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: 441,731
  • Addressable alumni: 392,896 (89 percent)
  • Alumni living internationally: 14,307 (3 percent)
  • Alumni in Wisconsin: 164,473 (37 percent)
  • Top U.S. cities by alumni populations:
    • Madison: 39,066
    • Chicago: 9,016
    • Twin Cities: 10,704
    • Milwaukee: 10,385
    • New York: 3,968
    • San Francisco: 2,010
    • Washington, DC: 2,118
    • Los Angeles: 1,764
    • TOTAL: 64,646
  • Twenty Nobel Prizes and 40 Pulitzer Prizes have been awarded to UW alumni or faculty
  • More than 800 UW–Madison alumni serve as CEOs, and more than 15,000 hold an executive management position
  • With 3,329 grads having served since 1961, UW–Madison is the number two all-time producer of Peace Corps volunteers (and number one on 2018)
  • 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 2017: 43,820
    • Undergraduate: 29,931
    • Graduate, special, and professional: 13,889
  • 2017–18 yearly undergraduate tuition and fees:
    • In-state: $10,534
    • Out-of-state: $34,783
  • 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 called “the Nick” in honor of the lead gift made in honor of Albert “Ab” Nicholas ’52, MBA’55 by his family. The new Nicholas Recreation Center is expected to open in 2019.
    • Construction began in 2017 to renovate and expand Witte Hall. Students from the civil and environmental senior capstone course proposed linking two existing Witte towers and submitted the winning design. Occupancy is expected in fall 2019.
    • Hamel Music Center: Construction began in February 2017 for this new music-performance facility on the corner of Lake Street and University Avenue. It will include a 670-seat concert hall, a recital hall, rehearsal space, an ample lobby, and state-of-the-art technologies. Completion is expected in 2019.

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 university worked with more than 160 companies, organizations, and individuals and made some 500 connections to campus resources and experts in 2017.

Promoting volunteerism: Through the Morgridge Center for Public Service, more than 4,090 students have logged more than 102,250 hours of service at food pantries, schools, programs for the elderly, and more.

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.