Anne Schierl ’54, MD’57 lives by the example set by her mother, Ruth Gilfry, who rode into Portage County in a Model T Ford as its first public health nurse in the 1930s.
“She was always taking people clothes and food and making sure they were doing OK,” says Schierl, a retired Stevens Point anesthesiologist. “It never occurred to me not to do something for my community.”
Following her mother’s interests, Schierl studied the sciences at UW-Madison as an undergraduate, and then headed off to its medical school in the mid-1950s as one of two female medical students.
“I loved it. I was the only child of a widowed mother and, all of a sudden, I had all of these brothers,” she says.
Retiring in 1989, Schierl was able to devote more time to civic activity.
She is a founding board member of the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County, which recently completed a $4.2 million fundraising campaign to build a new Stevens Point facility — one of eight that serve more than 2,000 kids in Portage County.
[UW–Madison] fit for me … the attitude, the climate, and, of course, the challenges.
“The Boys & Girls Club has become so popular that our problem is that we may exceed our capacity,” says Schierl. “Teachers love the Boys & Girls Club because they can see how kids’ grades improve. They like school again.”
Her work earned Schierl the prestigious Marty Stein Outstanding Board Volunteer Award and the Ralph Hawley Distinguished Service Award from the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association.
In addition, Schierl has endowed scholarships for freshmen at UW–Stevens Point.
But it’s the University of Wisconsin–Madison that holds a special place in her heart. “It certainly had a dramatic effect on who I am today. It fit for me … the attitude, the climate, and, of course, the challenges,” Schierl says. “I’m proud to always be an ambassador for UW–Madison.”