band Brass Differential.The tapping of a new Phoenix Brew and special-edition root beer, compliments of Titletown Brewing Co. takes place at 6 p.m. at the beverage tent, Beerntsen’s Candies parking lot, 200 North Broadway. (Proceeds of beverage sales and merchandise sold return to UWGB for student scholarships.)
- Anniversary Campus Kickoff and Backyard Bash, 4 to 6 p.m., Mauthe Center, adjacent to the Kress Events Center, with faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends invited to join in on the 50th celebration. A brief program includes a welcome, remarks followed by a cookout and live music, in partnership with the private, independently operated Mauthe Center and sponsored by the UW Credit Union.
- Leaders to Leaders Breakfast (private event, limited seating), 7:30 to 9 a.m., Phoenix Room, University Union, UW-Green Bay. The invitation-only breakfast brings together a cross-section of current University and community leaders with past student leaders to celebrate UW-Green Bay. Guest Speaker: Scott Knapp, 1974 graduate and first Student Government Association President of UWGB, now the President of Central Maine Community College.
Events throughout the year include a Last Lecture Series by UW-Green Bay faculty; volunteer efforts in conjunction with national Make a Difference Day this fall; Alumni Days in October and a wrap-up community event May 6, 2016.
“We are going to offer ways for 33,000 alumni to reconnect and for 6,700 current students to embrace the future,” says UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller. He also specifically wants to use the opportunity to engage the community.
“This community wanted a great university in Green Bay back in 1965. Our goal is to meet the needs and expectations of this region through increasing levels of engagement, partnership building, innovative education and service,” he said. “The opportunity to celebrate our first 50 years is also an opportunity to commit ourselves to being a key partner in this great place.”
The countdown to our 50th anniversary continues. New since our last edition of the Log:
• Back in the early 1970s, some eco-minded student activists had it in for gas-guzzling cars. They even tried a Ban the Car picket line at one point. A classic snapshot from early UWGB.
• Who wrote the words and music for the stately UW-Green Bay Alma Mater? And what are those words, again?
• An all-ages crowd packed the old gymnasium at the Kress Center Oct. 19, 2012 to see former U.S. President Bill Clinton, stumping for the Democratic ticket. It was the first major public appearance by a sitting or former U.S. president on the UW-Green Bay campus.
The countdown to our 50th anniversary continues. New since our last edition of the Log:
• A large contingent of UW-Green Bay students — more than 100 juniors and seniors, which back then was close to 5 percent of the student body — spent January 1970 in London with the new university’s first overseas study tour.
• UW-Green Bay alumni were big supporters of Bayfest and the Alumni Corn Tent during the heyday of the former campus festival. Corny memories and costumes.
• We linked to this page from Friday’s Log Extra newsletter. If you missed it, UWGB was ahead of its time in the collection of recyclables.
On Wednesday, Sept. 2, UW-Green Bay alumni, faculty and staff will “Turn the Market Green” with a special UWGB night at the downtown Farmers Market, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of UW-Green Bay’s founding. Attendees are invited to wear their Phoenix Green and to visit the UW-Green Bay booth near the corner of Broadway and Hubbard streets between 5 and 8 p.m. Music by the faculty band Brass Differential (that’s a change from our previous post), sampling of Titletown Brewing Company’s commemorative Phoenix Brew and root beer, and drawings, giveaways and special guests will be among the attractions. Admission is free. For the full news release on the range of Sept. 2 events.