WAA Introduces Ice Cream, Street Signs to Mark 150th

WAA 150th birthday party

Mad Grad Medley ice cream inventor Robert Bell is seen with WAA President Paula Bonner, Bucky and Chancellor Martin at WAA's 150th birthday party. Photo by Andy Manis.

Dodging the raindrops on June 23, alumni and friends helped the Wisconsin Alumni Association celebrate with a 150th birthday party on Alumni Pier. WAA introduced the new Mad Grad Medley ice cream from Babcock Dairy and unveiled new street signs that will be installed across campus.

WAA provided a rundown of events:

Bucky Badger and football great Ron Dayne delivered the first tastes of Mad Grad Medley– a Door County cherry-infused vanilla ice cream whipped with chocolate chips and topped with chocolate flakes – to the party just east of the Memorial Union Terrace.

To mark WAA’s founding in 1861, partygoers enjoyed a performance by a Civil War era-themed band as they enjoyed the new flavor.

“Today is a quintessential UW moment as we celebrate our birthday with a new signature Babcock ice-cream flavor, created by and for Badgers,” said Paula Bonner MS’78, WAA’s president and CEO. “Mad Grad Medley is one way alumni can celebrate WAA’s century-and-a-half of service, no matter where they are.”

Mad Grad Medley includes ingredients produced across Wisconsin: milk and cream processed by Babcock Hall Dairy, cherries from Seaquist Orchards in Door County and dark chocolate from the Masterson Company in Milwaukee.

WAA called on alumni across the world to help concoct a recipe for the commemorative ice cream. Alumni submitted more than 500 recipe ideas and cast 3,000 votes to choose the flavor from the top five selections. WAA member Robert Bell ’64, JD’67 of Fort Atkinson submitted the winning flavor.

“These ingredients are a result of my Wisconsin heritage,” said Bell, inspired by Swiss chocolate makers and summers at a resort on Lake Ripley. “They made their own ice cream from milk and semisweet chocolate, and their own cherry recipes with Bing and Door County cherries.”

Although the flavor was unveiled on campus, alumni can indulge in Mad Grad Medley across the country. The special flavor will be at WAA birthday celebrations hosted by alumni chapters this summer and fall.

Mad Grad Medley can be purchased online and can be shipped worldwide. Proceeds from sales will benefit WAA programming for alumni and students.

Mad Grad Medley will be the featured flavor at locations on campus through Homecoming and will be served at WAA’s Red Tie Gala in October.

New street signs coming

Also unveiled at the party were new street signs that WAA is presenting to UW-Madison to mark key intersections near academic buildings, laboratories and libraries on campus. The new signs will be white with black lettering and borders and feature the university crest.

“The new street signs throughout the UW-Madison campus symbolize our commitment to this great place,” Bonner said.

Installation of the signs has begun. The first sign, at the intersection of Babcock Drive and Linden Drive, is in part to honor Babcock Dairy Store for its role in creating Mad Grad Medley.

WAA continues to work with the city of Madison toward installing signs in campus areas south of University Avenue and east of Park Street.

“We hope our birthday gift to the university not only highlights alumni appreciation of this beautiful campus, but also reminds everyone of what it means to be a Badger,” Bonner said.