Skip to main content

Update | Fall/Winter 2021

Dean Sambamurthy Reflects on the Wisconsin Spirit

Photography by Paul L. Newby II

Dean Sambamurthy talking with alumni
Dean Sambamurthy greets Business Badgers who returned to Grainger Hall for the traditional Homecoming Bash in October.

Two years into my role as dean, I am feeling like a true Wisconsinite. I can pronounce Oconomowoc with ease, I eat cheese curds on the regular, and a growing percentage of my closet is red.

It also helps that I’ve been able to experience many famed Wisconsin events after months of delay due to the pandemic.

In September, I gathered with 2020 graduates who returned to Camp Randall for a belated commencement celebration. The following weekend, I attended the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association’s biennial conference and reunion in Madison, the Wisconsin-Notre Dame football game at Soldier Field, and the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. And in October, I joined hundreds of Business Badger alumni for UW–Madison’s Homecoming—a true salute to being together again.

These events have been fun, and more importantly, they mark our ability to safely return to in-person activities. Almost all of WSB’s classes are in person again this semester, as are the many other academic and extracurricular activities that make our campus thrive.

There’s a lot to be excited about, including the 11 new faculty members who have joined us this year. I invite you to read about how they are energizing our research environment and bringing new ideas into the classroom. These scholars will play an important role in preparing our students to become the type of leader our alumni are known for—leaders who are trusted, innovative, and resilient like Audible CFO Cynthia Chu, community builder Tyler Leeper, and insurtech entrepreneur Kyle Nakatsuji.

When I read the stories of these alumni, I see the true embodiment of the Wisconsin spirit. It’s alive and well in the entire Business Badger community, and it tops the list of what makes me proud to be a Wisconsinite.


Vallabh “Samba” Sambamurthy

Albert O. Nicholas Dean

Wisconsin School of Business