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Rothman unveils new Universities of Wisconsin identity to represent 13 universities

Photo caption: President Jay Rothman, right, and UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt unveiled a new name and identity for the UW System on Tuesday.

President Jay Rothman today unveiled the Universities of Wisconsin, a new name and identity that emphasizes the constellation of Wisconsin’s 13 public universities. 

The Universities of Wisconsin will replace the University of Wisconsin System as the preferred way to describe the universities. The new name will be accompanied by new brand graphics, including a logo, mark and map. 

“The Universities of Wisconsin is the best way to describe our 13 excellent universities,” Rothman said. “This new name rightfully shifts the focus from the System to the universities that are providing opportunities to the students and families we serve.”

Karen Walsh

Karen Walsh, Board of Regents president

“We have 13 universities with one mission — to make Wisconsin Future Ready. For All,” added Karen Walsh, Board of Regents president. “I am proud to represent the Universities of Wisconsin, and everyone in our state can take pride in all the universities do to improve lives and communities.”

Gov. Tony Evers issued a proclamation to mark the occasion as “Universities of Wisconsin Week.”

Rothman announced the new name and identity at UW-Eau Claire, accompanied by Chancellor James Schmidt. 

The announcement included a new video featuring the voice of Rothman’s predecessor, former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

“I have often said the Universities of Wisconsin are one of the state’s greatest assets, aside from its people,” Thompson said. “I have always been — and always will be — a champion of our universities.”

Citing Evers’ ongoing support for Wisconsin public higher education, Rothman welcomed the bipartisan support for the Universities of Wisconsin and said he would continue advocating with lawmakers of both parties to advance the 13 universities. 

Rothman said that while he and others will begin referring to the Universities of Wisconsin immediately, the University of Wisconsin System will remain the official legal name of the state’s public universities. 

Over the next several months, officials with the Universities of Wisconsin will transition written materials, webpages, letterhead and other elements to reflect the new identity. The transition is expected to be finalized in early 2024. 

“In 2024 we will have a fresh look, with a focus on our students and the 13 universities that provide the foundation for developing talent in Wisconsin,” Rothman said.

The change includes development of a new logo, mark and constellation map, found here:

“Our new identity aims to broaden awareness of our universities across the state,” Rothman said. “We believe the Universities of Wisconsin identity is more relatable for students, families and employers.”

The public will hear more about the Universities of Wisconsin in the weeks and months ahead, Rothman said, including during additional stops on the OpportUWnity Tour he launched in late September. 

To download audio of Jay Rothman: Audio Message.

To view the new video featuring former Gov. Thompson:

For more information and media coverage of the OpportUWnity Tour: