MADISON, Wis. – At today’s meeting of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, UW leaders paid tribute to U.S. Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin’s seventh district. Obey announced yesterday that he will not seek re-election and will step down after 41 years of service.

Regent President Charles Pruitt of Milwaukee called Obey “a stalwart champion of the University of Wisconsin.”

Addressing the full Board, Pruitt quoted Obey’s announcement, in which the Congressman said he was “weary of having to beg on a daily basis that both parties recognize that we do no favor for the country if we neglect to make the long-term investments in education.”

“The mantle now falls to others to make that case, including many of us in this room,” Pruitt said.

Regent Mark Bradley of Wausau later added, “Wisconsin children born into families with low incomes have lost a staunch advocate. At the highest levels of our government, they have had a strong and consistent voice through Congressman Obey. From access to adequate medical and dental care to the opportunity to earn a UW college degree, they have benefited from his leadership and advocacy.”

UW System President Kevin P. Reilly noted Obey’s support for Federal financial aid programs.

“Last year, about 31,000 UW students received more than $94 million in Federal Pell Grants – a program that Congressman Obey has championed for decades. Along with other Federal need-based aid, Pell grants help to break down financial barriers and fuel lifelong prosperity for our citizens. Every one of those students, the thousands who came before them, and countless others who will follow in the future, owe a great thanks to Congressman Obey for his leadership,” said Reilly.

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