The president of the 2013 graduating class is a proud, fourth-generation Badger.
She’s Betsy Pike '13, the daughter of Kay Paull Pike ’77, MS’83 of Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Kay’s sisters are Lynn Paull ’79, MBA’80 of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin; and Judith Paull Vinson ’84, MS’87 of Conroe, Texas.
They’re the daughters of the late Richard Paull ’52, MS’53, PhD’57 and Rachel Krebs Paull ’54, PhD’80 of Littleton, Colorado. Rachel’s parents were Lester Krebs ’26 and Ruth Sells Krebs ’26, and her brother and sister-in-law were Martin Krebs '57 and Alice Kirby Krebs '57. Richard Paull's brother, Donald E. Paull '57, and his wife, Carol Larson Paull x'58, also attended the UW.
Betsy’s paternal side is also full of alumni! Her father John Pike ’78, and both of his parents, Wardell Pike ’50, and Margaret Fuller Pike '46 graduated from UW-Madison; their daughter (Betsy's aunt) Jayne Pike Glocke '79 and her husband, Dennis Glocke '77, are also alumni.
That adds up to 22 degrees of Badgeration and a proud legacy for UW-Madison’s 2013 senior class president (as well as competition for the Andringa family, currently at 26 degrees!)
A few weeks before she’s due to cross the stage at commencement, Pike shared her favorite memories for our Badger Families collection and tells us why she’s proud to be a Badger.
When did you know you wanted to be a Badger?
“I grew up in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and although I’m not originally from Madison, I grew to love the city through stories and memories from family. I loved traveling to Madison for football games on Saturdays during the fall. My family did a great job of persuading me to attend the UW.
I still remember the day I got into the UW. It was Halloween during my senior year of high school. I walked out to my car to drive home, and my mom had strategically placed red and white roses in my car. I knew right away I was in, and I couldn’t have been more excited.”
As a fourth-generation Badger, what kinds of stories about UW-Madison did you hear growing up?
“I’ve heard every story from sliding down the fire escape in Science Hall to studying under amazing, world-renowned professors. I think it is safe to say I definitely bleed red. It’s really fun to look at old pictures of when my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were at the UW. Some traditions never grow old, like enjoying summer nights at the Terrace or tailgating for Badger games.
“And, I’m not only a fourth-generation Badger, but I’m also a fourth-generation UW Greek. It is also fun to walk down Langdon Street with my family. Each building has a story or a family member who was in the house.”
What does it mean to be part of such a long tradition?
“Incredible. I feel so honored and fortunate to have such a unique family.”
What was your time at UW-Madison like?
“Priceless. I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience. I was an active high school student, and I wanted to continue my leadership in college. Before the first day of my freshman year, I went through sorority recruitment and joined the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. During my second semester of college, I wanted to explore other organizations as well, and I found an amazing group of friends and leaders within the UW Homecoming Committee. These organizations molded my college experience. I had the unique opportunity to serve as president of both organizations during my tenure.”
How does it feel knowing you’re ending your time as a student, but beginning the rest of your life as a Wisconsin alumna?
“It feels fantastic. I feel ready to take the next step and become an alumna. During my time as a student, I really feel like I tried every opportunity available at UW. From sailing on Lake Mendota to singing ‘Varsity’ on the 50-yard line during Homecoming week, everything I wanted to try is checked off my ‘Bucky list.’ ”
Pike is graduating in May 2013 with a major and certification in middle childhood to early adolescence, as well as dual minors in mathematics and science, and certificates in leadership and in educational policy studies. This fall she will be teaching seventh-grade mathematics in Stoughton, Wis.
How big is your Badger family?