Editor's Letter

A Party with a Purpose

Badgers celebrate what UW–Madison is and what it will be.

A wide shot of Library Mall on a sunny, blue-sky day, with the UW Marching band playing, and people eating ice cream and socializing.

The investiture doubled as a chance to picnic on Library Mall. Althea Dotzour

In April, UW–Madison held a series of events marking the investiture of Chancellor Jennifer L. Mnookin. An investiture is a traditional academic ceremony that welcomes a new leader, and the UW’s version doubled as a celebration of the Badger community. In “The UW’s New Era,” you’ll learn about a day of service called Bucky’s Big Event, a campus picnic on Library Mall, and showcases for UW teaching and research. You’ll also learn more about Chancellor Mnookin and her vision for the university. The article includes an excerpt from her investiture speech, which touched on classic UW–Madison values: finding innovative solutions to the world’s problems, welcoming all points of view, collaborating across boundaries, and helping a diverse group of students cultivate their talents.

These are the values we try to reflect in every issue of On Wisconsin, including the one you’re reading right now. In “Progress on Alzheimer’s Disease” and “Peace in the Wake of Pain,” you’ll meet UW researchers addressing challenges that affect our everyday lives. “The Teachings of Plants” and “Clean Energy at Last?” profile alumni who honor the Wisconsin Idea by doing good in the world.

One of the investiture events paid tribute to the second- and third-shift workers who keep the university running while the rest of us sleep. “Campus after Dark” goes a step further by accompanying these unsung heroes on their late-night rounds as they clean labs, operate boilers, and ensure student safety. As you’ll see, they play a significant part in the UW–Madison experience, albeit mostly behind the scenes.

At the campus picnic, Babcock Dairy rolled out the chancellor’s namesake ice cream: Mnookie Dough. Needless to say, Babcock scoops are a Badger obsession, and we offer a history of honorary flavors. Does Mnookie Dough reflect the current chancellor as well as, say, Strawbiddy Swirl did former chancellor Biddy Martin? This will require — ahem — a bit of research.

It’s a sad truth that being part of a community means periodically bidding farewell to a cherished member. We memorialize former chancellor Rebecca Blank, who died of cancer in February. Blank was acclaimed for her wise financial stewardship, her steady hand during the pandemic, and her many beneficial programs for students, faculty, and staff. We remember her fondly as the UW takes its next decisive step into the future.

Published in the Summer 2023 issue


No comments posted yet.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *