In celebration of the impact that UW–Madison has made over the last 175 years of partnership with communities in Wisconsin, the university has organized an exciting state tour. The scheduled stops for 2023 have wrapped up and included Green Bay, Sheboygan, Milwaukee, and Wausau. These events offered family-friendly activities, informational presentations, music, and Babcock ice cream, of course.
More than 300 Badger alumni and friends assembled at the Badger State Brewery in Green Bay. The day began at the Edison Middle School where student ambassadors from the UW visited the seventh graders to help them explore opportunities in higher education in an enjoyable and collaborative way. Tribal leaders from the Menominee Nation received an update regarding ongoing efforts around food autonomy, language conservation, and leadership advancement. An honorary tree was planted in a community garden on Green Bay’s east side, and the success of the Wisconsin Sea Grant — a program focusing on crucial Great Lakes issues like clean water — was celebrated on the waterfront with Green Bay mayor, Eric Genrich.
While in Sheboygan, visitors enjoyed a brat fry at Johnsonville Foods. The UW’s partnership with Johnsonville goes back more than three decades and has provided generous donor support for the new Meat Science and Animal Biologics Discovery Building. Following the brat fry, the celebration continued at Kohler, which has partnered with the university since 1919 when Walter Kohler Sr. served as president of the UW’s Board of Regents and also championed the construction of the Memorial Union.
In Milwaukee, guests gathered at the Harley-Davidson Museum where they enjoyed Babcock ice cream and heard from UW professors and experts on a variety of topics like the effects of extreme heat on humans as climate change progresses. The day concluded with guest of honor, Allan “Bud” Selig ’56, who is responsible for bringing Major League Baseball back to Milwaukee.
The final stop on the 2023 tour took place in Wausau where a community-wide event was held at the UW Center for Civic Engagement. The UW highlighted the DuBay Cranberry Company in Junction City where the university is helping cranberry farmers set harvest records by using hybrids to create new varieties of cranberries. A partnership with UniverCity Alliance is helping the area of Rib Mountain become a safer and more sustainable place to live. And in Schofield, the Greenheck Group provided a panel to discuss the partnership between the leading supplier of air conditioning equipment around the world and the University of Wisconsin’s E-Business Consortium.
“It’s amazing to think how, over the course of the last 175 years, the research and innovation in science and agriculture and medicine and education and dance and the arts has spread to impact people across this great state,” shares Sarah Schutt, chief alumni officer and executive director of the Wisconsin Alumni Association.
More state tour stops are in the works for summer 2024 and will include Appleton, Beloit, Eau Claire, Kenosha, La Crosse, and Waukesha. For more information and to register for the future celebrations, please visit 175.wisc.edu.