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 Abe,” 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, “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.

Start Flamingling

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Wisconsin fans


What is the significance of the term varsity in so many UW songs? Are we singing to the sports teams or to the university itself?

See Abe's Answer >
Black and white photo of Memorial Library study cages.

Flashback Friday Feedback: Memorial Library Cages

Memorial Library Study Cages, 1965 The Memorial Library study cages — or “carrels,” as they are officially called — have been around since the library opened in 1953. But Badgers seem to either love them … or be completely freaked out by them. What’s your take? Leave your story below! Photo courtesy of UW Archives, S07436 “Love […]

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