The Flamingle

The Flamingle

What the flock is the Flamingle?

The Flamingle is a weekly newsletter created just for UW–Madison alumni. It’s quick, fun, and easy to read, making it the best way to reconnect you to campus. Each Friday, we curate and share a handful of the week’s top stories about campus and the surrounding community — from the quirky to the academic and everything in between. You’ll also get the latest installment of our column “Ask Flamingle HQ,” which takes a look into campus quirks, traditions, and history. In short, the Flamingle lets you revel in everything you love about the UW.

So, why the Flamingle? Excellent question! On the morning of September 4, 1979, students trudging up Bascom Hill to their morning classes wiped the sleep from their eyes to see the entire hill turned pink. The Pail & Shovel Party, led by legendary jokesters James Mallon ’79 and Leon Varjian x’83, “planted” 1,008 plastic pink flamingos on the Bascom lawn as a victory stunt after winning the student government elections. The flamingo stunt did more than give UW–Madison a reputation of “inspired goofiness.” It also solidified the bird as a campus and Madison icon: in 2009, the plastic pink flamingo became the official city bird.

Here at the Wisconsin Alumni Association® (WAA), we believe in helping all alumni stay tapped into the inspired goofiness of UW–Madison. So come on. Flamingle with us.

Have a question, comment, or anything else you’d like to share with Flamingle HQ? Send us a message!

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Jacob Peterson, a junior studying geography, uses his laptop computer while working amid the quiet aisles of the north stacks at Memorial Library at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Sept. 30, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Miller / UW-Madison)

Memorial Library Story

I heard that when Memorial Library was constructed, the intention was to have another story added at a future date. But the original plans forgot to take into consideration the weight of all the books, so the expansion upward couldn't be done. Any truth to this?

See Abe's Answer >