Skip Navigation

Quoth the Badger: Nevermore

We like to think of the Wisconsin Experience as something eternal. But it’s changing every year.

John Allen
February 28, 2013

Ways the Wisconsin Experience Has Changed

(expanded from the Spring 2013 issue of Badger Insider Magazine)

We like to think of the Badger experience as eternal — that even though a new res hall may be put up every now and then, or a “Jump Around” crammed between quarters of a football game, we still follow the same academic calendar, study in the same classrooms, and angst over the same exams that our UW ancestors did back when Fire 101 was a prerequisite for incoming cave-freshmen.

Not so.

Change may seem glacial on campus, but things do change nonetheless. We asked you what you think must be gone from the Wisconsin Experience, and your responses could fill a time capsule.

1940s

I attended the University of Wisconsin from 1940 to 1948 I always lived in student rooming houses--which for me was an advantage because I always had a quiet place to study(vs the Dorms). I had rooms on North Carroll St,., South Orchard St. and Commonwealth Ave.I frequently ate at one of the Lawrence Restaurants(State St. or Univ. Ave) or at Toby and Moon's where you could get a spaghetti dinner for 50 cents. There was also a White Tower Stand at the corner of University Avenue and Park Street with hamburgers for 5 cents. Then there was Lohmeirs (SP?) Tavern on State Street where you could drink beer and play the Pin Ball Machines Late in 1942 I was able to become a member of the Three Squares Co-operative Easting Club at Wesley Foundation and was there until 1946. This experience gave me "community" and was a highlight of my university experience; we even published Year Books for two years (Bob Hodgell, Editor) I worked as a Night Orderly at Wisconsin General Hospital one night a week and was coming off duty one morning when the attack on Pearl Harbor was announced. I immediately thought, "The world will never be the same again", and it wasn't!

I also had the experience of living in a suite of rooms in the Memorial Union above Tripp Commons from 1944 to 1947, when as a Medical Student, I was offered a chance to share it with a Professor of Anesthesia after we had developed a bond through our mutual interest in the Boy Scouting Program. I even had a key to get into the front door of Tripp Commons and picked up mail at my mail box at the Union Information Desk I had joined the University Stamp Club which maintained the Dark Room Facilities at the Union Work Shop, but when almost all of its members were called into Service, I suddenly found myself in charge of those Dark Rooms and became a member of the Union Work Shop Committee.As you can see, I had a multitude of experiences during my time in Madison and most of these places no longer exist. Even The Union Work Shop Rooms are gone.

—Roland R. Liebenow ’44, MD’48
Lake Mills, Wisconsin

There are two things that are now gone that I remember ... One activity, which I presume/hope has passed, is receiving a free copy of the Daily Worker each noon at the bottom of Bascom Hill. This occurred after the War during 1946-1949 period.

—Jay H. Price ’49
Logan, Utah

1950s

This may be old hat but those of us using the GI Bill and commuting from Badger village saw little of the campus. We came in quite early in the morning, five days a week and left often as the sky starting to become dark. If you missed the last bus your only option was to hitch hike.

We did spend time in the Union between classes but often our wives packed us a lunch as the $95 didn’t do very far for a month. As a result most our student relationships were fellow Badger Villagers.

—Colonel Richard L. Jones USA (ret) ’50
Melbourne, Florida

I remember many "lunches" at Rennebohm's Drug Store that consisted of a brownie alamode with a coke, for 15-cents. (5-cents for each item). And the first sign of Spring, for me, was a drumstick from a shop on Wisconsin Avenue across from the Chemistry building.

—Jean Kapelke Bills ’51
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

What no longer exists is the student nurses' dorm. And, the students nurses in their brown capes walking to the old Wisconsin General Hospital for class or "clinicals". Further, I'm positive patients no longer are left all night with ONLY student nurses to care for them! I believe either or both the "BT" (Badger Tavern and the "HT" (Hasty Tasty) which were located directly across the street from the nurses dorm are gone. May not have been part of UW but surely would not have existed without UW students!

—Helen (Macgregor) Baker '53
Montgomery, Illinois

Who can ever forget old T-16, the "temporary" lecture hall somewhere beyond Ag Hall that probably lasted 20 years? There, hundreds of freshmen would attend such iconic classes as Econ 101, taught by Professor William Kiekhofer, whose lectures always began with a skyrocket cheer for "Wild Bill." On Fridays he would take questions from the class on any subject, after which he would say, "And now I have a few questions for you." Upon that signal his graduate assistants would rush down the isles handing out blue quiz booklets.

