The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will recognize the accomplishments of two former state legislators with the prestigious Chancellor’s Medallion during the University’s 135th Spring Commencement ceremonies.
Carol A. Roessler and Gregg Underheim will receive their awards at the 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. ceremonies, respectively, May 16 at Kolf Sports Center, 785 High Ave.
“As a University, we are taking this opportunity to remind citizens that in a democratic society, it is easy to take the role of elected officials for granted and even easier to sometimes hold unreasonable expectations,” said Chancellor Richard H. Wells. “Therefore, it is important to raise the profile of the critical and often difficult role elected public officials fulfill, especially during challenging economic times such as these.”
“UW Oshkosh is proud to recognize the important role of public service and thank those individuals who work tirelessly on behalf of the public. We hope this type of recognition will inspire our 1,400 graduates and 74,000-plus alumni to consider public service,” Wells said.
A 1972 graduate of UW Oshkosh, Roessler has held several important public service positions in the community. She was elected to serve in the State Assembly from 1982 to 1987. She was first elected to the State Senate by special election in April 1987 and served until 2008, when she accepted a new position in state government service.
As State Senator from the Oshkosh region, Roessler was noted for her passion and commitment to ensuring affordable access to high-quality educational programs, services and facilities not only at UW Oshkosh, but also at other publicly supported institutions at all levels of instruction. Her record of service in the legislature includes strong leadership and representation in such key areas as healthcare, elder care, AODA, criminal justice and corrections.
Through her term of service in the State Legislature and on the State Building Commission, Roessler has modeled and exemplified the most desirable attributes and traits that any institution of higher education can ask for: She actively listened to the issues, helped to shape and advance the higher education agenda, and tirelessly supported major building and facilities projects. Roessler helped her alma mater to grow and expand its role in service to the state and the people and communities of the Fox River Valley region.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree from UW-La Crosse in 1972, Underheim worked as a high school English teacher and congressional aide to Congressmen Thomas Petri. He was elected to serve in the State Assembly by special election in April 1987 and served until 2006.
As State Representative from the Oshkosh region, Underheim was recognized for his genuine passion for excellence in the delivery of high-quality public service. He provided strong leadership and advocacy in support of UW Oshkosh and other UW System institutions. He is recognized for his leadership on committees dealing with higher education, healthcare and health policy, and insurance issues.
While serving as a member of the State Assembly, Underheim consistently demonstrated a commitment to the unending search for good public policy and special sensitivity and care with regard to the intricate role played by higher education in that quest for truth, meaning and understanding. He was very responsive to helping to develop and build support for UW Oshkosh’s agenda, and he provided immeasurable help and assistance as the University worked on a wide variety of challenging public policy issues.
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