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Baker Urdan ’55
Mr. Urdan, I couldn’t agree more! Though I never leave my seat on Bascom Hill, I have excellent distance vision and see plenty of examples of this phenomenon. Not everyone is as astute as you are, so I know that there are plenty of shirts (and other merchandise items) out there that say “Alumni,” even though it would look pretty ridiculous if multiple people were stuffed into one shirt. Another problem is that manufacturers would have to make four versions of many types of merchandise — T-shirts, license-plate holders and all the rest — and that might be complicated, expensive and even confusing to consumers who don’t know the difference and wouldn’t know which item to purchase. So, in my effort to educate our fine alumni, here are the differences:

alumni = more than one male graduate, or a group of male and female graduates alumnae = more than one female graduate (pronounced uh-luhm-nee) alumnus = one male graduate alumna = one female graduate

And, while we’re at it, to say “former alumnus” or “former graduate” is nonsensical. Once a grad, always a grad. On, Wisconsin!

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