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History of Sheboygan

The Sheboygan County Center

UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus was established in 1933 in space provided by the Sheboygan School of Technical, Vocational and Adult Education. During its first semester of operation, the campus (then known as The Sheboygan County Center) offered six credits of coursework. A full range of courses did not become available until 1936 when a chemistry lab was installed. Sophomore courses were added, but with the advent of the World War II, low enrollments forced the program to be curtailed. Following the war, classes were restored.

Post-War Growth

After the war, enrollment increased dramatically, climbing from 30 students in 1945 to 152 in 1946. A period of reduced enrollment followed in the 1950s, but this trend quickly reversed by 1958 when enrollment surged to 140 students and has continued to grow since then.

With the closing of Central High School in 1961, the Vocational School moved into the renovated area vacated by the high school, leaving UW-Sheboygan as the sole occupant of the older wing of the building. As the campus’ programs grew, it quickly became apparent that new facilities were needed.

In 1961, civic leaders and university officials began to consider the possibility of a new campus. As interest grew, the project soon took on county-wide interest. A year later, the Sheboygan County Board approved a $1.1 million bond issue to finance the project. The current campus was then situated on a 70+-acre site on the southwestern outskirts of the City of Sheboygan.

University of Wisconsin Centers

UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus is one of the 13 UW Colleges in the state. The merger of the University of Wisconsin and the State University System in 1972 resulted in the University of Wisconsin System and united the UW Colleges' campuses in its mission under the name University of Wisconsin Center System. In 1983, the name of the institution became the University of Wisconsin Centers. In 1997, the name of the institution was changed to University of Wisconsin Colleges.

Expanding for the Future

Improvements and expansions continue on the UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus campus. In 2004, UW-Sheboygan dedicated the new Brotz Science Building, which boasts state-of-the-art classrooms and science laboratories. And in fall 2007, the campus unveiled the Acuity Technology Center, which houses the college’s new library and provide additional “smart” classrooms and meeting space -- all equipped with the latest in communication and presentation technology.

UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus continues to look toward the future through the its latest 2014-19 Strategic Plan. Goals and objectives set forth in the document, which was created through the shared governance process on the campus, will guide UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus over the next five years in its efforts to meet community and campus needs.

2014-19 UW-Sheboygan Strategic Plan

Sheboygan Timeline

Construction of the UW Center Main Building gets underway in Spring 1963

Dedication Ceremony for Main Building/New Campus held Saturday, September 12
Students start classes on the new campus on September 14
Fall 1964 enrollment close to 300 students; nearly double from previous year in former location in Central High School
New student newspaper, "The Centerpiece" debuts on October 14, replacing the "Univex," since the campus was no longer part of the UW-Extension Division and was now the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan County Center.

Bronze replica of "sifting and winnowing" plaque from Bascom Hall at UW-Madison installed at Main Building entrance
"Potpourri" music program debuts at UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus spearheaded by Music Director Bill Hughes

Campus breaks ground on three new campus buildings -- Fine Arts Building, Physical Education Building and the Learning Resources Building

New Fine Arts Building, Physical Education/Gym Building and Learning Resources/Library Building open to public
First theater production, "Two Gents" with Director Dean Graunke debuts
Jim Zemba, UW-S Art Department Chair, comes to campus to teach for the first time
Wombat Basketball team beats Waukesha in the Gym for first official game
New UW-S Library relocates to lower level of the new Learning Resources Building featuring 23,000 volumes
Fall 1970 enrollment hits 500 students
UW-S new literary magazine, ‘Luce’ goes on sale

UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus students form first-ever Sheboygan Polar Bears Club and take the polar plunge in Lake Michigan at Southside Beach on New Year's Day

Nine courses in new Educational Telephone Network (ETN) format offered to students

Students awarded Associate's degree in formal awards ceremony for the first time in April

Newly remodeled Rathskeller opens to students with help of Maintenance Supervisor Ed Hermann and student Geoffery Wein with a student dance on January 28 (The Rathskeller featured brick tile floors, rough cedar paneling, a game room, a bar/kitchen covered in rough cedar shingles pulled from a local old barn, new booths and tables and chairs)

Campus celebrates 50 years of continuous higher education; campus opened to students in 1933 in the old Sheboygan Central High School with 25 students in the first English couse and 33 in the first history course

Enrollment tops 695 students

UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus Student Government Association offers first-ever Championship Snowsnake Races on February 17

Kohler resident Bruce Grover, president of Vinyl PLastics, donates a new domed astronomical observatory to UW-Sheboygan; Professor Al Kaeppel to manage and operate new observatory for students

First-ever Chicken & All That Jazz fundraiser planned  by UW-Sheboygan Foundation

New Commons building dedicated and opens to students in August 1995; $1.6 million projects offers 12,550 square feet of new space for cafeteria, bookstore, computer lab, student activities office and a student lounge

New University Theatre marquee added to rear of Fine Arts Building with help of $4,000 grant from Alliant Energy

Campus breaks ground on nearly $4 million new Science Building project

New Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Science Building dedicated on September 28, 2004; building made possible by $500,000 grant from the Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Family Foundation

Groundbreaking for new ACUITY Technology Center held; project made possible with a $1.8 million gift from ACUITY and the ACUITY Foundation

ACUITY Technology Center opens to students for fall 2007 classes; nearly $6 million project features a new University Library, distance education classrooms, computer lab and conference space

Groundbreaking for new Plastics Engineering Company Center for Engineering Studies held October 9, 2014

Enrollment hits 757 students