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The Northwestern, Dec. 9

Fox 11, Dec. 9

The Northwestern, Dec. 10

The Northwestern, Dec. 9

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Police Department will join hundreds of other law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin to combat drunken driving during the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” national campaign from Dec. 15 through Jan. 1, 2017.

“Although drunken driving is 100 percent preventable, on average someone is killed or injured in an alcohol-related crash in Wisconsin every three hours,” UW Oshkosh Police Chief Kurt Leibold said. “And while celebrating the holidays, people may be tempted to drive when they are impaired. During the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign, our UW Oshkosh officers will be out in force to arrest drunken drivers before they kill or injure themselves or an innocent victim.”

In every state, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher.

To help prevent drunken driving, the Zero In Wisconsin traffic safety program has a free “Drive Sober” mobile app that can be downloaded by visiting zeroinwisconsin.gov.


Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute calendar items, campus announcements and other good news to UW Oshkosh Today.

The Northwestern, Dec. 8

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Honorary University Degree Committee is accepting nominations for individuals of exceptional accomplishment and distinction that have made significant contributions to the University, region, state or nation.

Alumni, faculty, staff, students and private citizens are welcome to nominate candidates for a UW Oshkosh honorary degree. Honorary University Degree nomination forms are available online at the “Awards” tab on the UW Oshkosh Academic Affairs website.

Strong consideration is given to those who have a current or past connection to the University, region (Oshkosh and Greater Fox Valley) or State of Wisconsin; are distinguished alumni or display excellence in reflecting the UW Oshkosh’s vision of engaging people and ideas for common good.


The most recent recipient was Stan Mack, superintendent of the Oshkosh Area School District, who was described by Chancellor Andrew Leavitt as a “tireless advocate for K-12 education as well as higher education in the region.” Mack received an honorary doctorate degree at the May 14, 2016, commencement ceremony at UW Oshkosh.

The UW Oshkosh Honorary University Degree Committee recommends candidates to the Chancellor, who, with the UW System President, recommends nominees to the Board of Regents. The Chancellor will submit the nominee(s) to the Board of Regents at the March 9, 2017, meeting.

All nominations and the supporting materials are due to the Provost’s Office by Feb. 8, 2017. Questions may be sent to Sara Pritzl at pritzls@uwosh.edu



1985-Group-Camping2Through camping trips, Door County weekends and other fun get-togethers, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumni have maintained their friendships over decades.

Graduation was not the end for one group of classmates that has been camping since the 1980s or for the Kappa Gamma sorority sisters who have gone to Door County every year since 2010.

Six families with UWO ties have gone camping together every fourth weekend of July since 1985.

The core camping group includes: Denise Wirth ’82, and Thomas Wirth ’81, of Eau Claire; Michael Weber ’81, and Lynn Weber of Eau Claire; Sue O’Brien ’82, and Tracy O’Brien ’80, of Ripon; Doug Waterman ’81 and Renee Waterman ’83, of Appleton; Gene Woelfel ’81, of New Holstein; and Ron Jacobs ’81, and Cheryl Jacobs ’82, of Pewaukee. Sometimes the families’ children join the camping trips, extending the UWO legacy another generation.

“It is interesting that some of the children have started their own college camping weekend,” Woelfel said. “I think we may have instilled the importance of keeping connected with your friends and planning a weekend to enjoy everyone.”

Camping is a great time for everyone to catch up and share memories.

“It has been really neat watching our children grow,” Sue O’Brien said. “We enjoy each other’s company and are interested in keeping up with what our families are doing.”

2004 Group Camping PeaceOver the years, they have camped at 15 different locations. They tried a cabin once, but it was not the same experience as camping in tents where they are all close together. Even though they have had to sleep in wet tents after it rained, they still prefer it over a cabin or hotel.

“Life has been much better with the switch to a pop-up camper,” Doug Waterman said.

But some of the campers are still troopers and don’t mind sleeping in tents.

Over the years, the campers have enjoyed swimming, fishing, canoeing, beach volleyball, tie-dying shirts and karaoke.

There have been some funny highlights from the trips, including their boat breaking while water skiing, their kids getting poison ivy, an ambulance ride after a competitive game of pickle ball resulting in a broken leg and a herd of raccoons stealing their food.

Denise Wirth said the former classmates have all managed to stay together because they have a lot in common and miss each other when apart. They all went through major life events at the same time, such as graduating from college, building their careers and having children.

“We’ve been through good and bad together,” she said. “And it’s just so comforting to know you can count on someone who knows you well. These people are a really solid, caring, loyal group of individuals.”

sororityhouse2Like the campers, the Kappa Gamma Sorority sisters have got together for years.

Mary Gaynor Hill ’64, of Oneida, said it started in 2010, when she received a call from Jan Judson McCain ’64, of Columbus, Ohio, saying that she and her husband Thomas McCain ’65, were heading to Door County.

Several other Kappa Gammas also were going to be in Door County, so they planned a lunch at White Gull Inn in Fish Creek that nine members of the sorority attended.

“At that point, many of us had not seen each other since college graduation, 46-plus years earlier,” Gaynor Hill said. “Much had changed in physical appearance and agility. Some things did not change: voices, speech patterns, gestures, movements and laughter.”

Kappa-Gamma-003After the lunch, they continued to catch up at Penny Brixius Pfister’s ’65, cottage outside of Fish Creek. Now, they head to her cottage every year.

Many of the sorority sisters who attend live in Wisconsin, but some have traveled from Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Oregon.

