Party On, Wisconsin!

The university’s 175th birthday bash picks up steam.

A family poses for a portrait in front of a red backdrop

Kristen Aschbrenner DPM’08, Mathew Aschbrenner ’02, MD’06, and their daughters Gwen (left) and Maddie pose for a photo taken by Will Hsu ’00 during a state tour stop in Wausau in August.

In honor of its demisemiseptcentennial, UW–Madison arranged tours to cities around the state to celebrate university-civic partnerships. State tour stops included Green Bay, Sheboygan, and Milwaukee.

The final visit this past summer, to Wausau, drew more than 170 attendees. The city’s mayor, Katie Rosenberg, attended decked out in red from head to toe. Alumni and friends played lawn games, enjoyed free Babcock Hall ice cream served from a vintage truck, and celebrated all things Badger.

The celebration was preceded by events that marked the impact the university has had on the state. A gathering at DuBay Cranberry Company in Junction City highlighted how UW–Madison is harnessing science to help cranberry growers set harvest records by using hybrids and creating new varieties of cranberries. An event in Rib Mountain showcased Marathon County’s partnership with UniverCity Alliance, which encourages communities to take advantage of university expertise. And in Schofield, the Greenheck Group, a supplier of ventilation and air conditioning equipment, sponsored a panel discussion focusing on its partnership with the UW’s E-Business Consortium.

The community visits will resume next summer with stops in Waukesha, Appleton, Racine/Kenosha, La Crosse, the Chippewa Valley, and Janesville/Beloit.

Sarah Schutt, chief alumni officer and executive director of the Wisconsin Alumni Association, reflected on the UW’s community connections, past and present. “It’s amazing to think how, over the course of the last 175 years, the research in so many fields — from agriculture to the arts — has extended the reach of UW–Madison for positive impacts across this great state.”

As of press time, UW–Madison had also planned a “By the Light of the Moon” gala at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery for October 27 to celebrate “175 luminous years of the University of Wisconsin.” In another nod to the milestone, Homecoming events adopted a special 175th focus (see the Fall 2023 On Wisconsin On Alumni news).

For more on the university’s 175th anniversary, see And don’t miss the video near the bottom of the page featuring UW–Madison’s own André De Shields ’70 as narrator.

Published in the Winter 2023 issue


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