A beloved communication professor inspires the name of a new student agency with a mission befitting of his legacy.
By Diane M. Bacha
Carl Collective is named after a man who in many ways inspired its mission: Carl Schrank, a longtime professor at Marquette who came to teaching after a successful public relations and marketing career. He died in 2019.
Schrank, Jour ’57, Grad ’91, was Angelo Trozzolo’s adviser during his years at Marquette and made an indelible mark on him. Trozzolo credits Schrank with helping him land his first job and encouraging him throughout his career. The two remained close long after Trozzolo graduated. They placed bets when their teams played each other (barbecue for Schrank if the Packers won, German food for Trozzolo if the Chiefs won) and visited with each other whenever Trozzolo was in Milwaukee.
“He kept in touch with all of his former advisees,” Trozzolo says, sending group emails and placing phone calls to ask how things were going with their careers.
In forming a partnership with the Diederich College to create a student-involved marketing communication agency, Trozzolo floated the idea of naming it after Schrank (pictured left). It seemed appropriate for a man who gave back to Marquette by mentoring students and who modeled the art of asking good questions before offering advice.
“I see him sitting back in his chair in his office like this,” says Trozzolo, clasping his hands behind his head, “to talk about your future. And you left feeling invigorated — he’s got your back.” It shaped Trozzolo’s business approach, which puts the focus on understanding clients and solving problems for them.
Carl Collective’s secondary logo is a line drawing of a smiling Carl Schrank. When Trozzolo sent it around to some of his old Marquette friends, more than a few got teary-eyed.
“It just makes me feel good to keep his legacy alive. It’s such a great one.
Read more about Carl Collective in “Going Pro.”