Bascom Hill Society Members Experience the Experience at 2011 Fall Event

The theme of the 2011 Bascom Hill Society (BHS) Fall Event was “Experience the Experience—Just Come Along with Us” and nearly 400 BHS members arrived on campus to do just that. They celebrated beloved traditions and saw new ones in the making during a jam-packed weekend.

The first stop on Friday was a tour of the new Union South. BHS members mingled with students prior to the dinner in Varsity Hall, now the largest venue on campus for formal events.

The dinner program, emceed by Richard Antoine (’69 BS EGR), vice chair, UW Foundation Board of Directors and chair of the Bascom Hill Society, featured a welcome and UW Foundation update by Mike Knetter, president of the UW Foundation. Interim Chancellor David Ward (’62 MS L&S, ’63 PhD L&S) described the current period of challenge and change in the University and in the state of Wisconsin.

Joining BHS members for dinner were about 30 current Great People Scholars. Thanks to gifts from alumni and friends more than 500 Great People scholars are currently pursuing their educational dreams.

Isha Shrestha,
2011 BHS Scholarship recipient

A tradition at the BHS Fall Event dinner is the presentation of the BHS Scholarship. The scholarship was established to help a promising junior or senior complete his or her studies. It is one of the largest scholarships currently offered and provides tuition, room and board, and books, which amounts to nearly $25,000.

The audience got a glimpse into campus life today during the after-dinner program as undergraduate Haley Kosup-Kennedy and graduate student Ian Olson (’10 BS EGR) took guests into their classes, social activities, research lab and personal lives.

One of the University’s three core missions is teaching, so it only seemed appropriate to sit in on a lecture by a top teacher. Professor Pupa Gilbert, department of physics, College of Letters & Science, is an internationally known researcher. She developed two new therapies for glioblastoma, the most lethal brain cancer, and most recently her research has focused on biomineralization. A native of Rome, Italy, Gilbert was knighted by the President of Italy for her cancer therapies. In addition to many other awards and prizes, at UW-Madison she has received the Romnes (2002), Vilas (2006) and Hamel (2008) awards and a Distinguished Teaching Award in 2011.

As all alumni know, there is life after graduation, but the Badger connection remains strong. Former Badger football great and Green Bay Packer Mark Tauscher (’99 BA L&S, ’03 MS EDU) spoke about coming to the University from a small town in Wisconsin and getting the opportunity to compete both on the athletic field and in the classroom. Both experiences prepared him for a life in professional football and after.

Tauscher invited all of the Great People Scholars to join him on the stage and lead the audience in the singing of “Varsity.”

The next day, in ideal football weather (as planned), BHS members attended the tailgate at Union South followed by a Badger victory over Purdue in Camp Randall.

Only two weeks prior to the Fall Event, the magnificent new addition to the Chazen Museum of Art opened to the public. BHS members received a special invitation to a private brunch and talk on Sunday with the museum’s director, Russell Panczenko, followed by guided tours of what has, in a short time, become a nationally recognized museum and a favorite Madison destination.

A weekend of traditions and surprises, athletics and art, friendship and memories ended with many BHS members planning to return for the 2012 Fall Event, October 5-6.

Enjoy these videos from the 2011 Fall Event

Haley Kosup-Kennedy invited BHS members and guests to join her on typical day of classes and rehearsals. The senior theater major shared her undergraduate experience and her future plans. She is confident her time as a UW-Madison student has prepared her for a career and for life.

For Ian Olson, the graduate experience is centered in the Pupa Gilbert physics lab in Chamberlin Hall. Under the direction of Professor Gilbert, Olson conducts experiments in biomineralization.

Without the pressure of a pending exam, BHS members and guests were able to sit back and enjoy a physics lecture by Professor Pupa Gilbert. This internationally recognized researcher and teacher explored the magic of color and the mysteries of marine life. It was clear to all why Professor Gilbert earned a teaching excellence award.