It is said that Thomas Brittingham was born within sight of the University of Wisconsin and never took his eyes off of it. Born into a distinguished family in Madison, Brittingham did not merely give a house, statue and park to the Madison community. Throughout his short life, (he died from a heart attack at 61 years of age), he used his talents and love for the school to nurture UW-Madison in many ways.
Thomas Brittingham is one of Abe's good friends! In 1909, Thomas Brittingham paid for the casting of the Abe statue and pedestal on Bascom Hill.
The investment polices of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation also established and guided by his son, Thomas Brittingham Jr. Besides using his financial expertise to improve fund raising, he was active in the program for foreign exchange students.