—Abraham (Abby) Mann '53
Leonia, New Jersey

For us old grads, the HT, BT, The Three Bells and Rennebohms on University are long gone. The Italian restaurant on Park and University is gone. The futuristic restaurant off the square which served on broken plates is long gone. But, UW and the Badgers are still there. Thank God!

—Stephen Canfield '54, MS’58
Edmond, Oklahoma

Cold morning hikes to the Quonset huts for French class.

—Joan Hunt ’54
Hayward, Wisconsin

What I would imagine is long gone is the curfews in the women's dorms. I lived in Barnard Hall from '53 to '56 and we had strict curfews. I believe the deadlines were 10:30 on week nights and 12:30 on weekends. Shortly before those witching hours, you would find throngs of girls kissing their dates good night, all crowded together in the front entrance hall.

I don't think anyone misses the Quonset Huts! Do miss the returning vets however.

—Barbara Caruso ’56
La Grange, Illinois

Of course men were not allowed on the upper floors. And if by chance one would come upstairs, a father or brother for instance, helping a resident move in or out, she was required to call out "Man on second" or whatever the floor number might be.

—Judy (Bernfeld) Roy '56
Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin

In the fall of 1954, when I was a sophomore living in Barnard, I was on the Residence Halls Judicial Council. We met several times a month.

At this time girls had to be inside their dorms and sorority houses by 10:30 on weeknights and 12:30 on Friday and Saturday. One of the jobs of the Judicial Council members was to go around to the residence halls after these hours, several times a semester, and make sure that the doors were locked. This was “door duty” which was a coveted job. We could be out after hours!

I know we did Barnard, Chad, Liz Waters, Slichter, two small residence houses across Park Street from Chad, and maybe even Ann Emery and Langdon Hall on Langdon Street. I don’t remember if we also did the sorority houses, though they were held to the same curfew hours.

—Lois Elmgren Baumann '57
Hendersonville, North Carolina

I miss the old location of WHA-TV, Channel 21 in old 600 North Park where my career started. The building was razed years ago and the site is occupied by the Helen C. White Library.

—Jack Jennerjahn ’57, MA’66
La Crosse, Wisconsin

Does anyone remember the fabulous, gooey cheese Toastite at the Rathskeller? It was born of two pieces of white bread (who knew about whole wheat in the 50's?) with American cheese inside, a pat of butter on the bottom and on the top, and grilled in the appliance that clamped down and sealed all that goodness inside a crispy, round, almost crustless bundle of delight. I often consumed it with a glass of tomato juice. It fit neatly into my daily 50 cent lunch budget and fueled my trek over Bascom Hill to T14 for afternoon Physical Therapy classes.

—Sharon Mullen Hollenberger '58
Mequon, Wisconsin

I have a clear recollection as an incoming freshman of being "herded" around the Field House in a skimpy hospital gown for the mandatory physical exam! Not pleasant! My blood pressure was off the charts! Happily that little ritual exists no longer. The year for me was 1955.

—Jill Molinaro Levenhagen x’59
Brookfield, Wisconsin

I remember physicals done by med students! They couldn't find a knee jerk on me so I had all these guys pounding on my knee!

—Beverly Murphy ’59
Bonita Springs, Florida

1960s

There are many changes, but one I remember is the "Pharm" — Rennies on corner of University Ave. and Randall and the one on corner of State and Lake. Where else could you get fried in butter elephant ears or the wonderful Brownie topped with ice cream and hot fudge? And one could sit a long time in the booths during the down times and study. I know they have tried to re-introduce some of that at The Institutes of Discovery, but it is not the same. And some of the classes I attended in the late 50's were held in the old Quonset huts left over form WWII. Does the U. still do the Spring Fling? Or Campus Carnival? I remember working very hard on both of those. Haven't heard of or read anything that sounds similar. One other thing you don't see today is a half empty football stadium and people getting in free at half time. Nevermore.

—Elaine Kloepfel '60
Madison

In the early sixties, coeds did not wear boots or slacks on cold winter days. Sweat socks and sneakers were the accepted mode du jour for the feet, even on the coldest or snowiest day. When the shoes got wet, they might be placed atop an old metal radiator to dry out. The aroma of baking canvas and rubber would permeate throughout the classroom, but the less-than-pleasant odor signaled happy warm feet for the walk to the next class.

