Final Words Spring 2012
Morning Class Speaker
John B. Gerber
Afternoon Class Speaker
Nana Adjoa Coleman
Class Speaker Finalists
Morning Class Speaker Finalist: Ethan Turner (view video)
Afternoon Class Speaker Finalist: Sean Schultz (view video)
Philosophy, College of Letters & Science
Dr. Martin Viessmann
Doctor of Science, honoris causa
Through his family's celebrated, third-generation company and its renewable energy collaborations with industries and educational institutions, including the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Dr. Martin Viessmann is making his vision for a more sustainable Earth a reality. Viessmann and The Viessmann Group are dedicated to sustainability, social responsibility and safeguarding future generations.
Viessmann is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of renewable energy. His German company offers a range of innovative products and services advancing biogas, solar and other renewable energy systems. The Viessmann Group championed the award-winning "Efficiency Plus" sustainability project, demonstrating that the German Federal Government's energy and climate policy goals for 2020 can be achieved with current, available technology. Viessmann's efforts earned him the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of German 1st Class, the highest tribute his government pays to individuals for their service to the nation.Viessmann additionally developed "The Viessmann Academy," a series of basic and advanced training courses designed to spread the knowledge of efficient and regenerative heating technologies. The program has educated more than 90,000 industry specialists including contractors, planners, architects, property developers and the employees of his company.
In the Americas, The Viessmann Group and its Madison-based subsidiary, BIOFerm Energy Systems, have collaboratively helped establish UW Oshkosh's dry fermentation anaerobic biodigester, the first in the western hemisphere. This innovative, award-winning biogas production facility and learning laboratory, in conjunction with UW Oshkosh's related Environmental Research and Innovation Center (ERIC), have launched other digester initiatives in the area. They include a proposed plant and public education center at the 9,000-cow Rosendale Dairy and a smaller "Titan 55" unit planned at the 150-head, family-owned Allen Farm. In concert, these innovative facilities and partnerships - each building upon Viessmann's source ingenuity and stewardship - are enhancing UW Oshkosh's and the New North's distinction as a high-impact epicenter of educational collaboration and excellence for faculty, students, entrepreneurs, executives and industry leaders advancing the renewable energy revolution.