The seeds of UW-Fox Valley were first sown during the Great Depression. Extension Centers provided college coursework to youth who could not afford to go away to college, yet wanted to progress toward a college degree. As the pool of students dwindled during WWII, the Menasha center was shuttered until 1946 when a wave of returning GI's overwhelmed the existing University of Wisconsin structure and the Menasha site reopened. That momentum carried UW-Fox Valley through to the initial construction of our current campus in 1960, where enrollments have continued to grow and our students have become increasingly more diverse. View a historical photo collection.
- 1933 – University of Wisconsin Extension offers four college courses in the vocational wing of Menasha High School. Depression-era students were able to earn credits, live at home, and save money toward a degree at a four-year institution.
- December 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor Day marks the United States’ entrance into WWII and around that time the Menasha Extension Center ceases operation as prospective students join the war effort.
- Fall 1946 – Returning WWII veterans flood universities and Extension Centers proliferate all over Wisconsin. Menasha’s enrolls 172 students and adds sophomore level coursework.
- 1957 – The Menasha Extension Center outgrows the vocational wing of Menasha High School and leases five makeshift classrooms at the former Jensen Clinic on the corner of Main and Broad Streets in Menasha for three years.
- 1960 – The 20-acre site on Midway Road in Menasha is purchased as the site of today’s modern-day University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley. Enrollment that year was 290 students and the original building was 39,000 square feet. Several subsequent additions would follow.
- 2008 – The UW-Fox Valley campus has grown to 41.35 acres and 225,180 square feet.
- 2009 – State-of-the-art 361-seat Communication Arts Center at UW-Fox Valley opens.
- Vern Imhoff, 1957-1965
- Robert Najem, 1965-1966
- Harry Hutson, 1967-1969
- Leander Schwartz, 1969-1972
- Rue Johnson, 1973-1986
- Robert Young, 1987-1992
- James Perry, 1993-2011
- Martin Rudd, 2012-present