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Alumni College 2018: Broaden Your Horizons

May 31 - June 3
Red Crown Lodge, 3852 Highway 51 N., Arbor Vitae, WI

This year’s Alumni College retreat presents you with the chance to join fellow alumni and friends in diversifying your knowledge by learning from a broad team of UW faculty members and experts. Opportunities await to take field trips and attend presentations about how to create a life of significance, how the UW is addressing society’s ever-growing needs for energy, and much more! Choose from the multiple website tabs below to learn more how to broaden your horizons at this weekend getaway in the beautiful Wisconsin Northwoods.

Attendee Information

What can I expect?

In addition to staying in a resort-like location, this exclusive weekend getaway includes all meals, presentations by UW faculty, relaxation opportunities, and more. Guests will meet UW faculty at the start of the weekend through lightning talks, during which each speaker will provide a brief introduction of themselves. In addition, there will be an optional trip to Minocqua for a chance to shop and visit both the Northern Waters Distillery and Minocqua Brewing Company, as well as an opportunity to attend a John Dillinger Historical Northwoods Tour. For more information on each day’s activities, please see the full schedule below.

Cost per person

$995 WAA members (Includes meals and lodging for three nights)
$1050 Nonmembers (Includes meals and lodging for three nights)
$650 Commuters (Includes meals. Does not include lodging)


Full Schedule

Thursday, May 31

3–5 p.m. Arrival and check-in at Red Crown Lodge
5 p.m. Welcome reception and program overview
6 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Campfire and s’mores (optional)

Friday, June 1

7 a.m. Breakfast begins
8–9 a.m. Guided morning yoga (optional)
9:30 a.m. Lightning talks by UW faculty
10:30 a.m. “Life on Purpose: Three Questions Only You Can Answer” by Christine Whelan
12 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. “Plate Tectonics: Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and the Hazards They Present” by Harold Tobin
3–4:30 p.m. Trip to Minocqua for shopping and opportunities to visit the Northern Waters Distillery and Minocqua Brewing Company (optional)
5–6 p.m. Pontoon rides (optional)
6:30 p.m. Dinner

Saturday, June 2

7 a.m. Breakfast begins
9 a.m. “Science and Fake News” by Dominique Brossard
10:30 a.m. “Energizing the Wisconsin Idea” by Tim Donohue
12–1 p.m. Lunch
11:45–3:30 p.m. John Dillinger Historical Northwoods Tour (optional)
4 p.m. Reception
6 p.m. Dinner

Sunday, June 3

9 a.m. Brunch begins
11:30 a.m. Program closes

Program Information

It’s time to learn like a Badger again! This program offers once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities you don’t want to miss. Read on for more information about each speaker, the speech topics, and field trips.

Field Trips

Enjoy a trip into Minocqua, where you can shop, visit the Northern Waters Distillery and the Minocqua Brewing Company, and more!

Venture out with the John Dillinger Historical Northwoods Tour — led by Kay Krans, a history teacher and local historian — to see what Dillinger and his gang were really like. Take in the history of the Northwoods region while touring the Dillinger sites with fellow Badgers.


Christine Whelan

“Life on Purpose: Three Questions Only You Can Answer”

Clinical Professor, Department of Consumer Science, School of Human Ecology; Director, MORE: the Money, Relationships & Equality Initiative, School of Human Ecology

In partnership with the Center for Financial Security, Whelan teaches and researches about gender, self-improvement, relationship formation, and purpose throughout the lifespan. She also researches and writes about changing dating and marriage patterns in the United States. Whelan has authored several books, academic articles, and op-eds.

In her talk, she will walk through creating a purpose statement and a life of significance in which you honor your values and meet your goals. It is based on Whelan’s research and her recent book, The Big Picture: A Guide to Finding Your Purpose in Life.

Harold Tobin

“Plate Tectonics: Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and the Hazards They Present”

Professor, Department of Geosciences, College of Letters & Science

Tobin’s research focuses on the internal properties of active faults at the Earth’s plate boundaries, and it combines direct sampling of faults with 3-D seismic reflection imaging of the fault architecture and properties. He is co–chief project scientist of the Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment — a project to drill into and place instruments in the subduction zone plate boundary faults off the coast of Japan — and is involved in the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth project. Tobin has earned several accolades, including being named Joint Oceanographic Institutions Distinguished Lecturer.

He will discuss his research program, which studies plate tectonics and the causes of earthquakes and tsunamis.

Dominique Brossard

“Science and Fake News”

Professor and Chair, Department of Life Sciences Communication, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Affiliate, Robert and Jean Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies, UW Center for Global Studies, and Morgridge Institute for Research

Brossard‘s teaching responsibilities include courses in strategic-communication theory and research, with a focus on science and risk communication. Her research agenda at the UW’s Science, Media and the Public research group — which she codirects — focuses on the intersections among science, media, and policy.

Brossard’s talk will provide a look at the risks of reporting false findings and news related to science, while also focusing on public opinion and climate change.

Timothy Donohue

UW Foundation Chairman Fetzer-Bascom Professor, Department of Bacteriology, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Interim Director, Wisconsin Energy Institute

Donohue’s lab analyzes pathways and networks that microbes use to grow, generate biomass, or produce alternative fuels from sunlight or other renewable energy sources. His research group is studying metabolic and regulatory pathways of the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Donohue has earned a number of awards, including the Promega Biotechnology Research Award, given recently by the American Academy of Microbiology.

In his talk, Donohue will discuss how UW–Madison is addressing society’s growing needs for energy and explain the role of the Wisconsin Energy Institute in making cross-campus breakthroughs that are necessary to develop new energy systems.

Red Crown Lodge

Red Crown Lodge is a corporate retreat in Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin, that was established in 1922 by Standard Oil. Sited on Trout Lake in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin, the lodge has served as a meeting facility for more than 80 years. It offers spacious guest rooms and opportunities for body-and-mind enrichment.

Questions? Contact Stephanie Wallace ’05 at or 608-308-5528.

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