UW System leaders on Wednesday recognized WEC Energy Group with the Regents Business Partnership Award for the company’s longstanding support of UW-Milwaukee and its students.
WEC Energy Group is UWM’s top corporate donor, and the partnership between the two institutions dates back nearly 50 years. WEC Energy Group has contributed more than $11 million to UWM causes, including the Connected Systems Institute and Moon Shot for Equity initiative.
“WEC Energy Group has been a significant force for good in our community and is a deserving recipient of this award,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said. “I want to thank Gale Klappa for his tremendous leadership and WEC Energy Group for the positive impact they’ve made on so many people in our community.”
UW System launched the Regents Business Partnership Award this year to recognize companies that positively affect Wisconsin through their generosity and collaboration with UW System universities.
“The partnerships our universities have with businesses throughout the state are remarkable. We Energies alone has 234 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee graduates currently working at its company,” UW System President Jay Rothman said. “The talent pipeline that has been built here is truly special. Together, UW-Milwaukee and We Energies are improving lives and building the economic vibrancy that Wisconsin needs to succeed.”
Klappa is one of WEC Energy Group’s many UWM alumni. He earned his undergraduate degree in 1972, as well as an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree in 2011 that recognized his support for UWM and his extensive community involvement.
“Our partnership with UWM spans nearly five decades. Our company has seen great benefit from the quality and breadth of education that UWM provides — from training and business leadership to environmental science,” Klappa said. “UWM is a key element of the fuel that drives and shapes the Wisconsin economy, and we’re proud of the progress we have made together.”
The Regents Business Partnership Award was designed to celebrate these types of collaborations and showcase the benefits they produce.
“UW-Milwaukee and WEC Energy Group are a perfect example of how a thriving partnership can make each of them better while also making the region and the state better,” Regent President Karen Walsh said. “It’s an extraordinary benefit for students here to have such partnerships, as they enhance programming while providing internships and employment opportunities.”
Previous recipients of the Regents Business Partnership Award include 3M for its work with UW-Stout, Plexus Corp. for its partnership with UW-Platteville, and the Mayo Clinic Health System for its support of UW-Eau Claire.