Nostalgia and campus memories combined with new Badger stories and visions of the future as alumni from the Class of 1965 celebrated their 50-year reunion October 1–4, 2015.
More than 200 alumni converged on campus to enjoy their reunion weekend, hosted by the Wisconsin Alumni Association. When they arrived, classmates got a firsthand look at what their class gift going to support: Alumni Park — in particular a Bucky Badger statue that will be featured prominently in the park — and the new Hamel Music Center. One of the most exciting developments regarding this year’s class gift was the $100,000 matching-gift challenge from fellow 1965 graduate Edward Rogan II.
“The UW’s College of Letters and Science molded me into thinking like a Renaissance man,” said Rogan. And his professors, he recalls, taught him how to think, not what to think. “I am so grateful for that.” It’s because of that gratitude and Rogan’s dedication to UW-Madison over the years (he’s also a member of the University of Wisconsin Foundation’s Bascom Hill Society and a member of the Chazen Museum of Art Council) that he wanted to rally fellow classmates by boosting his support of the class gift.
Along with celebrating the legacy they’ll leave with their class gift, the ’65 graduates engaged with UW faculty during a day of learning that included topics on How Music Changed through the 60s, Addressing the Next Century’s Challenges Today, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Healthy Living.
Beyond the day of learning, reunion-goers enjoyed a variety of campus tours and a special tailgate before the Badger football game against Iowa.
The highlight for many, though, was the Half Century Dinner where Chancellor Rebecca Blank welcomed these proud alumni to the Half Century Club. This time-honored tradition also included the awarding of commemorative pins and recognition of the Class of 1965 gift.