Mikaeel Kassam ’18 Named 2018 Recipient of the Frank S. Spigener Service and Leadership Award

Congratulations to Mikaeel Kassam ’18, who was named the 2018 recipient of the Frank S. Spigener Service and Leadership Award. The award recognizes a graduating senior for outstanding service and leadership to the University School and greater Milwaukee communities.

Since his freshman year at USM, Kassam has worked with Special Spaces Milwaukee, an organization that creates dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening medical illnesses, where they can heal and recover. “For the past three years I have had the privilege to see a dozen children walking through the pathway of volunteers with bright smiles on their faces as they approach their rooms for the first time, and it is at this moment I truly feel as if I have given love to a family that needs it,” said Kassam.

About the Frank S. Spigener Service and Leadership Award
The Frank S. Spigener Service and Leadership Award is named for a long-time American history teacher and headmaster at Milwaukee University School—a predecessor to University School of Milwaukee. It recognizes an Upper School USM student who demonstrates the spirit of caring, humanitarianism, and volunteerism exemplified by Spigener.

The award was created in 2016 in partnership with Robert Burch MUS’52, who made a generous gift to establish an endowed fund for the award. Each recipient receives a cash award of $1,000 and the privilege to designate a grant of $2,000 to a local Milwaukee 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of his or her choice. “This is a two-part award,” said Burch, “because it’s not about what you get. It’s about what you give.”
The Spigener Service and Leadership Award is modeled after one Spigener conferred during his time at MUS called the Thompson Trophy, which was engraved with the following words:

“Not what you get, but what you give;
Not what you say, but how you live;
Giving the world the love it needs,
Living a life of noble deeds;
Strong for the right – the good – the true –
These are the things worthwhile to you.”

Those words were spoken often by Spigener, and inspired generations of students—Burch included—to live a positive life.
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