—Gail Keene ’61, MMusic'62
Pound Ridge, New York

I was a student from 1957 to 1965 (BS-zoology, MD). During my undergraduate days, about 1960, I worked at the University telephone switchboard in Sterling Hall. It was an old PBX board, the kind where the operator answered a call by plugging in a cable, and directed the call by plugging in another cable to the desired number. All telephone calls to the University came through that switchboard, which was, perhaps 12 or 15 feet long. During the day the operators were several ladies who sat on high stools, wore headsets, and took care of the busy telephone system. Nights were different, since no calls were allowed into the student dorms after eleven pm and before seven am, except emergencies. So the eleven to seven shift was the duty of student labor, always male. Pay was $5.50 per night. There was even a bed in an adjacent room where the night operator was allowed to sleep, as long as he had turned on the large bell over his bed—this bell was similar to the bells outside elementary schools to signal the end of recess.

There were not many calls after eleven pm, although a few students always tried to call their friends in the dorm after hours, usually by claiming emergencies. We were allowed to monitor these calls, and typically after hearing the caller tell his (usually it was a male) girlfriend in Elizabeth Waters Hall how he had fooled the stupid operator, we would simply pull the connection. Calls in the wee hours were rare, although usually legitimate. On my first night working the switchboard I recall being awakened by the big bell over the bed and stumbling out to the switchboard while trying to remember where I was.

On August 24, 1970 Sterling Hall was almost destroyed by a car bomb parked outside the hall by notorious war protestors that killed researcher Robert Fassnacht. I do not know if the switchboard was still at Sterling Hall then, and if it was, whether the night operator was injured.

—Henry J. C. Schwartz ’61, MD’65
Fredericksburg, Virginia

I hope 600 North Park where Psychology was located 1960-64 is gone. If it is still there I am sure it still has minimal heating.

—Billy M. Seay MA’62, PhD’64
Lexington, Kentucky

I was not fond of the two-year Women’s Phys. Ed. requirement (now long gone, I suppose) but those classes (basic exercise and relaxation techniques, modern dance, and fencing class (at 7:40 AM!) were memorable in their own way and quite useful, it turns out.

—Janice Winter Yager '62
Placitas, New Mexico

Watching Rick Reichardt hit home runs and steal bases at Guy Lowman Field on Walnut Street. Though off campus, the $2.25 T-bone special at Troia's Steak House on State Street.

—Jerry Alperstein ’64
New York, New York

Having burgers and a beer on Sunday night at the HT! Having to watch TV in the basement of Adams Hall – when you had the time!

—John Ostertag ’64, MA’66
Wausau, Wisconsin

The old thing that I recall most vividly that has past away on campus is the mid-year course pre-registration that occurred during the January break. This was the procedure in effect when I was a student in the early 1960's. Fall registration was handled by selecting course computer punch cards in the old Red Gym, but you registered for all spring courses by scurrying around campus and giving your name and student number at each course building location.

This was a difficult procedure for students who lived a great distance from campus and were home for semester break. I stayed and worked a job over the semester break and volunteered to register for all my friends who didn't want to return to campus for just this simple procedure.

During several semester breaks, I recall pre-registering for a least a dozen of my friends. It took several hours and I was literally exhausted in completing my rounds. That's what friends do and I certainly earned a number of free dinners this way.

—Glen Volkman ’64
Eau Claire, Wisconsin

It was the Fall of 1960 and I was a 16 year-old Freshman living at Kronshage Hall. While alcoholic consumption was never a big deal to me. ( I was raised in a Jewish home where sweet concord grape wine was always available with Sabbath and holiday dinners, no matter what age you were) I was looking forward to going to a party in your own dorm basement and drinking unlimited quantities of beer that cost a buck or two.

The glamour wore off quickly, especially after I took my first job doing "dorm party clean-up" most every Saturday and Sunday mornings at 7 AM. It was a three to four hour gig that paid 95 cents an hour- minimum wage, and provided me with a $15 check every two weeks that covered all the dates I had time for.

But it was that first smell and sight of a Kronshage basement party room stinking and sticky with spilled beer and soggy pretzels that really cured me of the yearning for dorm 3.2 beer parties.

I thought the logic of serving beer at dorm beer parties made brilliant sense. Tripping on a flight of stairs was about the worse accident you could get into, no matter how much you drank.... significantly less damage than driving back to the dorm in the same condition.

—Howard Weiss '64
Tucson, Arizona

In the 60's, there was the Pad. Way before there was Milio's, Suburpia, and all the other sub sandwich places, the Pad made great sandwiches which you could buy in their coffee house on the 500 block of State St. They also went door to door on Langdon Street late at night to feed those with late night hunger. I still think it was one of the best around.

