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'The World Needs More Cowboys' celebration March 19 in Worland

WORLAND — 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 Thursday, March 19, in Washakie County.

The public is invited to the event from 5-7 p.m. at the Washakie Museum in Worland. 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 will be joined by current UW students from Washakie County, Callie Klinghagen and Aaron Vigil, 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.

Additionally, UW alumna Abby O’Donnell, of Ten Sleep, will talk about how UW prepared her for her career and role in the community — and what it means to her to be a UW Cowboy. O’Donnell 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.” She is the sales manager and corporate branding specialist for ProCorp Images, a home-based business with clients in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

The Washakie County event is the seventh 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.”

Before the evening event, Theobald, UW faculty members and the current UW students from Worland are scheduled to speak to students at Worland and Ten Sleep high schools.

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.

In other UW news, on Wednesday, March 4, UW trustees hired Edward Seidel, currently the vice president for economic development and innovation for the University of Illinois System, as the 28th president of the University of Wyoming.

Seidel was offered a contract by a unanimous vote of the UW Board of Trustees March 4 and has accepted the position. He will take office in July.

“I am honored and thrilled to be selected by the Board of Trustees to take on this important role for both the university and the state of Wyoming,” Seidel says. “UW is such an incredibly strong and vibrant institution, and it will have an enormous impact on the future of the state and region. Gabrielle and I are excited to be joining the university and community.”

The terms of Seidel’s contract are still being finalized, but it will be a three-year contract with an annual base salary of $365,000, a $60,000 housing allowance and a $50,000 contribution to a deferred compensation plan.