Encouraging Alumni to Support the UW

Chapters play an increasingly significant role in supporting UW-Madison’s priorities and initiatives. In-state chapters provide a vital network for grassroots legislative advocacy. Chapters nationwide assist WAA and UW Athletics with special events, media relations, and community support for Badger athletic events hosted by the UW, Big Ten Conference, and NCAA. And, alumni chapters are a key resource for UW Foundation development staff to identify and engage potential donors and university supporters. Overall, WAA chapters:

  • Encourage alumni to support the UW with time, talent, and treasure.
  • Spread the message of the UW to everyone in your community.
  • Participate in the UW Foundation’s Annual Campaign.
  • Capture and translate the alumni voice back to the UW and WAA.

Founders’ Day

Founders’ Day is the biggest event of the year for any chapter. These celebrations commemorate the first class held at the University of Wisconsin on February 5, 1849. These events take UW faculty experts out to alumni — in true Wisconsin Idea fashion — to highlight the world-class education and cutting-edge research that the UW is known for. Founders’ Days provide alumni with the opportunity to better understand the continuing academic excellence of the university and to feel connected and proud of how it impacts communities around the world. Alumni also attend the event as an opportunity to connect with other Badgers, and to praise and recognize fellow alumni who have made a significant impact on their community by awarding the Badger of the Year Award.

Try these suggestions for planning and hosting a successful Founders’ Day celebration:

  • Don’t plan alone: enlist as many volunteers as you can.
  • Select a speaker who matches the interests of your chapter members.
  • Consider selecting a local speaker who relates to your Badger of the Year Award winner for a themed event.
  • Submit your Founders’ Day celebration information to WAA in a timely manner.

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The chapter scholarship program offers UW-Madison alumni an easy way to give back to their alma mater. Since 1967, chapters have awarded more than $10 million in scholarships to UW students. The deadlines for submitting scholarship materials are July 1 and December 1.

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