—Nick Topitzes ’66
Verona, Wisconsin

At the time I was a student at UW there was no preregistration option for the Spring semester. Registration was accomplished by walking around campus and visiting the various department assignment committees where students could theoretically enroll in the classes they needed. This was done in January and as I recall, the weather was always unpleasantly cold. As an underclassman, an all too common occurrence would be that I would arrive at a department assignment committee to enroll in a class only to discover that the section I needed was full. This then initiated an evolutionary process whereby my schedule was constantly changing and said changes would necessitate my return to the various department assignment committees to see if I could add sections that fit my revised schedule. Spring registration at UW was an unpleasant and frustrating affair.

—William Fenner ’68
Houston, Texas

I miss the old Rennebohm's. I used to meet classmates there before school, we'd sit at the counter or tables and smoke our cigarettes (yes, those were the days when we thought smoking was kewl) and we'd look through all the items they had available. It was an institution that's now gone. I have so many good memories of that old corner drugstore and more.

—Susan D. Mainzer ’68, JD’81
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Rennebohm's drugstores/restaurants on the Square and on State Street across from the bookstore (north side of street). Thirty-nine cents for an egg, toast with butter and jelly, and (very good!) coffee.

—Claudia C. Bartz ’69
Suring, Wisconsin

25-cent ice cream cones at Babcock.

—Kathe Budzak MD'69
Madison

I miss the fabulous women's lounge on the third floor of the Memorial Union, with its plush couches, private make-up areas and old-fashioned scale. It was a haven.

—Judith Landsman MA’69
Madison

I suspect that one of my most memorable traditions - dressing for a noon Sunday dinner while living in the dorms (and being able to invite my boyfriend to eat at my dining hall) is a thing of the past. Times have changed. No one dresses much for dinner anywhere any longer.

—Stephanie Sorensen ’69
Madison

1970s

Long lines to register for all your classes $200 tuition per semester

—Cynthia Diament ’70, MS’71
Los Angeles, California

This one is easy — Rennebohm Drug Stores! As a freshman in the fall of 1964, and again during my sophomore year in 1965, Sunday nights always meant finding a place to eat dinner. We roomed in Ochsner in Adams, and the meal plan for the lakeshore dorms did not provide cafeteria dining on Sundays. So, after sampling several bars and eateries, we settled on Rennebohm's which had stores both on University avenue and on State Street. It was an easy solution. Walkable, inexpensive, fast, and made to order!! Perfect.

But what makes this experience so memorable was the manner in which the food was served. We typically would order a burger with fries, coke, and a slice of pie. And invariably, the pie was ALWAYS served first!!! There were many Sunday nights, despite our grumbling, that the pie would be long gone before the burger was served!!

Unfortunately, those Rennebohm Drug Stores are long gone, but the memories live on forever. Those were the days!!!

—Art Henningsen ’70
Wayzata, Minnesota

The FIJI (Phi Gamma Delta) bar room, 16 Langdon St, with the hand painted Polynesian wall mural. Also gone is the 18 year old drinking age for Wisconsin residents (and the out-of-staters with fake i.d. "beer" cards). There was Budweiser on tap 24/7....

—Tom Schmidtknecht ’71
San Francisco, California

To register, we had to go from classroom to classroom, hopefully to put our name on the list for the selected class and time before it fills up. Mentally building the class schedule for the week and not being able to get a time needed for one forced us back to a list we were already on in order to sign up for a different time. There were usually disappointments on both class availability (forcing substitutes) and times. Seniors were the first to process because they usually had specific class needs. When this manual scheduling was complete, we went back to the Red Gym to submit our papers and finish the registration.

The one thing I do miss is the $116 tuition.

—Paul Darbo ’72
Fair Oaks, California

Skirts to dinner at Ann Emory Hall; "hours" for women and late minutes that added up so you could be grounded.

—Victoria Vollrath ’72
Madison

I remember in the late 60s in my Fortran Computer Science class going to the CS building on Dayton with my stack of punch cards. They would batch the jobs and you would come back to find your program didn't run because you forgot a "," or "." A lot different than using your iPhone now.

—Ed Westell ’72
Naperville, Illinois

One thing I remember from when I was a student (1969-1973) is that the KK had an outside window from which they sold delicious buttery popcorn. It was great to help a long night of studying go by or a great treat to bring back to the dorm to share with friends.(I'm not sure fake ID's were in existence then, so we did not need to go inside in order to buy the popcorn before we were 21.) I am also pretty sure that the bar was then located on State Street, but I'm not totally sure about that part.

