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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Alumni Association Board surprised long-time alumni director Chris Gantner with an honorary UWO alumna award at the 2022 Alumni Awards Celebration, Oct. 21.

Past board president Brooke Tabbert  ’04, presented the honorary award to Gantner at the end of the evening.

“Chris Gantner is amazing, her smile, warmth and passion for engaging alumni, and the greater community, to UW Oshkosh is unmatched,” Tabbert said. “Many alumni have shared they became reconnected with campus because of Chris and her ability to light the fire in Titans who have not been involved with UWO for years, sometimes decades. A group of dedicated Titan alumni suggested recognition for Chris, to show our appreciation for all she has done for our campus community. The UW Oshkosh Alumni Association is honored to name Chris an honorary UW Oshkosh alumni.”

Gantner, a graduate of UW-Milwaukee, began at UWO in 1998 and is now in her 24th year as the alumni relations director.

She’s worked with nine alumni association board presidents during her tenure, and five provided special memories that were shared at the Alumni Awards Celebration. Video messages from Amanda Betts ’10, Scott Barr ’86 and Steve Buss ’86 were played, while Tabbert read statements from Traci Raether ’87, MSN ’95 and Jim Rath ’76.

“The surprise recognition by the Alumni Association Board as an honorary UWO alumna and special remarks from several past presidents was an incredible thrill and tremendous honor,” Gantner said. “I genuinely love UWO and the many alumni I have the privilege of working with.”

Gantner’s husband Tom, son Sam and daughter Maddie also surprised her, sneaking into the Culver Family Welcome Center to watch her be presented with the award.

Chris Gantner with her family.

“My family knows how much UWO means to me and how much I enjoy my job so to have them there was an extra special surprise,” Gantner said. “I am beyond proud to be an honorary UWO Titan!”

Watch the surprise recognition here. The special presentation begins at the 1:48.30 mark of the video.