About WAA

Since 1861, the Wisconsin Alumni Association has been enriching the lives of UW alumni. It connects old friends through the alumni directory, makes new memories on alumni tours, expands horizons at lifelong learning events, and much more.

Alumni Facts

  • Living alumni: 446,810
  • Addressable alumni: 413,423 (92 percent)
  • Alumni living internationally: 13,600 (3 percent)
  • Alumni in Wisconsin: 171,103 (38 percent)
  • Top U.S. cities by alumni populations:
    • Madison: 40,352
    • Milwaukee: 10,964
    • Twin Cities: 9,835
    • Chicago: 9,121
    • New York: 3,983
    • Verona, WI: 3,598
    • Fitchburg, WI: 3,190
    • Sun Prairie, WI: 2,918
    • Green Bay, WI: 2,820
    • TOTAL: 86,781
  • Twenty Nobel Prizes and 41 Pulitzer Prizes have been awarded to UW alumni or faculty
  • 843 UW–Madison alumni serve as CEOs, and more than 15,000 hold an executive management position
  • For the second year in a row, UW–Madison is the number one producer of Peace Corps volunteers. Since 1961, 3,279 graduates have served in the Corps, making the university the number two all-time producer of Peace Corps volunteers.
  • Browse through a list of many of UW–Madison’s most notable alumni

WAA Serving Your Needs

University of Wisconsin

  • Founded in 1848
  • Total enrollment in fall 2018: 44,411
    • Undergraduate: 30,360
    • Graduate, special, and professional: 14,051
  • 2018–19 yearly undergraduate tuition and fees:
    • In-state: $10,556
    • Out-of-state: $36,805
  • Recent and current building projects:
    • In 2017, the university closed the Southeast Recreational Facility (the SERF) in order to replace it with a larger structure to be named the Nicholas Recreation Center (the “Nick”) in honor of the lead gift made named in memory of Albert “Ab” Nicholas ’52, MBA’55 by his family. The Nick is expected to open in January 2020.
    • The new Tong Family Marina opened in summer 2019, and the renovated and expanded Witte Hall opened for the fall 2019 semester. The Meat Science & Animal Biologics Discovery Center is scheduled to open in 2020.
    • The Hamel Music Center — a new music-performance facility on the corner of Lake Street and University Avenue — includes a 670-seat concert hall, a recital hall, rehearsal space, an ample lobby, and state-of-the-art technologies. The grand opening is scheduled for October 2019.
    • Finally, a new tower is under construction for the Daniels Chemistry Building on University Avenue to expand and modernize the existing space.

The Wisconsin Idea

First articulated by UW president Charles Van Hise in 1905, the Wisconsin Idea is the principle that the boundaries and influence of the university should extend to the boundaries of the state of Wisconsin and beyond.

The Wisconsin Idea Today

The Wisconsin Idea Seminar is a five-day, immersive tour of Wisconsin for UW–Madison faculty and academic staff to engage with Wisconsinites, build relationships, learn from each other, and network across disciplines.

Building Wisconsin’s economy: The Office of Business Engagement is fostering partnerships with more than 200 companies across the state, working to identify business solutions including talent acquisition, research, products, and professional development opportunities.

Promoting volunteerism: Through the Morgridge Center for Public Service, some 4,329 students in the past year were enrolled in community-based learning courses that contributed more than 108,225 hours of community service.

Providing continuing education: The Division of Continuing Studies offers some 600 noncredit courses and conferences each year for more than 14,000 lifelong learners, as well as online degrees, certificate programs, and free career counseling for thousands more.
Visit wisconsinidea.wisc.edu to see the Wisconsin Idea at work.

UW–Madison Timeline

1849 – UW holds first class
1861 – Wisconsin Alumni Association founded
1899 – First alumni magazine published
1907 – Wisconsin Union founded
1917 – WHA Radio begins broadcasting
1924 – First Founders’ Day celebration
1939 – Wisconsin Union Theater opens
1945 – Memorial Library opens
1959 – First space-based weather camera
1968 – First bone-marrow transplant
1973 – Nation’s only on-campus blood-donation center created
1975 – Development of Wisconsin Solution, used in transplant surgery
1998 – First cultivation of embryonic stem cells in a lab
1999 – UW–Madison celebrates 150th anniversary
2002 – Students use internet to register for classes
2011 – WAA’s 150th anniversary
2015 – UW Foundation and UW–Madison launch All Ways Forward, the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history, with a goal of $3.2 billion by 2020
2017 – Alumni Park opens. The park features museum-quality exhibits, a visitor center (One Alumni Place), lakefront access, and the Goodspeed Family Pier.

The Wisconsin Alumni Association encourages diversity, inclusivity, nondiscrimination, and participation by all alumni, students, and friends in its activities.