MADISON, Wis.—University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson issued this statement today:
“Celebrating the historic legislation that makes Juneteenth a federal holiday provides us the ability to acknowledge the devastating toll that the institution of slavery has had on people of African descent.
“This holiday celebrates the ideals of freedom we share and acknowledges the tremendous efforts of those who fought to end slavery and those who work tirelessly to promote these ideals.
“It is a pleasure to lead the UW System, and we will champion ways to elevate these ideals and chart a path that acknowledges our past while creating an educational environment that strives toward the full promise of equality.”
The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 165,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. Nearly 90 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.