—Lois A. Butwin ’73
Saint Louis Park, Minnesota

I remember long lines trying to register for classes. I’m so glad that has changed! I do remember sleeping couches in the Memorial Union women’s restroom—where I could take a nap between classes—if needed. That was really appreciated because I lived off campus for a while and couldn’t make it back and forth during the day. Thanks for asking!

—Marjee Righeimer ’73
Prior Lake, Minnesota

While it's not missing on campus, it is gone from State Street -- the Baker's Room. Best place after early morning class to sit, get coffee, a great croissant and watch all the people go by on State Street.

—Christine H. Wang ’76, MS’78
Lexington, Massachusetts

I moved into Room 402 of Luedke House of Slichter Hall in the Fall of 1972. It was a HUGE deal to have a phone in our rooms—wall phones, with very long cords. Some of the dorm tenants jumped rope with theirs. I have a hunch they are no longer around.

—Karen Roesler ’77, JD’81
Minneapolis, Minnesota

I was a Life Sciences major. Quit a few of the third year or above classes I took had no text Book. Handouts were give the at the begging of most classes. A over head projector was used with clear plastic sheets the professor wrote on. They often got smudged. Making them hard to read. There were also printed ones which the professor might of added to by witting on. This machine projected on to a screen above. Would often have to consult other students to get all the needed information and professor after class.

—Charlotte Chatfield ’78
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Toga parties on State Street on Halloween!

—William Scopp
Leawood, Kansas

Pad Man! Sunday night sorority tradition

—Stephanie Stender ’78
Madison

The legal drinking age was 18 when I attended Madison. Naturally, there were a lot more bars up and down State Street. But what I remember most and best was Friday night at the Rathskeller, just sitting with my friends, enjoying a beer or two after a hard week of classes. No one I know lacked the necessary discipline and judgment required to study when appropriate and relax with a beer when appropriate, even at age 18, 19, and 20. And of course, I remember standing in line at the Stock Pavilion and racing around campus to sign up for the classes you wanted – that was always a mad dash, back and forth across the entire campus, prioritizing which classes were most important to get into. Thumbs up for being able to sign up for classes on-line, thumbs down for the higher drinking age.

—Marion Morawicz ‘79
Oak Brook, Illinois

In the 70's in one of the tower at Science Hall was a "fire escape." This fire escape was a metal tube that circled the inside of the tower. If you went up to the top floor you could open the door to the chute without setting off an alarm and take a dark spinning ride and it opened outside in the back parking lot. It was a blast until the campus police got wind of it and parked their car a few feet from the outside door!

—Mark A. Shircel ’79, MS’80
Tower Lakes, Illinois

Like many, I suppose, I was fortunate enough to marry my college girlfriend, and we share many fond Badger memories. It's funny that you mentioned the tradition of registering at the Stock Pavilion, a practice that was alive and well when we were students in the late 70's. During her sophomore year, my girlfriend (now wife) made the long trek to the Stock Pavilion where she discovered she had forgotten her Student ID, and she wasted valuable time having to retrieve it. Back then, after leaving the Stock Pavilion, we needed to go to the various buildings that housed the colleges we wanted classes in. If you wanted business classes, for example, you needed to go to the School of Business (now Ingraham Hall). Daylight was fading fast when my girlfriend finally made it back to the Stock Pavilion with her ID, and during a hurried trip from building to building, her frantic question upon entering was "What classes are still open?" She survived the experience and now we laugh about that chaotic day on campus!

As I sit here and type this on my shiny MacBook, I can't help but smile when I think of the archaic computer systems we had back then. In the Spring of 1980, I took a computer language class, COBOL programming. Our mid-term assignment was to write an inventory control program. Keep in mind that, in 1980, the Apple II was just a few years old and the IBM PC hadn't even been invented yet. We had no laptops or portable computers of any kind and even CRT screens were scarce in the Comp Sci building. Our assignment required us to plan our inventory program and then type the instructions onto punch cards--one card per instruction. To see the results of your program, you took your stack of cards over to the card reader and fed them through as a report printed to show you how your program would operate. There was only one card reader station in the lab we used, which meant that there was usually a line.

