Written by Jeff Angileri
Each semester, UW-Whitewater holds a competition for the honor of serving as a student speaker at commencement. Alexander Ostermann was chosen to address attendees of the morning ceremony on May 16, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He will give his remarks during the Virtual Celebration of Graduates.
Interfraternity Council president. Warhawk Ambassador. Student body president. Homecoming King.
Alex Ostermann’s resume includes elections to some of the most prestigious student leadership positions at UW-Whitewater. But to focus on the titles is to overlook the legacy of a man who has spent his collegiate years advocating for students, mentoring a new generation of young leaders, and modeling public service and philanthropy.
The Cedarburg native has arguably had one of the most active and well-rounded experiences of any Warhawk.
“UW-Whitewater set me up in the best way possible for my future. The faculty and staff here challenged me, pushed me out of my comfort zone and supported me in ways I never thought possible.”
In his run for office for Whitewater Student Government, Alex campaigned on a platform of: Health, Safety, Community. During his tenure, he has written and co-sponsored legislation to support LGBTQ* and nontraditional students, encourage voter participation and access, and increase mental health resources. During the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, he kept student government operating, holding virtual meetings and check-ins with students.
A member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Alex coordinated a biannual food drive to benefit the Whitewater and Milton pantries that collected more than 4,000 pounds of food. Every summer since 2014, Alex has volunteered for a week as a camp counselor, providing 24/7 care for a teenager with muscular dystrophy. And at the Green Bay Packers home opener in 2017, Alex performed the halftime show with the Warhawk Marching Band, playing trumpet in front of 80,000 fans at Lambeau Field.
In his spare time, he worked in University Marketing and Communications, championing students by writing articles about their academic and extracurricular achievements and sending them to the students’ hometown newspapers, high schools and state legislators.
Along with his peers Brian Martinez and Hogan Veserat, Alex established the Warhawk Legacy Society — a scholarship fund through the UW-Whitewater Foundation — in which each graduating student can donate their graduation year (the Class of 2020 would donate $20.20 each) to fund a scholarship for incoming freshman.
“I think it’s a really powerful, meaningful message to incoming students that these funds were raised by the graduating class. I hope it motivates them to give back to their community from the very beginning.”
A marketing major, Alex worked as an account management intern with Nina Hale Performance Digital, a marketing agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is graduating with a Bachelor in Business Administration and intends to use his marketing skills in a way that benefits society.