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Executive Director of the Paine Art Center and Gardens Aaron Sherer will be awarded the Chancellor’s Medallion honor at the 2017 midyear commencement ceremony.

The Chancellor’s Medallion is given to individuals the Chancellor deems deserving because of their significant contributions to all or a combination of some of the following:  the University, the region, the state or the nation.

Sherer has served as the executive director of Oshkosh’s Paine Art Center and Gardens for 15 years. During Sherer’s tenure, the organization’s operating budget has doubled, annual admissions have increased tenfold and $8 million has been raised for capital improvements. This increased vitality has greatly expanded the Paine’s cultural impact in the community and region while also helping to sustain the organization’s future.

Paine Arts Center and GardensSherer has pursued and supported efforts to strengthen the Paine’s relationship with faculty, staff and students at UW Oshkosh. Most notably, in 2014, the Paine and UWO began a new collaboration to train education students and new teachers in arts integration, encouraging interdisciplinary instruction. Called ArtsCore, the partnership has been awarded more than $2 million in funding from the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies and is eligible to receive another $3 million over seven additional years. Sherer has been a key leader with UWO in shaping and overseeing this far-reaching initiative, which has impacted more than 20 schools throughout Northeast Wisconsin.

Aaron and his husband Paul Smith, a teacher in Oshkosh, have four young sons. Their favorite family activity is hiking and camping, and this past spring break they spent the week backpacking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

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