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Grace Urban

Grace Urban ’12 shows off her new pin at the spring commencement. Photo: Andy Manis

With a new pin, WAA creates a tradition to keep grads connected.

After four (or five … or more) years of hard work — and play — more than four thousand Badger graduates crossed the commencement stage in May and became part of a storied Wisconsin alumni tradition that dates back more than a century and a half.

But new UW traditions are still being created, and these alumni were part of one of the newest — one crafted to welcome them to alumnihood. To help this year’s grads embrace their lifelong connection to the university, the Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA) gave them a specially designed alumni pin.

Available only to graduating seniors, the pin symbolizes the many ways in which WAA helps new alumni stay in touch with the UW. New grads face many life-changing decisions — finding a career, buying a home, paying off student loans — along with learning to make new friends in social situations that aren’t orchestrated in a dorm or a study group. WAA’s mission is to connect alumni with each other and with their alma mater; that includes encouraging recent graduates to keep their Badger pride strong even after they trade backpacks for briefcases.

“It’s important for me to remain engaged with the university,” says Ari Oliver ’09, who moved to Boston in March. “It’s where I developed as a person, and the UW was instrumental in shaping me into who I am today.”

Nearly four hundred thousand UW-Madison alumni live and work around the world, and as recent grads move forward in this new world of alumnihood, they can expect WAA to offer new ways to stay in touch online and on the go through social media. The association is also working with current student leaders to ensure that more Badger bonds stay strong after the walk across the commencement stage.

“One of the ways I stay connected to the university and my fellow alumni is Badger sports, and I try to go to at least one football game a year,” Oliver says. “The University of Wisconsin-Madison will always be a strong presence in my life.”

Published in the Fall 2012 issue

Tags: Alumni, Students

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