UW System celebrates 50-year anniversary

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 3:31 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The UW System is celebrating half a century Tuesday of educating millions.

UW System President Tommy Thompson reminisced on the history of the education system.

“For 50 years, the University of Wisconsin System has been our state’s greatest asset other than its people,” Thompson said. “We have educated millions of our residents, improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities.”

Legislation took effect on Oct. 12, 1971, signed days earlier by then Governor Patrick J. Lucey, merging the state’s two systems of public higher education. This legislation created the UW System under its Board of Regents.

“We are Wisconsin’s economic engine,” Thompson added. “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 noted it educates about 165,000 students each year, employs 40,000 faculty and staff and has around 37,000 graduates per year.

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