Celebrating 125 years
Governor, dignitaries help kick off milestone year for university
January 5, 2016
The Clock Tower
bells on campus rang a celebratory peal at 1:25 p.m. State and university
leaders spoke with pride about the university’s past, present and future. A
special cake was served, and Jan. 5, 2016, was proclaimed UW-Stout Day in
Wisconsin by Gov. Scott Walker.
UW-Stout marked its
125th birthday with a celebration that drew a standing-room-only crowd
estimated at 500 people in the ballrooms of the Memorial Student Center.
founder, James Huff Stout, would have been proud. Speakers paid tribute to his
vision for a more perfect form of education, combining hand and mind, along
with the legacy — nearly 80,000 graduates — his school has created.
“He’s somebody who,
in many ways, was ahead of his time,” Walker said, citing James Stout’s still-relevant
mission to develop a skilled workforce to meet the needs of a society
increasingly dependent on industry and technology.
“People who have an
education that is relevant to the careers out there — that’s what James Huff
Stout was talking about 125 years ago,” Walker said.
UW System President
Ray Cross concurred. He cited UW-Stout’s strengths in the science, technology,
engineering and mathematics fields and in art and design, the latter in which
UW-Stout has the largest program in the UW System. “You have made a commitment
to the arts, which makes STEM meaningful,” Cross said.
“How to do things
differently seems to be part of your DNA. Please, don’t lose that. It’s so
important today,” Cross told the many faculty and staff in attendance.
State Sen. Sheila
Harsdorf said universities such as UW-Stout provide opportunities for students
while addressing the needs of regional and state employers, benefiting
we can better ourselves, and those opportunities wouldn’t exist without
institutions like this. Congratulations on behalf of all state legislators: We
appreciate what you do,” she said.
legislators, all from west-central Wisconsin, in attendance were Tom Larson,
Terry Moulton, John Murtha and Warren Petryk. Also attending was Mark Tyler, a
member of the UW System Board of Regents.
Mark Parsons, vice
chancellor for University Advancement and Marketing, said UW-Stout’s historic
mission for education was three-fold: academic, technical and professional. “We
still have that same three-fold approach to education. That’s how perfect James
Huff Stout’s vision was,” he said.
Meyer, the master of ceremonies, said UW-Stout takes its history seriously. “And
why wouldn’t we? We have a rich history
that we can be proud of and a tradition established by our founder that we are
duty bound to continue to build upon,” he said.
Meyer said he was excited to kick off a year of celebrations,
which will include the September grand reopening of historic Harvey Hall. “We
get to look back at what made UW-Stout the modern university that it is today
and dream a little about where we want to go,” he said.
Meyer was presented
with the UW-Stout Day in Wisconsin proclamation by Walker at the end of the
ceremony. It said in part: “UW-Stout has been transformed into a modern
university with innovative undergraduate and graduate programs, but it has
remained true to the original mission set forth by James Huff Stout of
‘learning through involvement.’ ”
UW-Stout opened Jan.
5, 1891, as the privately funded Stout Manual Training School. It was part of
the Menomonie public school system, offering manual training to boys and
domestic science training to girls during their school day.
The school’s first
building, two rooms and two stories, stood near the southeast corner of Main
and Broadway streets in downtown Menomonie, site of the present Administration
James Stout, born in
Dubuque, Iowa, moved to Menomonie in 1889. He was an executive with the Knapp,
Stout lumber company in Menomonie as well as a state senator and member of the
University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. He died in 1910, and Stout Institute
was taken over by the state in 1911.
Gov. Scott Walker presents the proclamation to Chancellor Bob Meyer.
UW System President Ray Cross speaks at the celebration.
A 125th anniversary cake was served at the event.