A Commemorative Homecoming

This year’s festivities mark the UW’s 175th anniversary.

Onlookers watch fireworks over Lake Mendota during the 2022 Homecoming celebration

Badger fans enjoy fireworks during the 2022 Homecoming celebration. Andy Manis

The Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA) will incorporate a special 175th-anniversary focus into its Homecoming events this year to celebrate the university’s birthday. Festivities will highlight how the UW has benefited Wisconsin and the world for one and three-quarters centuries by providing students with a world-class education.

Traditional events will include the Homecoming Block Party on Friday, Oct. 6, which will expand from its usual location of Alumni Park and One Alumni Place to Library Mall for a “bigger and better” celebration. The party will feature the popular silent disco with multiple alumni DJs and family-friendly activities such as face-painting and a collaboration with Allen Centennial Garden to create flower crowns.

There will be opportunities to test your UW knowledge with trivia contests, and a virtual scavenger hunt is planned for Wednesday, Oct. A traditional parade, presented by the Wisconsin Union and the Wisconsin Homecoming Committee, is scheduled for Friday from 6 to 7 p.m. That will be followed by a pep rally that includes a short program featuring Chancellor Jennifer L. Mnookin, the Marching Band, Bucky, and the Spirit Squad. Fireworks over Lake Mendota will conclude the evening.

The beloved Multicultural Homecoming Yard Show will grace the Wisconsin Union’s Shannon Hall on Friday from 8 to 10 p.m., thanks to a partnership with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and the Wisconsin Homecoming Committee. And the Multicultural Homecoming tailgate and game watch, planned in collaboration with the Division of Diversity, Equity, & Educational Achievement, is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7, when Wisconsin takes on Rutgers. Alumni will gather in the Pyle Center and on the picturesque One Alumni Place rooftop.

Plans also include a board of visitors meeting and lunch with the chancellor, followed by a celebratory 175th anniversary event.

“We hope you can join in the fun,” says WAA chief alumni officer and executive director Sarah Schutt.

Keep an eye out for more information at, and go, Badgers!

Published in the Fall 2023 issue


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