Alumni National Awards


WoleskeChristine Wilde Woleske, Law ’94
Green Bay, Wis.

As president and CEO of Bellin Health in Green Bay, Chris Woleske has an insider’s view of the challenges confronting communities from COVID-19 and health care provision generally. Instead of getting mired in pandemic fatigue, Chris has worked to find ways to build consensus, renew trust, and help repair relationships — a true exemplary leader to help guide her community forward.

Chris credits her law school education with providing the foundation for her life and career. She says her legal education taught her to take in information, discern the important point, and communicate effectively. Inspired by mentorship from faculty and fellow students, Chris now values opportunities to share her experiences by mentoring other leaders. She believes her chief job is helping others become their best, which extends far outside her organization to encompass her Green Bay community and the Marquette community.

When Chris talks about her time at Marquette, she says what stands out most is the support she received: “Everyone that I encountered at Marquette, from the reception desk in the law school or the library to the professors in the classroom, made me feel like I was where I should be and that they were there to support my learning.”

As a law school student, she received a partial scholarship from the Joseph and Vera Zilber Family Foundation, motivating her to strive for excellence because she knew the Zilbers were investing in her success. Now she has come full circle and is in a position to give back to the Marquette community, sharing her time, support, and talent as a trustee.

Tell us your favorite book or favorite quote.
I have two favorites, and I can’t choose. The first is the Serenity Prayer, because it reminds me that I am only human and can’t control what I can’t control — it keeps me sane. The other is a quote from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “If you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself. Something to repair tears in your community. Something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you. That’s what I think a meaningful life is — living not for oneself but for one’s community.” That, for me, is where you find joy in living.

Who has been the most influential person in your life? Why?
My parents, because they instilled in me the importance of hard work, the mindset “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” and the importance of service to others.

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