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Alumni in Action

UW at 175: WSB Alums Share Their Most Impactful Memories and Experiences

By Chris Malina

May 7, 2024

UW-Madison 175 logo.

A UW–Madison education is about much more than just a degree…

It’s about making a difference and living the Wisconsin Idea to the fullest. The principle that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom has been UW–Madison’s cornerstone for 175 years, and will continue to define what it means to be Badger for years and decades to come.

As the curtain closes on another academic year, and a new class of graduates heads out into the world, three Business Badgers share their most impactful experiences from their time on campus—and beyond.

Humbled and Inspired

“I had the chance to represent WSB during our evening MBA international trip to Johannesburg, South Africa. Meeting and engaging with people in the Soweto neighborhood was one of the most humbling and inspiring moments of my life. I often reflect back—particularly as we met with the entrepreneurs who were building schools in that neighborhood—and think about all the privileges we’re afforded here and how we have a chance to make a difference every day through our actions.”

—Tom Lea (MBA ’19)

Animation of a lightbulb.

A Taste of Success

“My favorite memories were with Mu Kappa Tau (MKT), the professional honorary marketing society. We worked with local businesses on different marketing efforts like signage and restaurant menu descriptions. I still tell stories about my first taste of Ethiopian food—one of my favorites today. After enjoying a meal with fellow MKT members at a restaurant we were working with, we examined their menu and debated almost every word in the meal descriptions until we finalized our recommendations. I know the things we suggested didn’t make or break anything for this amazing restaurant, but two decades later, it’s still open in a great new location and the food continues to be top notch. I always get chills when I drive by.”

—Kelly Mulder (BBA ’03)

Building Something New

“My favorite memory from my time at UW–Madison was walking into the brand-new Grainger Hall after being in the Commerce building. The Class of 1994 took full advantage of the technology, the alumni visits to the new building, and of course, the education we received. We started so many organizations: Toastmasters, Student Ambassadors, and the Women in Business Council. It was truly a special time to be at UW!”

—Toni Midderhoff Miller (MBA ’94)

This story is part 5 and the final installment of our alumni memories series. You can read more from WSB alums, including their favorite football moments, academic memories, Badger love stories, and silly experiences.

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