MADISON, Wis. - The University of Wisconsin System celebrated its 50th anniversary Tuesday, Oct. 12.
On Oct. 12, 1971, legislation signed days earlier by then-Gov. Patrick J. Lucey took effect. It merged the state’s two systems of public four-year higher education, creating the UW System under a single Board of Regents.
"For 50 years, the University of Wisconsin System has been our state’s greatest asset other than its people. We have educated millions of our residents, improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities," UW System President Tommy Thompson said in a news release. The former governor has undergraduate and law degrees are from UW-Madison. "We are Wisconsin’s economic engine. A thriving UW System means a thriving Wisconsin, and I am incredibly proud of the employees past and present who dedicate their careers to education and embodying the Wisconsin Idea by finding solutions for our most pressing problems."
The UW System is one of the largest systems of public higher education in the country, educating approximately 165,000 students each year. It produces nearly 37,000 graduates annually and employs 40,000 faculty and staff. It consists of two Research I universities, 11 comprehensive universities, 13 branch campuses and a statewide extension network with offices in every county.
"I knew that a UW System education was the key to my future, and my story is one that is found in villages, towns and cities across Wisconsin," said UW System Regent President Edmund Manydeeds III, who holds degrees from UW-Superior and UW-Madison, in a news release. "Our public university system consistently provides a world-class education, advances research, and helps the people of Wisconsin."
The UW System will also highlight the anniversary in the coming weeks on its social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.