Listening in on UW Celebrities

Famous alumni tell all in the podcast Thank You, 72.

Bud Selig and UW Chancellor, Rebecca Blank

Bud Selig shares a laugh with Chancellor Rebecca Blank at an event welcoming him to the UW’s history department. Jeff Miller

If you’d like the inside scoop on prominent alumni such as football phenom J. J. Watt x’12 or leading Native American activist Ada Deer ’57, check out the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s Thank You, 72 podcast. (Many of the featured Badgers grew up in one of Wisconsin’s 72 counties before graduating and going on to change the world.) New podcast episodes this spring include interviews with:

  • Wall Street Journal sports columnist Jason Gay ’92, whose flair for the funny has made him a reader favorite. Gay often wears his red-and-white colors on his sleeve in columns such as “Yes, to Save the World, Wisconsin Really Needs to Beat Michigan.” During his podcast, Gay discusses his most- and least-favorite sports interviews, his unlikely journey from political science major to writing for one of the world’s most prestigious newspapers, and the wild world of sports parents behaving badly.
  • Allan “Bud” Selig ’56, whom you can thank for returning Major League Baseball to Wisconsin 50 years ago — and for changing the very game itself. Selig, who grew up in Milwaukee, learned about business from his dad, but it was his mom who fostered his love of baseball. Selig bought the Seattle Pilots out of bankruptcy in 1970 and renamed the franchise for an old Milwaukee minor league team that he watched as a child, the Milwaukee Brewers. Later, Selig became the commissioner of Major League Baseball and guided the sport through labor strife, drug problems, and a business model that was about to put baseball as we know it out of business.
  • Hans Obma ’02, who uses his exceptional ability with languages and accents to play a variety of characters in an acting career that has recently taken off. The La Crosse native describes his facility with accents as “kind of my superpower.” In 2018, he landed an exciting role, playing a German named Adrian on the hit AMC drama Better Call Saul. Obma has played everything from a crooked Hungarian businessman to a Czechoslovakian warlock to a French war hero. He’s recently finished filming his first role as a leading man in an indepedent film.

Visit thankyou72.org to listen to more from these alumni and others like them.

Published in the Spring 2020 issue

Tags: Alumni, Campus history

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