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Earth day first originated in 1970 by founder Gaylord Nelson, former Wisconsin governor and U.S Senator.  The idea came about after Nelson saw the devastation of a huge oil spill in California in 1969.  Inspired by anti-war “teach-ins” organized by college students at the time, Nelson thought the same could be done for the environment. 

UW-Green Bay being a new university jumped on the opportunity to be involved in Earth day.  Students and faculty organized an environmental teach-in to be held on April 22nd.  UW-Green Bay’s enthusiasm gained national attention as a university with a mission of bettering the environment, even garnering the name “Eco U” by Newsweek magazine.   

Earth day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and various environmental laws as well as inspired millions to act to help the environment.  At UWGB, sustainability  efforts of the students, faculty, and collaboration with the community and businesses are still a key factor of what makes the university what it is.