One of our favorite things at Badger Insider is hearing stories from our readers, and we’ve started to notice that most of our interactions with you contain a wish to return to Madison or a happy memory about a beloved place on campus. (Our favorite is, “Have a beer on the Terrace for me!” We at the Wisconsin Alumni Association take your requests very seriously.) This is why we’re dedicating this feature to your favorite places on campus: the ones you most wish to revisit.
Maybe you live in the area and come to campus all the time. Or, perhaps you haven’t been back in more years than you’d like to count. Your votes helped us to create the ultimate itinerary for revisiting UW–Madison. Get ready to feel the nostalgia … and to start planning your next trip!
Which popular destination do you most want to revisit?
I didn’t go to the Memorial Union all that much while in school (I spent more time at the old Union South), but I like the renovations and additions to [Memorial] Union — especially the indoor area off the theater lobby, the Terrace, and the soon-to-be-completed Alumni Park!
Robert Chiesa ’72
No brainer! I want to relive slowly devouring my orange custard chocolate chip Babcock luxury as I sit in the Rathskeller, contemplating my Daily Cardinal crossword puzzle, with the background sound of Pablo Cruise singing “I Go to Rio,” circa 1978. One didn’t even need to make plans to meet friends there because you knew there would be several when you got there. This place was Cheers before the show was even thought of.
Polly Meyers Clark ’78
The Union Terrace was part sanctuary, part relief zone, part fun-fest with friends, and always home for me … Every time we return, my wife (Phyllis Van Winkle MS’75, PhD’84) and I time-travel back on the Terrace and find ourselves 30 years younger again and reliving those days where we first met and fell in love.
Christopher Sny PhD’84
I would like to visit the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the top of Bascom Hill. (But preferably not during winter — I remember the cold, winter wind whipping through us as we climbed the hill in January and February on the way to classes.) Fifty years ago, my husband (Joel Pittelman ’65) proposed to me in front of the statue — and next June, we will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary!
Susan Pearl Pittelman ’68
Bascom Hill is the physical icon of the university in my mind. Standing upon its heights, one can survey much of the university and gaze upon its future while recalling the past. The canopied sidewalks and verdant lawns (at times bespeckled with pink birds) are omnipresent in most former students’ memories.
Charles Walsh ’84
The most popular place for me to revisit is Camp Randall. I love fall football season — the smell of brats cooking, crisp and sunny weather, the excitement and roar of the crowd, the band, the traditions … the place where great blocks, tackles, kicks, and tosses of the pigskin are made. Ah … On, Wisconsin!
Louis Preysz III ’68
Having been involved in the birth of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve and having served on some of the first boards, I continue to visit, support, and enjoy the area. As a student, my then–future husband — Jack Heiden ’55, MD’58 — and I hiked, picnicked, and spooned on Picnic Point. We still do, if only in our dreams!
Nancy Thomsen Heiden ’57
I want to ride my sleek, slate-blue Peugeot 10-speed along the Lakeshore Path to Picnic Point early on a beautiful, summer morning again. I did that often during the idyllic summer after I graduated 40 years ago (and during my college years, too, but that was on an older, clunkier bike). I was young and fit, and the world was ahead of me.
Carla Kozak ’77
That’s where all the magic happens. You get your first non–dining hall meals; you do your first shopping; you get your first drinks out; and you rush there when there’s a big Badger victory. It’s literally Badger Avenue. (That would be a great second name on a UW-themed secondary road sign. Just sayin’.)
Corin Menuge ’14
When I was at the UW — 1960–64 — women were not allowed into the Pub or Var-Bar without a male escort. Times have changed!
Mary Schreiber LeBlanc ’64
Babcock Hall. For the ice cream, but also because the [agriculture] students would stop you and have you blind-taste-test things: carrots, cheese, etc. Really fun.
Sara Puck Longworth MA’74
I would like to revisit the Hoofers’ piers. Back in that summer of 1972, I learned to sail a “tech dinghy” and enjoyed taking it over to Picnic Point ... I was 25 at the time, and thus eternally young. One evening, just after sailing in with my dinghy, a “Nor’easter” rose to churn around on the water and posed a threat to a bunch of the boats still undocked and coming in. I remained at the piers to help some dinghies find a landing. I tried to use my bare feet to reach out from a pier and grab a line from one boat with my toes … I helped three boats in this manner. When one is 25, such a feat is not so unheard of.
Dave Baumgartner ’69
Observatory Hill: where I proposed to my then-girlfriend (Audrey Hazaert Risse ’50), and she accepted. We’re still together after almost 67 years.
Leonard Risse ’49