Strong supporter

Gall poses for the camera

Editor’s note: This is the seventh and final in a series of articles recognizing alumni receiving distinguished service awards in September 2018.

’03 alum received scholarships, works to pay back generosity

Marc Gall has done more than pay it back. He’s paid it forward.

As a student at UW-La Crosse in the early 2000s, Gall made a commitment to himself to create a UWL scholarship as soon as he was financially able. He had benefitted from receiving scholarships during college and felt it was important to give back. He’s done that — and more.

Gall created the Salt and Light Award for Excellence in Christian Leadership five years ago. A year after that, he was instrumental in establishing another scholarship for his college sophomore year roommate, Jason Letizia, ’03, a high school teacher who died from complications of Crohn’s disease.

Gall worked with the family to establish the Jason Letizia Learn Strong Scholarship that supports students during their student-teaching semester. He ensured the fund’s longevity by donating $25,000 to make sure it was endowed.

Gall saw Letizia’s commitment to helping others throughout college, particularly while serving on the Student Senate. “He spent a lot of time giving back to the university and ensuring that he left the place better than when he started,” explains Gall.

Gall was also involved on campus — in the Student Association, Vanguards and Residence Life. After college, he expanded that to volunteering and philanthropy.

He was nominated to participate in a bachelor-bachelorette auction to benefit the Penfield Children’s Center in Milwaukee. Initially a bit sheepish about participating, Gall reached out to find out more about the center and ways to help.

“It became apparent after meeting Marc that he had a big heart and was very interested in the work Penfield Children’s Center was doing to serve central-city children and families,” says Jason Perry, vice president of development and communications for the center. Since, Gall and his wife, Farrah — whom he met when she was also part of the sale — have become advocates and supporters for children and families the center serves.

Professionally, Gall has become well known among Wisconsin bankers. He has worked with rural and community banks on interest rate risk management, investment strategies, budgeting and strategic planning. He’s actively involved in bank board training, speaking at conferences and writing for banking publications.

UWL Development Officer Jay Scott met Gall four years ago. Scott was quick to find classmates and college friends of Gall who highly respected him for what he did during college and how he’s become quickly respected in his career.

“Marc is a man of high integrity,” says Scott. “He demonstrates care and compassion to his friends and family.”

The Marc Gall file

• Successful bank consultant; respected humanitarian, philanthropist.
• Currently, vice president of BOK Financial, Milwaukee. Previously, asset/liability and investment consultant with Nexity Bank; investment officer with M&I Bank; investment associate at Strong Capital Management.
• Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Hunger Task Force, Junior Achievement, Miller Park Community Day, Milwaukee Rescue Mission, Penfield Children’s Center, Ronald McDonald House, Toys for Tots and UWL Alumni Association Board.
• Created and funded two scholarship endowments at UWL; on-going Penfield Children’s Center donor, along with other causes.
• Completed Graduate School of Banking, UW-Madison, 2015; Master’s of Business Administration from Marquette University, 2010; Bachelor’s of Science in finance and economics from UWL, 2003.

Seven to receive distinguished alumni awards

Alumni who graduated during the past four decades will receive the top awards bestowed by the UWL Alumni Association this fall. They’re being honored for distinguished service and successful careers. They’ll return to campus to speak with students and participate in a panel at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, in the Great Hall, Cleary Alumni & Friends Center. An Alumni Awards Brunch and Ceremony is planned for 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, in The Bluffs Room, UWL Student Union. Tickets are $25 per person and can be ordered through the Alumni Association at 608.785.8489.

Awards and honorees include:
The Maurice O. Graff Distinguished Alumnus Award
Recognizes outstanding achievement of alumni who have brought honor and distinction to the university. Long-time administrator Maurice O. Graff instituted the honor in 1977.
• Joonkoo Yun, ’92
• Jon Erickson, ’76

Rada Distinguished Alumnus Award
Recognizes alumni who have graduated within the last 20 years, achieved professional distinction and taken part in humanitarian activities. Professor emeritus Ron Rada and his wife, Jane, created the award in 2002.
• Matt Brantner, ’05
• Marc Gall, ’03

Parker Distinguished Multicultural Alumni Award
Recognizes outstanding alumni who have contributed greatly to improve multiracial culture and understanding on campus and in their careers. History Professor Emeritus James Parker initiated the award in 1997.
• Thomas Harris, ’01
• Houa Xiong, ’98 & ’00

Burt and Norma Altman Teacher Education Award
Honors and recognizes outstanding educators and the significant contributions they make to children and communities. Professor Emeritus Burt Altman and his wife, Norma, long-time supporters of teacher education, created the award in 2015.
• Phil Ertl, ’88