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Marquette University Alumni Association

College of Education Award Recipients

Young Alumnus of the Year

Tony GonzalezJOSÉ A. GONZALEZ, III, ARTS '07

Just eight years after receiving his undergraduate degree from Marquette, José, "Tony," is playing a leadership role at one of the most respected and effective local schools serving lower-income students, Milwaukee College Prep. As dean of students for the school’s elementary campus, he is a tireless, resourceful and humble advocate for his students.

It’s a remarkable record of impact for a young alumnus. So much so that it even drew notice from Green Bay Packers superstar Aaron Rodgers. As part of the series of television commercials and online videos that feature Rodgers knocking on the doors of unsuspecting fans, Rodgers and Milwaukee attorney David Gruber used this season’s visits to highlight several of Milwaukee’s most effective service and educational organizations. So Rodgers knocked on Tony’s door, toured the school with him and became a fan of the young educator. “He is an incredible mentor to these kids, preparing them to be really productive adults — to go to college and be successful,” says Rodgers. (See more at

At work on a master’s degree and preparation for a principal’s license, Tony aims to run a successful school one day and establish a program to help boys build character and become positive and influential members of society. The first in his family to attend college, he paved the way for three siblings who followed him and received their degrees from Marquette.

“Marquette has contributed to my success by instilling great core values, morals and beliefs,” he says.I live Marquette’s mission by being a servant leader and leading by example. I believe I have an overall purpose in this world to help others and be the difference.”