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A Season for Giving Back

Jim Miazga '74 established a scholarship to help support fifth-year seniors at UW Oshkosh.

Jim Miazga '74 established a scholarship to help support fifth-year seniors at UW Oshkosh.

From his college days as a hard-working student-athlete to his successful career as a businessman, and his remarkable comeback from a massive stroke in 1997, University of Wisconsin alumnus Jim Miazga '74 knows he has lived a blessed life.

That knowledge fuels the Rhinelander, Wisconsin, native's desire to give back as much as possible, especially to his church, his high school and his college alma mater. "I've been successful through hard work, so I try to do little things to help others," Jim says.

Jim, an UW Oshkosh secondary education major, played tight end for the Titans from 1970 to 1973. He is most proud of being a member of the 1972 team that won the Wisconsin State University Conference championship with an 8-0 record.

In 2012, UW Oshkosh's Titan Touchdown Club honored Jim with the Russ Young Leadership and Achievement Award, which recognizes those who demonstrate the ideals of Young's legacy through their record of accomplishment, community service, moral character and positive contributions to the world of sports.

Those qualities fit Jim to a T.

After graduating from UW Oshkosh, Jim moved home to Rhinelander and worked at his father's beer distribution company, Oneida Sales and Service. He later took over the company and expanded the coverage to most of northern Wisconsin.

Jim and his wife, Jean, have shared their success along the way by staying involved in the Rhinelander community. The Miazgas helped raise funds to renovate the Rhinelander High School gymnasium, which has since been named the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium.

In addition, Jim serves on the board for UW-Stevens Point's Treehaven program, and the couple supports an organization that educates fourth-graders in Rhinelander and Three Lakes, Wisconsin, about nature and the outdoors.

Jim also stayed involved with his favorite team: Titan football. "I enjoy giving back to my passion … football," he says. Jim watches practices, attends every home game and invites the team to stay in his guesthouse during the preseason.

When Patrick Cerroni took over as coach of the team 10 years ago, he was quick to reach out to Jim to thank him for his continued support.

"Jim has been an amazing supporter of our football program," Cerroni says. "He is kind, and we are very proud to call him our friend. He cares very deeply about this University and the players. His passion and commitment have really inspired us and helped us all understand what exactly a 'Titan' is."

Jim also supports UW Oshkosh Foundation's planned giving efforts as a member of the Rose Legacy Society. In 2011, Jim established the Jim Miazga Leadership Scholarship for fifth-year seniors who demonstrate civic engagement/community service, leadership abilities and teamwork.

"It's important to give back because it is where we came from," Jim says. "Giving back makes me happy and so proud."

Learn How You Can Help
Contact UW Oshkosh Foundation at (920) 424-2178 or foundation@uwosh.edu to learn how you can join Jim and other appreciated alumni and friends in supporting UW Oshkosh students.

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Contact the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation
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