Bright Lights, Badger City

Alumni get fancy, funky at WAA’s 150th anniversary Red Tie Gala.

UW–Madison grads and friends strutted their stuff on the red carpet (Badger red, naturally) at the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s Red Tie Gala. Held October 14, the night before the Homecoming game, the gala marked the culmination of WAA’s 150th anniversary celebration.

Attendees gathered in the Town Center at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, which opened in December 2010. In addition to giving Badgers a chance to dress up and to check out the space, the gala also served as a fundraiser, with nearly 800 guests helping to generate $150,000 for the UW’s Great People Scholarship, which provides need-based aid to students.


crowd photos

The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery Town Center was decorated in an alumni theme, with lots of Badger red and a video wall (lower center, right, photo by Wendy Hathaway) showing historical images of campus. Other highlights included a performance by the MadHatters a cappella group (top) and plenty of WAA’s commemorative ice cream flavor, Mad Grad Medley. Attendees enjoyed a red-carpet welcome from Bucky Badger and the UW Marching Band (upper center, right), and Chancellor David Ward MS’62, PhD’63 and his spouse, Judith ’64 (lower right), led a conga line.

crowd shots

WAA president and CEO Paula Bonner MS’78, (center right), led a toast (top & center left) and spoke about the theme for the gala: celebrating a legacy of 150 years of alumni accomplishments. No Badger gathering, no matter how elegant, is complete without singing “Varsity” (bottom right). In addition, a band played dance tunes from many different eras (bottom left), and guests sampled a special cocktail — the “sesquitini” — and festive hors d’oeuvres created for the occasion.


















Published in the Winter 2011 issue


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