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Marna Tess-Mattner ’75, JD

2015 Recipient P.E. MacAllister Distinguished Alumna Award for Service to Carroll

Those who know her have said that Marna Tess-Mattner possesses “an unconditional passion and commitment to Carroll University, and bleeds orange and blue.”

As the first woman to chair the Carroll University Board of Trustees, Marna has provided a unique perspective and a clear counsel in the shaping of many key decisions.  On top of the list was the completion of a revised mission statement, which reaffirmed Carroll’s heritage as well as set the stage for Carroll’s role in negotiating the future.

Part of that future included the vital role she played as a member of the steering committee for Campaign Carroll: The Common Thread when she solicited Carroll trustees and other Carroll constituents to strengthen campaign contributions.

Her tenure on the Board of Trustees began in 2004.  She later served as Chair, helping to graduate approximately 2,000 students during Commencement exercises in 2011, 2012 and 2013.  Marna graduated from Carroll in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in social work.  She earned her Juris Doctorate from Marquette University Law School, graduating cum laude in 1983.

Marna’s role as Chair of the Board of Trustees followed a long history of commitment and service to Carroll.  She was an active member of Carroll’s Alumni Council for many years, where her service as Chair from 1992 – 2002 included membership on the Board of Trustees.  She has further supported Carroll as a Workforce 98 participant, 2001 Career Fair speaker, and Adjunct Lecturer of Business Law and Employment and Labor Law from 2001 to 2004.  In recognition of her achievements, Carroll University inducted her as an alumna member of the university’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.

Marna took her leadership role as Board Chair beyond the meeting room and set the bar high in establishing and maintaining relationships with students, faculty, staff and alumni through her participation in numerous local, national, and international Carroll events.  She assisted regularly as a featured speaker with Carroll updates during regional alumni gatherings, participated in major initiatives on campus, helped launch Carroll’s Young Alumni & Young at Heart events, and served as a member of a university delegation to Vietnam, where Carroll partners with high schools to target prospective students.

More recently, Marna has agreed to serve as the Chair of the first ever Pre-Law Advisory Council.  She currently is a member of the President’s Advisory Council. Additionally, she and her husband Kent, also a 1975 Carroll graduate, created the Marna & Kent Tess-Mattner Endowed Scholarship.

Marna has also distinguished herself professionally with many achievements, including chairing the State Bar Board of Governors, serving on (and previously chairing) the editorial board for the Wisconsin Lawyer magazine, and earning the President’s Distinguished Service Award from the State Bar of Wisconsin.  In the community, she currently serves as the President of the Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company.  Marna is an attorney and shareholder at Schmidt, Rupke, Tess-Mattner & Fox, S.C. in Brookfield, where she practices employment and labor law on behalf of management.


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