Kohler, who appeared on his balcony to congratulate the team and lead the crowd in a chorus of "Varsity."
A small campus committee managed travel arrangements and ticket distribution. Tickets were offered first to UW students, then faculty and staff, followed by Alumni Association members and "W club men," to "keep the tickets within the 'Wisconsin family.'" There were, of course, some hiccups along the way: According to the December 1952 issue of Wisconsin alumnus,
"At least one UW grad who had been crossed off the living list (erroneously) a decade ago, made haste to advise he was living in California — and wanted tickets to the Rose Bowl."
One group that almost didn't make it to the big game was the UW Marching Band. When cost estimates rolled in at around $50,000, the chances of the band traveling seemed slim. But UW alumni across the country opened their hearts — and wallets — and raised the money needed to send their beloved band to the bowl. Read more about the wildly successful "Bucks for the Band" campaign in our Nostalgia Archives at uwalumni.com/150.
Around 3,000 alumni, students and fans left home just after Christmas on trains reserved for the two-day trip to California. It was later said there were more people from Wisconsin in town for the game than from any other area whose Big Ten school had played in the Rose Bowl in the past.