Elizabeth MDS’55 and James MCDS’55 Wigdale Named 2019 Alumni Service Award Recipients

Elizabeth (Teipel) MDS’55 and James B. MCDS’55 Wigdale were named the recipients of the 2019 Alumni Service Award on May 16, 2019. Two of their grandsons, Michael ’22 and Ryan ’19 Kennedy, accepted the award on their behalf during the Upper School honors assembly.

Libby and Jim both have long-standing ties to University School of Milwaukee and its predecessor schools. Libby is a third-generation alumna, following her grandmother and both her parents, and she matriculated at the University of California Berkeley after graduation. She has devoted much of her life to volunteerism and philanthropy in the greater Milwaukee community, serving as a long-standing member of the Service Club of Milwaukee, docent-emeritus at the Milwaukee Art Museum, and past USM Reunion Weekend volunteer.

Jim entered Milwaukee Country Day School in the 8th grade, was elected class prefect and, upon graduation, matriculated at Stanford University. Shortly after he graduated from Stanford, he returned to Milwaukee where he joined M&I Bank and excelled—eventually rising to the ranks of chairman and CEO. He has committed much of his life to giving back to the community that has given him so much. He is a member of the USM Endowment board, trustee of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater America, member of the Milwaukee School of Engineering board of regents, chairman of the Medical College of Wisconsin, and former chair and director of the Columbia St. Mary’s Foundation, to name a few.

“We are honored to receive such a generous award on behalf on behalf of our grandparents,” said Michael Kennedy ’22. “We can both say that, without a doubt, our grandparents have been our greatest role models; people who we strive to be more like each day.” Added Ryan Kennedy ’19, “Our grandparents have been the greatest role models in our lives, and they have always emphasized the importance of impacting community, whether through athletics, academics, volunteering, or other activities. We couldn’t be luckier to have them.”

About the Alumni Service Award:
The USM Alumni Association introduced the alumni service award in 1984. It is given to alumni of USM and its predecessor schools in grateful recognition of achievements in working towards the betterment of USM and the communities in which they serve.
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