At the University of Wisconsin Foundation, we’re often asked how staff can stay in touch with so many alumni and friends. One way we stay connected is by bringing excellent faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Madison to them—even if they are 1,200 miles south of Madison. UW Foundation directors of development Jon Sorenson and Russell Betts collaborated to make the most of 48 hours in Florida this month.
The festivities started on Wednesday, February 9, in Naples, Florida, with something of a reunion concert by School of Music Director and Professor of Music Theory John Schaffer and his students. They were received by a sold-out crowd in Naples in 2010, and alumni hosts Richard and Jean McKenzie convinced Sorenson and Schaffer to return again this winter. Schaffer updated the concert-goers on progress toward a new performance and learning space for the School of Music in Madison. He then performed with a small group of students.
Also, on Wednesday, February 9, UW-Madison alumni and friends gathered in Orlando, Florida, where Betts worked with alumni Andy and Barbara McEachron to host a Bascom Hill Society Faculty Showcase with UW-Madison Director of the Center for Journalism Ethics Stephen J.A. Ward. The dinner program drew an intimate but lively group at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando. Professor Ward’s presentation “The Future of Journalism: Partisan or Impartial?” challenged guests and received great reviews.
Thursday, February 10, found Professor Schaffer and his students on tour one last evening at the Phillips Point Club by The Breakers in West Palm Beach. This Bascom Hill Society Faculty Showcase featured conversation with Schaffer, followed by another outstanding performance.
Faculty and students returned to UW-Madison, and Sorenson and Betts continued their journeys to see other alumni and friends. Farewell, Florida!