ROCK SPRINGS — Students will learn more about the University of Wyoming, UW alumni will connect with their alma mater, and members of the public will find out more about UW’s presence in their community during a “The World Needs More Cowboys” celebration Saturday, January 25, in Sweetwater County.
The public is invited to the event from 5-7 pm at Bunning Hall at the Freight Station in downtown Rock Springs. Free appetizers and beverages will be served.
UW Acting President Neil Theobald will be in attendance and speak during a brief program at the celebration, highlighting the value of higher education and the Cowboy Commitment, UW’s new merit- and need-based financial aid offerings for Wyoming high school graduates.
He’ll be joined by current UW students from Sweetwater County — Hanna Ahuja, Marianna Pizzato and Sydney Shannon, of Rock Springs, and Francheska Riley, of Green River — who will discuss their experiences at the state’s university.
UW faculty members and admissions representatives will be on hand to answer questions and interact with attendees. Free UW-branded giveaway items will be available, including T-shirts to the first 50 high school students.
Head UW wrestling Coach Mark Branch also will be on hand to talk about his program and UW intercollegiate athletics. UW’s wrestlers will take on Utah Valley University the following day — Sunday, January 26 — at 2 pm at Green River High School.
Additionally, UW alumnus Sean Valentine, CEO of Western Wyoming Beverages, will talk about how UW prepared him for his career and role in the community — and what it means to him to be a UW Cowboy. Valentine is one of 12 UW alumni featured in advertising in Wyoming newspapers and other media over the next year under the banner of “The World Needs More Cowboys — and So Does Wyoming.”
The Sweetwater County event is the fifth of 12 monthly events planned around the state in counties where UW alumni featured in the advertising live and work.
“It’s clear that our marketing tagline, ‘The World Needs More Cowboys,’ has connected virtually with people across Wyoming. Now, we’d like to make that connection even stronger through face-to-face interaction,” says Chad Baldwin, UW’s associate vice president for marketing and communications. “These events are a great opportunity for local students to learn more about their state’s university, for alumni to connect with their alma mater and one another, and for members of the community to meet Acting President Theobald along with UW faculty and students.”
The day before the January 25 event, Theobald, UW faculty members and the current UW students from Sweetwater County are scheduled to speak to students at Green River and Rock Springs high schools.
Additionally, on the morning of January 25, UW’s popular Saturday University program will address the topic of “A Low-Carbon Future for Wyoming Fossil Fuels?” in Room 1302 of Western Wyoming Community College. Doors open at 8:30 am for coffee and doughnuts, with the program running from 9 am-noon.
Theobald, a first-generation college graduate, earned a Ph.D. at the University of Washington in 1989. Before that, he was a high school math teacher and baseball coach in Seattle. His extensive career in higher education administration has included multiple roles at Indiana University, where he was a tenured professor for two decades and served in a number of administrative positions. From 2012-16, he was the president of Temple University.