I am so proud to welcome UW-Rock County to the UW-Whitewater family. On July 1, our campuses officially came together as part of the statewide restructuring of the UW System.

Over the past year, as people from both campuses met to discuss this proposal and to work out the details, we learned that we have so much in common. Our campuses have a special sense of family and shared purpose. We genuinely change lives.

Every day, our faculty, staff, students, alumni, emeriti, community members and friends of the institution strive to partner in ways that turn ordinary work into extraordinary accomplishments.

Starting today, we have an incredible opportunity to do even more noble work.

Now that the restructuring is official, you may be wondering what changes will take place at the Rock County campus. Well, you will definitely see a lot more purple. The name of the campus will also change to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater at Rock County, pending approval of the UW Board of Regents.

While the name is different, our mission remains the same: We are dedicated to student success, and to helping students accomplish their higher education dreams.

Students who begin their education at Rock County can seamlessly transfer into a four-year degree program at UW-Whitewater or any other UW institution. Our collaborative degree programs—through which students can earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing with UW-Oshkosh and Blackhawk Technical College, or a bachelor’s degree in electrical or mechanical engineering with UW-Platteville—will continue.

And we plan to explore even more partnerships.

We will continue to offer affordable, high-quality programs that not only prepare students for the next steps in their education or their job or their career, but also prepare them for the rigors of life.

The vast majority of students who pursue their education at Rock County are the first in their family to attend college. The same is true for many students at UW-Whitewater. Education opens doors to bright futures. When our students succeed, our communities thrive. Academically, economically, culturally—our region will be stronger.

Rock County is joining UW-Whitewater during the celebration of our 150th anniversary. This is truly a historic and exciting time of transition for both of our campuses. As we come together, we reaffirm our commitment to inspire, engage and transform generations to come.

Beverly Kopper is chancellor of UW-Whitewater.

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