Twenty-one alumni chapters honor local Badgers of the Year.
Don’t look now, but Badgers are everywhere. From Miami to Alaska, these teachers, doctors, engineers, and entrepreneurs are making their communities better. These are the people who inspired the Badger of the Year (B.O.Y.) award. Established in 2004, the awards allow local alumni chapters to recognize UW graduates who embody the Wisconsin Idea — the concept that the university can extend its benefits around the world. Alumni chapter leaders select the winners and honor them as part of their respective Founders’ Day celebrations.
This year, the chapters are honoring twenty-four alumni as WAA Badgers of the Year. Four of them are mentioned below. To learn about the other Badgers of the Year, see uwalumni.com/foundersday.
Dale Bruhn ’48, MS’74 of the WAA: Palm Beach (Florida) Chapter was recognized for his service as an Alzheimer’s disease volunteer and advocate. After caring for his own wife for fifteen years before losing her to the disease, he now lobbies state government officials to support Alzheimer’s research and mentors caregivers within his Delray Beach community, serving as an example of someone who faced a difficult hurdle in his own life, yet chose not to let it defeat him. The WAA: Milwaukee Chapter’s 2013 Badger of the Year, Curt Culver ’74, MS’75, is chair and CEO of MGIC Investment Corporation. He funds two annual scholarships for UW–Madison real estate students and has been a guest lecturer for the program. He has served on the dean’s advisory board for the business school and received the school’s distinguished alumnus award in 2006. A former member of the UW golf team, Culver has also supported the new indoor golf facility at University Ridge and endowed a golf scholarship.
Mary Clare Freeman ’48 is the WAA: Wausau Chapter’s honoree. Freeman has been a tireless advocate for the UW and WAA. She has served on the board of visitors for the College of Letters & Science and has been active with Alumni for Wisconsin, WAA’s higher-education advocacy group. She has also been very supportive of the UWC-Marathon County campus, serving on the board of its foundation, and is the proud parent of five UW–Madison graduates.
Molly Vandervest ’04 was honored by the WAA: Brown County (Wisconsin) Chapter. As marketing and events manager with Downtown Green Bay, Inc., Vandervest has enhanced events ranging from the Holiday Parade and Gallery Night to the Summer in the Park music series, earning her recognition from the BBJ (Bay Business Journal) and Bay Cities, Inc. magazine. Also active in the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce’s Current Young Professionals network, she won the group’s 2009 Young Professional of the Year award.
Published in the Summer 2013 issue