Celebrating Our 2022 Successes
Chancellor Gibson’s Inauguration Rap
Dear faculty, staff and students,
As 2022 draws to a close, let’s take a moment to celebrate a few of our accomplishments.
I had the honor of conferring degrees on 550 graduates on Dec. 17 and 1,200 graduates in May. Commencement marks the pinnacle of what is often a transformational journey for our graduates. At every step of the way, our dedicated faculty and supportive staff helped ensure our students’ success.
We received a record amount of gifts in 2022 that will support students in various academic programs. They include:
- A $10 million gift from the Sentry Insurance Foundation to the School of Business and Economics will expand opportunities for students across our campuses and for our communities. The gift will help renovate Collins Classroom Center, which will be renamed Sentry Hall when renovations are complete. The gift will also help expand recruitment efforts.
- Milwaukee Tool is providing a $1 million tool and equipment endowment to UW-Stevens Point. Students in the College of Natural Resources receive access to world-class tools, equipment, sustainable technology and training.
- The Skyward Scholars Program, a new endowed program created by Jim and Jean King, founders of Skyward Inc., provides four-year tuition scholarships to up to 20 UW-Stevens Point students pursuing careers in programming. In recognition of this support, the multi-activity center (MAC) in Champions Hall was named Skyward Fieldhouse.
- A $500,000 gift that helped fund a faculty position in cello and music education advocacy was celebrated this fall. The late businessman Edmund Bukolt founded the private charitable organization that gave the gift. His legacy to the performing arts was honored with a performance by Mindy Park, the inaugural recipient of the Bukolt Faculty Fellowship in Cello/Music Advocacy.
- A donation of 11 acres by long-time supporters of UW-Stevens Point will provide an outdoor laboratory for CNR students to learn ecological restoration skills. The new lab is named in honor of the late Robert J. Engelhard, a beloved forestry professor who taught at UWSP for 25 years.
In addition to gifts, we received numerous grants that will advance student opportunity and worker training in the state. Of note:
- A $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant will eliminate barriers for low-income students pursuing careers in the sciences. The S-STEM (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) grant will provide $10,000 scholarships to 10 first-year students majoring in biology, chemistry or biochemistry in the fall of 2023, 2024 and 2025.
- The Wisconsin Forestry Center within the College of Natural Resources received a state Workforce Innovation Grant for up to $8 million to create a pipeline for skilled workers in the forestry industry. The center is a lead partner in a broad collaboration of training and support.
We continue to make progress toward a more inclusive university. We do this through hiring, student recruitment and other intentional efforts, scholarships and academic opportunities for diverse students, and willingness to listen and learn from others of diverse backgrounds, identities and perspectives. New in 2022, acertificate program in inclusive excellence is available to anyone. The Center for Inclusive Excellence opened in February on the UWSP at Marshfield campus, providing a welcoming, supportive space to the Marshfield campus and community.
UW-Stevens Point also hosted several high-profile events this year.
- The Board of Regents, the UW System governing board, met at UWSP in April, providing an opportunity to showcase our students, programs and the transformational impact our university, students and graduates have in our communities and nation.
- My inauguration, the formal installation as 15th chancellor of UWSP, was in September. I am honored to lead this great institution and to work with you to ensure the university continues to provide purpose-driven educational experiences for students. This video shows one memorable part of that day.
Our accomplishments in 2022 were achieved through hard work, collaboration and commitment. Thank you to our dedicated faculty and staff, and thank you to creative students who inspire us each day. I look forward to even more successes in 2023.
Thomas Gibson, Ed.D.