Throughout the summer, the Office of Business Engagement highlighted the impact and importance of industry partnerships, advancing connections on campus and across the state. For more summertime connections, see our post about the Chancellor’s travels and campus visits.
Like many Wisconsinites, the UW–Madison Office of Business Engagement team makes the most of summer in the Badger State. Over the past few months, we’ve had the pleasure of connecting with industry partners statewide, linking businesses to UW–Madison talent and expertise and celebrating partnerships (both established and new) as the university launched the year-long celebration of its 175th anniversary.
As UW–Madison celebrates its Demisemiseptcentennial Anniversary—that is, 175 years of the university’s world-changing impact on the past, present, and future—we are highlighting the central role of industry partnerships in that work. This summer, we joined the Wisconsin Alumni Association, Chancellor Mnookin and campus partners on a tour of Wisconsin focused on celebrating key partnerships:
The first stop of the 175th anniversary tour took us to Green Bay, home of strong business connections with Schneider Trucking, Schreiber Foods, Associated Bank, PCMC, Bellin Health and more. Local and campus leaders gathered at a variety of smaller events, and the visit culminated in more than 300 alumni and friends in attendance at the community-wide celebration hosted at Badger State Brewery.
On June 28th, the 175 State Tour continued in the Fox Valley with a visit to Sheboygan. OBE’s Sara Braas got the day started at Kohler Company with a rousing rendition of “Varsity” and discussion of the many connections between the company and university.
The relationship between Kohler—which is observing their own 150th anniversary this year, creating the opportunity for a shared celebration—and the University of Wisconsin dates to 1919 when Walter Kohler Sr. served as president of UW’s Board of Regents. He championed the building of the Memorial Union on the UW campus. In honor of that connection, Chancellor Mnookin and Bucky Badger presented David Kohler, chairperson and CEO, with a red Memorial Union Terrace chair during the day’s festivities.
“We are honored by our past to really help chart the path for the future and … continue to make the university one of the best in the state, in the country, in the world,” stated Mr. Kohler.
“Greatness is at its best when you can have great universities and extraordinary companies that are working together to leverage what they each do for the good of all,” said Chancellor Mnookin. “That is at the heart of what we’re trying to do at the university and what I know Kohler is trying to do as well.”
The day also featured a delicious brat fry at Johnsonville—a university partner of more than 30 years. The tour stop concluded with a community-wide gathering hosted at Kohler.
After a kick-off celebration hosted on campus on July 26th, the state tour resumed in August with a stop in Milwaukee. The day started with a networking event sponsored by gener8tor at the Milwaukee coworking space Ward4. UW-Madison professor Jon Eckhardt led the panel discussion exploring lessons learned by top entrepreneurs and investors, and the day concluded with a community celebration at the Harley-Davidson Museum.
The final summer 2023 tour stop landed us in northcentral Wisconsin. The visit included events across the area – from Antigo and Junction City, to Schofield, Rib Mountain and Wausau. Marking the 175th anniversary of UW–Madison and the impact the university has on northcentral Wisconsin, the day included a stop at the DuBay Cranberry Company, a panel discussion with Greenheck Group, and a community-wide birthday bash on the UW–Stevens Point at Wausau campus.
The tour will resume next summer. Stay tuned for opportunities to join us across the state again in 2024, with stops planned in nearly every region from Appleton to the Chippewa Valley to Kenosha and Racine.