Badger pride is sprinkled all over campus and built into the core of the university. Ready to feel inspired? Here are five of the most iconic gifts from graduating Badger classes.
Observatory Sundial, Class of 1908
The Class of 1908 wanted to leave its legacy in stone — marble, to be exact. Enter the marble-pedestal sundial at the crest of Observatory Hill. The sundial was moved around several times until 1971, when a foundation for it was reestablished in its current location.
Botany Gardens Plaza, Class of 1952
The plan for a botany garden was initially pitched in 1959, and planting began in 1961. In 2002 — to celebrate its 50-year anniversary — the Class of 1952 aimed to raise $100,000 for creating and naming a new plaza. The gift was part of a larger Botany Gardens renovation project, including a gazebo, pond, and series of walkways.
Lakeshore Path, Class of 1963
The Class of 1963’s gift to the Lakeshore Nature Preserve was the first of its kind in 30 years. It allowed for the restoration of the best-known part of the preserve — the path along the lakeshore from the limnology building to Willow Creek. In 2005, work began to control erosion, add resting points, and reintroduce native plants.
Carillon Tower, Classes of 1917–26
Of the UW’s many accomplishments, we can also boast that we have the 13th-tallest carillon tower in the country — thanks to contributions from 10 successive classes. The carillon’s 56 bells can be heard Sundays at 3 p.m. during much of the academic year, played since 1986 by carilloneur Lyle Anderson ’68, MMusic’77. The tower is open for visitors to climb for the duration of the concert.
Memorial Union, Classes of 1924, ’36, ’50–’54, ’56, ’57, ’64, ’74, ’75, ’78, and ’84
Memorial Union is one of the most popular spots on campus to visit, and it seems to be one of the most popular recipients of class gifts as well: 14 classes have given to Memorial Union. Some gifts were for general funds, while others were for specific projects: 1936 for the Memorial Union Terrace; 1950 for the main-lounge renovation; 1951 for the outdoor plaza and lakefront areas; 1954 for the second-floor renovation; 1956 for Tripp Commons, the east-wing event space; 1957 for the Fredric March Play Circle and endowment fund; 1964 for façade lighting; 1978 for the main entrance; and 1984 for the information center.
The next class to commemorate its 50-year reunion is the Class of 1966. If you graduated in 1966, find how to get involved with your class’s gift to Alumni Park and One Alumni Place.