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Adding an unexpected twist to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Opening Day assembly for faculty and staff Sept. 2, Chancellor Richard H. Wells was awarded an honor typically reserved for classified staff employees.

Chancellor Wells received the Star Award for September in recognition of the many initiatives he spearheaded at UW Oshkosh specifically for classified (represented, non-represented, limited term and project appointment) employees, including support of the monthly Star Award and the annual Outstanding Performance Awards.

“The Outstanding Performance Awards and Star Awards began in 2001 with the full support of the Chancellor. Since that time, 24 classified staff have been recognized for the Outstanding Performance Award, and 84 for the Star Award,” said interim Provost Al Hartman.

“Classified Staff and Development Day has been on the UW Oshkosh campus since 2001, and is a model for campuses around the state. None of these things could have been accomplished without the financial and emotional support of Chancellor Wells,” he added.

Chancellor Wells graciously accepted the Star Award, saying that it meant more than any other professional award he had received. In addition to the framed certificate — which was signed by UW System President Kevin Reilly, Awards Committee co-chairs Red Darland and Brenda Garza, and Paulette Feld, ex-officio member of the committee — he received a Star Award pin and a specially embroidered baseball cap.

Each month Chancellor Wells personally bestows the Star Award to the winner, which also includes a gift from University Books & More and a reserved parking space.

“Chancellor Wells loves to surprise the Star Award winners, and the Awards and Recognition Committee are hoping that we have been able to surprise him,” Garza said.