University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumnus Clifford A. Christl ’70, and his family have established an endowed scholarship fund for students who graduated from Green Bay East High School and are majoring in a degree within the College of Letters and Science with a strong preference given to applicants planning to major in journalism. The scholarship gives preference to applicants who are the first in their family to attend college.
The scholarship was created to honor Christl’s father Clifford H. Christl and grandfather Peter A. Christl. Clifford H. Christl, a decorated soldier in World War II, died at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Hines, Ill., on April 4, 1947, without ever seeing his only child, who was born just 13 days earlier in Green Bay. Peter Christl was a lifelong resident of Appleton who never went to school but left his life savings to his only grandchild to help pay for his college education.
“I never got to spend a moment of my life with my father, and I was too young to get to know my grandfather, so I’m thankful, proud and happy that I can do something in their honor,” said Christl, who received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University in 2009. “After all, even in death, they contributed to my college education. Also, both UW Oshkosh and Green Bay East High School remain dear to my heart for how they helped shape my life, and I’m excited about contributing to the education of future students who also stand to benefit from their time spent at both institutions.”
Described as a “walking encyclopedia of Wisconsin sports,” Christl spent much of his career covering the Packers for the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“It is heartwarming to see such a caring alumnus give back to an institution that helped him prepare for a very rewarding career,” said Mike Cowling, chair of the journalism department. “Clifford A. Christl will serve as an inspiration for journalism students who can benefit from the generosity of Cliff and his family.”
Christl created the scholarship in conjunction with his family, including his wife, Shirley Christl; his daughters, Kelly Christl and Cassie Christl Schmitt; and his grandsons, Isaac Schmitt and Beckett Schmitt.
Photo: Clifford A. Christl ’70, left, accepts the Distinguished Alumni Award from Chancellor Richard H. Wells on Oct. 16, 2009.