Homecoming Buttons

Homecoming buttons

Photos by Andy Manis

In 2001, Pete Christianson ’71, JD’77 embarked on a mission to collect all of the UW’s Homecoming buttons since the event began in 1911. His collection was featured on the cover of the Spring 2010 Badger Insider in an article titled “Confessions of a Button Man.”

Thanks to contributions from friends, garage sales, and eBay, Christianson had buttons from every year except eighteen of them. He’s now closed the gap to just eight, although he’s not positive that buttons were issued during all of those missing years. Want to help him out? He’s missing 1943, 1944, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, and 1996.

Christianson’s favorite buttons are the first, 1911, which was the hardest to find and the most expensive on eBay; 1936, a gift from John Weaver, the first president of the UW System, for whom he used to work; 1935, which was the fiftieth anniversary of the marching band; and the 1967 button, which was from his freshman year in college.

He is looking forward to attending Homecoming 2015 on October 17 with his entire family, including his three children and their spouses or fiances (all UW alums) and his three grandchildren.

For those returning to Madison to collect their own 2015 buttons, Homecoming highlights include a pep rally and parade, a BADGER HUDDLE®, and the Wisconsin-Purdue game.

On October 15, Virgil Abloh ’03, who is the creative director for rap star Kanye West, will join Gabriel Stulman ’03, a New York City restaurateur, for a RED Talk (modeled after TED Talks). The topic is how to be successful both in and out of school, and alumni are welcome.

For game-watch parties, locate your chapter website at

Published in the Fall 2015 issue


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