Sons Follow in Parents’ Footsteps to Honor Their Brother
Through their leadership and support of USM and two of its three predecessor schools—Milwaukee Country Day School and Milwaukee Downer Seminary—the enduring legacy of Polly MDS’38 and Henry MCDS’39 Uihlein and their family continues to impact generations of USM families and enhance USM significantly. “The credit for our family’s history of giving should go to my parents,” said Phil Uihlein ’68. “My mom and dad were all about helping children. The purpose of their endowments is, in large part, to give children the same opportunities that they had growing up.”
In 1989, Polly and Henry established an endowed fund to support USM’s faculty. Then, in 1994, they established the Polly and Henry Uihlein Scholarship Fund, an endowed fund that provides financial assistance to qualifying alumni families. They continued to support their endowed funds in life and through their estate, and also provided support for the Polly and Henry Uihlein Sr. Ice Arena, the USM Fund, and other school priorities.
Following in their parents’ footsteps, Chris ’65, Phil ’68, and Richard ’72 Uihlein continued their family’s legacy of giving through their own collective gift to the Our Common Bond campaign, which was inspired by a bequest from the estate of their late brother Henry “Chip” Uihlein Jr. MCDS’63. In gratitude for their leadership support of the campaign, the school recognized the family gift with the naming of the USM Athletic Hall of Fame wall in honor of Chip. This commitment symbolized the most recent support in the brothers’—and their parents’—lifelong loyalty to their alma mater through their time, talent, and treasure.
Although Chip passed away in July 2017, his legacy lives on through his brothers, his daughters, Jennifer Uihlein ’88 and Marnie Uihlein Omer ’91, and his grandchildren. “My brother Chip was the best one of all of us,” said Phil. “He was a great academic, although he’d never say that, but he was also great in sports. He was the most tenacious human being I’ve even run into, whether in the hockey rink or business world. He just didn’t know any kind of defeat. And that thread ran through his entire life. But the other aspects that stick out for me is that he was an incredibly compassionate and thoughtful person.”
The USM Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes and honors the important role of athletics within the culture of the school, and Polly and Henry were welcomed posthumously into the inaugural class of inductees in 2016, an honor their four sons accepted on their behalf. Their recognition aligned with the family’s lifelong leadership in athletics, as their sons thrived while participating in athletics.’There area all different kinds of education that a young person gets,” said Phil. “Athletics is one kind, but I think it’s an important one. It helps young kids learn to develop a part of their character that the classroom can’t teach. The Athletic Hall of Fame wall is important to us, given our family’s orientation to athletics, and it’s a significant honor for Chip, so we are excited about it.”