When they get together, they will do a luncheon with an “in the round” discussion to catch up on everyone’s lives. Afterwards, they will go to Brixius Pfister’s cottage. Their husbands all play golf together. Three of the husbands even entertain everyone with their musical talents.

Kappa-Gamma-0232Thomas McCain; Gary Stang ’68, of Kansas City, Missouri, married to Judy Tighe Stang ’65; and Clay Marquardt ’65, of Springfield, Illinois, married to Karen Marquardt ’65, will play their ukulele, guitar and auto-harp as they lead everyone in songs from their days back at Oshkosh.

Gaynor Hill said although they had not had contact for decades, they still share a bond.

“We came into our non-judgmental, heart-warming circle from different places and along different paths, but we bonded with understanding, compassion and affection,” Gaynor Hill said. “This bonding and connection are the qualities that pull me back to the reunion each year.”

How do you stay in touch with college friends? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

for FOURTH playoff gameThe University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will host John Carroll University Saturday, Dec. 10, at J. J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium in the semifinal of the NCAA Division III Football Championship. Game is set to kickoff at noon.

“This is a great opportunity for our football program to have a chance to go to national championship game. Being at home is a plus,” said UW Oshkosh Athletic Director Darryl Sims. “It is great for the team, great for the department, campus and the city of Oshkosh. This will provide an opportunity for our fan base to come out and be a part of this experience. We look forward to it!”

  • Ticket information: Adults $10, Senior Citizens $8, Students (K-12, College Students) $6
  • Tickets for Saturday’s game can be purchased over the phone with a credit card by calling Susie Gustke at (920) 424-1383. Fans can also purchase tickets in person at Kolf Sports Center 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9.


“It’s an honor to host this semifinal game and I am looking forward to Saturday,” said UW Oshkosh Football Coach Pat Cerroni. “The community always supports us–if by attending games, donating time and money to our causes or just believing in our kids. UW Oshkosh really is a special place.”

For updates, follow @UWOshkoshTitans and @UWOFootball on Twitter and UWO Football on Facebook. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

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Replaced by new and improved models, the old glossy wooden bleacher sections at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Kolf Sports Center easily could have been destined for a landfill.

01_wac_menomoneefallsBut a unique plan for the planks avoided that reality. Bleachers that had provided seating for fans at countless UW Oshkosh sporting events, graduations and concerts, have a new use as design elements at a newly constructed Wisconsin Athletic Club location in Menomonee Falls, north of Milwaukee.

“When we were working on the Menomonee Falls Wisconsin Athletic Club, we asked our wood floor vendor, ProStar, if they had any reclaimed wood for a wall in our bar area and they brought up the Kolf Center bleachers as a possible option,” said Heidi Fendos, public relations counsel for Wisconsin Athletic Clubs (WAC). “After we saw how cool the wood was from the bleachers, we decided to use this wood in almost every room in the club.”

There has been extensive re-use of the bleachers removed from Kolf Sports Center in a renovation project in 2012.

03_wac_menomoneefallsBleachers were used in the Menomonee Falls WAC as flooring for the Mind Body Studio and Cycle Studio stage; ceiling “clouds” by the front desk, Club Pub and hallway; art work on walls in Club Pub, the lobby, Fitness Center, poolside locker room and manager’s office; and used as shelves and sign bases throughout the club.

Chez Misko, chief operating officer of the Wisconsin Athletic Club with seven full-service athletic clubs in the Milwaukee area, said the reclaimed wood provides a great story for employees and visitors. He said there are some employees at Menomonee Falls that are UW Oshkosh alumni.

“I think they are always excited to see it,” he said.

He noted that thousands–maybe hundreds of thousands of people–had sat on the Kolf bleachers. The story behind the design elements at WAC “brings them back to a game or special event.”

Misko thinks the use of reclaimed wood improves the feel inside the club.

“There’s a warmth to having wood to any other material,” Misko said. “It feels warmer to the eye.”

He said the extensive use of the Kolf wood provides a unique flair that ties the club together.

05_wac_menomoneefallsDan Nordstrom, vice president of flooring contractor ProStar Surfaces, Mequon, said the Kolf bleachers were crafted with Douglas fir and typically were in large, 12-16-foot lengths.

In addition to the Wisconsin Athletic Club, some of the Kolf wood was used for other projects including a sliding barn-style door and wall covering for Bray Architects in Milwaukee and for partitions in the ProStar offices.

Nordstrom said ProStar stored the wooden Kolf bleacher sections, noting the firm has “always been about repurposing and reusing as much as possible.”

UW Oshkosh Athletic Director Darryl Sims said the former bleachers were in need of replacement and funding became available for an upgrade to the fieldhouse at Kolf.

He said bleacher replacement hardware was not available as wheels and steel parts wore out and large gaps between the wood created significant space for items to fall through to the floor below.

“We got to the point we couldn’t hold onto the bleachers,” he said, noting that they were pleased to hear a number of the wood sections have been used at Wisconsin Athletic Club. “We prefer the idea of being able to repurpose like that,” Sims said, noting that wood from a former bowling alley at UW Oshkosh was used to craft a bar at Becket’s Restaurant in Oshkosh.

Kolf Sports Center, constructed in 1971, was named for Robert Kolf, a long-time coach, instructor and athletic director at UW Oshkosh.

The Kolf venue has hosted hundreds of University and area high school commencements and graduation ceremonies and numerous intramural, conference, NCAA, high school and Special Olympics Wisconsin athletic events. The facility has been a home for military science students’ training, a stage for performances by influential artists and entertainers including Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, and a backdrop for visits by political candidates including then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008.

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