Skip Navigation

Meet a Badger: Mike Sargent ’64

Mike Sargent ’64

What did you major in at UW–Madison?
I started UW classes at the Extension Center in Green Bay as a part-time student to be able to live at home and work. After two years, I transferred to Madison, planning to major in commerce and economics. After a few semesters, I took my first geology course and decided that would be a much better career choice. Switching majors took me a little longer, but in 1964 I received as BS with a double major in economics and geology. After moving to Green Bay between my junior and senior years in high school, I adopted it as my home town after stays in Madison, Wisconsin Rapids, Peoria, and South Bend, Indiana along the way.

What are some of your favorite memories of your time at UW–Madison?
Just a few of the many fond memories of my years in Madison include the many great professors I worked with and learned from, particularly in the Department of Geology. I was a bit of an "outdoor Joe" and affiliated with the Hoofer’s Bow-Hunting Club, went on many interesting geology field trips, geology field camp in southern Montana, and an occasional ski outing, which developed into many years of wonderful skiing experiences in later life. In sports, there were also a few highlights with the football team making it to the Rose Bowl in 1963 and beating the OSU basketball team when it was the top-ranked team in the country. Go, Badgers!!!

Describe your career after graduation.
My career path changed focus a few times along the way but was always on geology. I worked for two different mining companies in the business of prospecting for metallic ores and as a member of a team doing the pre-mining development of an iron ore deposit in Northern Quebec. I came to Champaign-Urbana to do graduate studies in geology at the University of Illinois and never really left east-central Illinois. In 1971 I was hired by the Illinois State Geological Survey where I worked to map and understand the ancient sedimentary strata of our state. In 1995 I had the opportunity to return to Wisconsin as a seasonal resident with the purchase of a cottage near Lake Tomahawk within the Northern Highland State Forrest.

Why do you enjoy participating in the WAA: HOI Chapter?
I got involved with the WAA: Champaign-Urbana Chapter about 20 years ago just because I wanted to meet other alumni in this area. When that club dwindled to less than critical mass, we were invited to become part of the WAA: HOI Chapter, principally through Tony Rein knowing the president of that group. While we have only a few members in the Champaign-Urbana area, we take pleasure in hosting the Badger Huddles when the Badgers come to play the Illini. We also like to participate in the summer picnic to meet and send off the scholarship recipients before they head off to Madison.