Service & Advocacy

Happy 175th Birthday

Celebrate UW–Madison’s demisemiseptcentennial.

University of Wisconsin–Madison's logo celebrating 175 years, 1848–2023.

If you turned 175, you’d probably plan a yearlong celebration, too.

We know that’s a mouthful, but it helps to break it up: Demi. Semi. Sept. Centennial. Half of a half of seven hundred years. That’s the compli- cated way of saying that UW–Madison will observe a milestone 175th birthday this year.

To commemorate this event, the university, the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA), and many other campus partners will celebrate for the full academic year. The special anniversary will be a theme at annual traditions, such as Homecoming and Founders’ Day, and a gala will take place in Madison on October 27. A special Incorporation Day event — held on July 26, the date in 1848 when Wisconsin governor Nelson Dewey signed legislation establishing the university — will also highlight the anniversary.

This summer, UW–Madison is making visits to communities across Wisconsin to emphasize its strong partnerships in the state. The tour, which kicked off with a visit to Green Bay in May, is celebrating how businesses and alumni have built connections over the years and have become part of the fabric of these communities. The tour will also include the WFAA ice cream truck to literally illustrate how the uni- versity is “now serving” these areas. A visit to Sheboygan is planned for June, and other stops are scheduled for August 3 in Eau Claire, August 17 in Milwaukee, and August 30 in Wausau. The tour will then resume in spring 2024. (Visit for more information.)

“UW–Madison and the state of Wisconsin have been close partners since both were founded in 1848,” says Sarah Schutt, chief alumni officer and executive director of the Wisconsin Alumni Association. “Cele- brating partnerships around the state illustrates the positive impact of the UW and its alumni, and the visits serve as a reminder of the interests and pride we share with everyone in Wisconsin.”

The yearlong celebration is centered on the theme “Where an Idea Can Change the World.” Events and activities will not only reflect on the successes and challenges of the past 175 years but also aim to spark conversation around the next two-and-a-half decades, leading up to the university’s bicentennial celebration in 2048.

The university welcomes alumni to share their memories and hopes for the future on social media by joining the conversation at #UW175.

Published in the Summer 2023 issue


No comments posted yet.

Post a comment

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