Building Excellence: University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 1916-2016

A history of UW-Eau Claire by Robert J. Gough and James W. Oberly

History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future. – Robert Penn Warren

When we first started discussing plans to commemorate UW-Eau Claire’s Centennial, now a number of years ago, it was certain that a centerpiece of the celebration would be the story of our past. And who better to record the account of the spirit of this wonderful place than two of UW-Eau Claire’s esteemed professors.  Dr. Robert Gough and Dr. James Oberly committed to doing this project if they could write an honest and comprehensive record of our history as we look to enter our second century. They have more than exceeded our hopes and expectations.

The UW-Eau Claire Foundation is pleased and honored to publish this account of our past. We offer it in tribute to those who went before, paving the way for us today to “foster in one another creativity, critical insight, empathy and intellectual courage.” Our hope is that readers find points of intersection with their own connection to the University while envisioning the future we all seek to create. 

Here’s to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire!


Kimera Way, President
UW-Eau Claire Foundation

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