The month of June featured a memorable celebration of Sheldon B. Lubar – our college’s namesake – including the unveiling of a new portrait of Mr. Lubar in Lubar Hall and the announcement of a name change to the Sheldon B. Lubar College of Business.
Friends of the Lubar College, including students, alumni, faculty, staff, and dignitaries, gathered on a beautiful early summer evening to honor and recognize Sheldon Lubar on the anniversary of the naming of the business school in 2006. Lubar is the Chairman and Founder of Lubar & Co., Inc., a private investment firm built on the approach of professional ownership that Lubar himself developed. He has been affiliated with the Lubar College of Business for 50 years as a member and past president of its Business Advisory Council.
In remarks from Dean Kaushal Chari, he described Shel Lubar as a “catalyst across so many dimensions” – as a business leader, public servant, supporter of the community across a wide range of causes and institutions, and a great champion of education.
“Shel, you serve as the ideal role model for our students, demonstrating how impactful one person can be in their life,” he said. “But more than that, how one person can inspire others to follow suit.”
UWM Chancellor Mark Mone further described how that inspiration has been felt at the university level, noting how “blessed” UWM has been to have had Lubar’s support and vision over the last 50 years.
“You and your family are multi-generational change makers in our community,” said Mone. “UWM has been helped immensely by the seeds that you have planted and your vision for our university.” In addition to their support of the Sheldon B. Lubar College of Business, Sheldon, his wife Marianne, and their extended family have also backed the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center and UWM’s libraries, and other initiatives.
University of Wisconsin System Regent Héctor Colón recognized Lubar as “an individual who has been fundamentally connected to the UW System and what it represents,” describing him as a champion for students, faculty, staff, and the System with its local, regional, and statewide impact. Lubar holds business and law degrees from UW-Madison, and was a longtime member of the UW System Board of Regents as well as its president.
Regent Colón – a dual graduate of UWM and now the President and CEO of Lutheran Social Services – also shared a personal note. “I rose up against all odds because of people like you that supported this system — people that believed in me, gave me hope, and gave me a career that lifted me and so many around me out of poverty.”
Emeritus Dean V. Kanti Prasad added to this sentiment when presenting Lubar with a gift on behalf of the Lubar College. He said, “Shel, you and Marianne have always reminded us that education is the ultimately liberating force in people’s lives, the True North that that has guided and inspired my colleagues and myself in doing our best to educate young people and prepare them for productive and fulfilling lives in business and in society.”
“Any part I have played in this (university’s) success has been a blessing for me,” said Sheldon Lubar, in his true, humble manner.
“I refer to UWM as the university of the people,” said Lubar. “I’m honored by this recognition of the role I have been able to play in creating what I consider to be a great university that is of vital importance to the city of Milwaukee and also the state.”
The celebration coincided with June’s formal approval of the college’s official name by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents from the Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business to the Sheldon B. Lubar College of Business. This renaming creates uniformity among college names on the UWM campus.
Mr. Lubar unveiled a newly redesigned space in the building that includes the new college name, his portrait, and a special quote from him to Lubar students that reads: “You are all here to learn. Be curious, ask questions, read, listen, and know that learning is a lifelong mission.”