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UW-Madison marks 175-year anniversary with Green Bay celebration

Events begin a summer-long salute to the university and its impact on the state

More than 300 Badger alumni and friends gathered at Badger State Brewery
to celebrate UW-Madison’s 175th anniversary.

A legacy of learning, a destiny of discovery. UW-Madison began a statewide celebration in Green Bay to mark the university’s 175th anniversary. The event-filled day not only showcased accomplishments of the past but also how UW-Madison is making a difference now and into the future.

The day started with the high energy of students at Edison Middle School in Green Bay, where UW student ambassadors from Bucky’s Classroom visited seventh-grade students. The ambassadors, part of the State Relations program at UW-Madison, help middle-school students explore higher education opportunities and share precollege information in a fun, collaborative way.

At the Menominee Nation, tribal leaders joined members of UW–Madison’s Division of Extension to get an update regarding ongoing efforts around language preservation, food sovereignty, and leadership development.

Back on Green Bay’s east side, UW-Madison Extension Brown County celebrated the 175th anniversary with the planting of a fruit tree at the official opening of its 15th community garden. The garden will support 20 plots for area gardeners and will also include a soccer field for community use.

WAA’s Sarah Schutt joins UW Extension Associate Dean Paul DeLong to plant a tree at Green Bay’s newest community garden.

On the waterfront, dignitaries and the media gathered for a news conference at the Jack Day Environmental Education Center to celebrate the success of Wisconsin Sea Grant. The program focuses on research, education, and outreach on important Great Lakes issues such as clean water and coastal and climate resilience. Since 1968, the Wisconsin Sea Grant network has funded 91 Green Bay-focused research projects, investing more than $8.8 million. “The city of Green Bay has benefited tremendously from the close partnerships that exist between city staff and Sea Grant,” UW alumnus and Green Bay mayor Eric Genrich said. “We’ve collaborated deeply on efforts to prevent flooding and develop neighborhood resiliency within the East River watershed, which is vitally important work to improve the quality of our natural resources and strengthen our community.” Members of Sea Grant focused on research in the Green Bay estuary, including the program’s role in the historic cleanup of PCBs in the Fox River, and research of PFAS in Green Bay. “This is a special place in a special state,” said Wisconsin Sea Grant director Jim Hurley. “This state cares deeply about its land, about its waters, its cultural history, and the diversity of its citizens.”

Environmentalist Jack Day is recognized at the Sea Grant news conference in Green Bay

And, what would a birthday be without a party? More than 300 guests joined Bucky Badger himself for free ice cream, games, and Wisconsin camaraderie at the Badger State Brewery.

Bucky greeting young Badgers

More 175th anniversary stops are planned for Sheboygan, Wausau, Eau Claire, and Milwaukee this summer. For more information and to register for the celebrations, please visit

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