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Alumni in Action

UW at 175: WSB Alums Share Memories of the Lighter Side of Student Life

By Chris Malina

March 29, 2024

UW-Madison 175 logo.

Let’s face it: UW–Madison has a bit of a goofy side…

Perhaps it’s the inevitable result of combining an endlessly creative student body with rigorous exams and long winters. Whatever the case may be, Badgers have always excelled at finding ways to blow off a little steam—and after 175 years, they’ve gotten really, really good at it.

To celebrate April Fools’ Day, and UW–Madison’s big anniversary, five Business Badgers reflect on the lighter side of the student experience, from jokes and gags to participating in silly (but important!) rituals with friends and classmates.

Shouting Out Loud

“We came in second place in the ‘Yell Like Hell’ competition between the dorms (me!) and the fraternities and sororities. This was Fall 1982 and the theme was ‘Bucky Blasts Off.’ Our routine was taken from the movie “Stripes.” It was so much fun for a new freshman.”

—Judy Heffron (BBA ’86)

Animation of Bucky Badger winking.

Cabin Fever

“I remember sledding down Bascom Hill using cafeteria trays. And I was on campus when they filmed the movie Back to School with Rodney Dangerfield!”

—Jamie Zorn (BBA ’86)

In a Bind

“My good friend and I each went to get our thesis bound. At the binding store, we were shown the various colors and told the most common choices were black or dark blue. We then saw bright yellow was an option—which we chose knowing that ours would always stand out in the grad office bookcase. To this day, they still do!”

—Bryan Rives (MA ’89)

Animation of a flamingo.

What Will They Do Next?

“I loved all the surprises from the Pail and Shovel Party, like the Statue of Liberty on Lake Mendota and the pink flamingos on Bascom Hill!”

—Michael Manning (BBA ’80)

Rock Star Parking

“I assume any statute of limitations has expired. During my time at WSB, I purchased a sports car that sat pretty low—low enough that I discovered it would actually go under the parking barrier to get to Grainger Hall’s lower level of parking, opening up many more parking possibilities.”

—John Fischer (BBA ’97)

This story is part 4 in our ongoing alumni memories series. You can read more from WSB alums, including their favorite football moments, academic memories, Badger love stories, and impactful experiences.

You can also join the anniversary celebration on UW–Madison’s 175th anniversary website, and by using #UW175 on social media.