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Carol DeGroot

A passionate learner and educator, Carol De Groot draws her inspiration from a like-minded advocate for social justice, Nelson Mandela. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” the South African political leader and philanthropist once said.

After a career in elementary and middle school education spanning almost 40 years, De Groot has dedicated her retirement to serving her community, the study of our planet Earth and inspiring the next generations of learners.

In that spirit, De Groot has committed to supporting student access to education at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay through the Carol R. De Groot Endowed Scholarship in Environmental Science, which aids students who have a passion for the environment.

As an octogenarian and 1979 UW-Green Bay alumna, one can still find De Groot on campus, gleaning inspiration from students, delving into conversation about their motivations to pursue an education in the sciences and their career aspirations upon graduation. And she has plenty of inspiration to provide young students, too. De Groot, who received her undergraduate teaching degree from St. Norbert College in 1962, then master’s degree in environmental arts and sciences from UW-Green Bay, has lived a life fully-immersed in education. Among her international travels includes nine science expeditions through the Earthwatch Institute, an international nonprofit organization that brings science to life for people concerned about the Earth’s future. The journeys, some of which she shared with her five daughters and grandchildren, included study of bottlenose dolphins and other species of aquatic and land creatures, the study of rainforests and archeology.

De Groot spent the first six years of her retirement as an adjunct professor at UW-Green Bay teaching science methods to education students. She continues to volunteer her time at nursing homes and with nonprofit organizations, including Literacy Green Bay and People for People, among others. She is, and will long continue to be, an inspiration for the students who receive support for education thanks to her generosity.