One girl in our class labored furiously to type her cards by the deadline. When she fed her cards through the reading machine for the first time, she was horrified to find that she had made a small mistake in typing them! Instead of indenting the requisite 8 spaces (or something like that), she had indented by 9, which meant that she needed to type every card over again--about 250 of them. Moreover, her program design wasn't as efficient as that of most of her fellow students, so she had an inordinately large stack of cards. I still have vivid memories that, when she headed over to the card reader, the rest of us jockeyed furiously to get in front of her because her program took so long to run!

—Steven Blagoue BBA’12
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

1980s

There are many memories of the UW campus and spots that are gone and while I will remember them fondly I also know that the changes have, for the most part, improved the lives of the students. One special place for me was the glass lab Quonset hut. I would go there on Saturdays with my boyfriend (now husband, Jim) and watch him blow glass. Sitting on a bench seat from someone’s old car, I would study out of the way while he made magic with fire and broken pieces of recycled glass. It was especially nice in the winter. I know the new facilities are much better for the students, but I will always treasure the time I spent at the glass lab.

—Krista E. Clumpner ’80, MLA’81
Marquette, Michigan

One of my fondest memories while in Madison was taking summer classes there. We rented a house by the zoo and for exercise I would roller skate. Thru the zoo, to Memorial Union patio and the engineering building next to Camp Randall where I had classes. Skating on the terrazzo floors was the best! It was a challenge using the stairs to get to the different floors but once I was on the 2nd and 3rd floors the corridors were straight, wide and long. I would fly down them. I got some pretty strange looks from my professor's but I didn't care; it was a blast and good exercise.

—Kevin Holly ’80
Tinley Park, Illinois

Cinnamon rolls from Ovens of Brittany (was on State Street). Huge, gooey and soooo good.

—Barb Welsh '80
Mosinee, Wisconsin

I miss the Rocky's pizza restaurant that was on State Street. We used to go there after studying at Helen C White library and it was something to look forward to while studying...

—Lois F. Duerst ’81
Hudson, Wisconsin

In the late 1970s-early 1980s, the UW dining halls used paper meal tickets as payment with a meal plan. With a mechanical “ka-chunk, ka-chunk, ka-chunk,” the cash register would punch away incremental dollar amounts printed along the side of the ticket until the card was used up. The only benefit came if one of your dorm friends happened to be working the register. The machine could be tricked to punch air instead of the card for the occasional free lunch.

—Jay Suhr ’81 (Meal Plan 2)
Austin, Texas

I used to use the free phones on the landing between first and second floor at Memorial Union to call my older sister who lived in Madison – both when I was a student and when I'd come back to Madison for a visit. I knew I could always reach her in times of need – for free! When my schedule would allow, I'd grab a fabulous salad from the salad bar in Tripp Commons and take it to the TV lounge on the first floor of Memorial Union to watch All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital – the hot soap operas at the time! Buying Strohs beer with my meal card in the cafeteria in the first floor of Ogg Hall.

—Barb Bochert Nicol ’82
Minneapolis, Minnesota

The card catalogs in the libraries. From someone who, as a student assistant at College Library in the early '80s, performed countless card intercalations by hand, computerization has to be an improvement!

—Tom Drolsum '83
New Berlin, Wisconsin

Things that are no longer an available option to going to class...

  • Bouncy "sunburst" chairs at the Union (it was "The" union, if you wanted to go to "Union South", that's what you said!)
  • Sunflower flavored Babcock Ice Cream (butter Pecan, but with sunflowers!)
  • Body passing at games (or at least digital cameras could have been around then!)
  • Standing in line at Stock Pavilion to get registration papers
  • "Popping the shoot" at bar time at Science Hall
  • Free "on campus" phone calls from phones on 2nd floor landing in center stairwell at "The Union"
  • Punched card decks -- just the concept, but also dropping them and having to try and re-order them at
  • 2AM in the basement of the Comp Sci building
  • Mole'ing -- OK - that'll probably be around forever, but access must just get more challenging from year to year...
  • Fasching!! -- annual beer drinking party at "the Union"
  • Orchard Street block party
  • Halloween on State St with beverages
  • Boombox and kazoo parades up State St.
  • Butch's Bologna Bash!

and I know there are plenty more, but those brain cells must be gone for a reason...!

—Doug Rezner ’83
Glendale, Arizona

I lived in Ann Emery, a private girl's dorm. Mini refrigerators weren't around then and Coke came in glass bottles. I bought a six-pack at Renny's because it was cheaper than from the vending machine. To keep it cold I put it between my interior window and storm window. Unfortunately it froze; the bottles broke; and the Coke ran down the exterior wall. What a mess. I got one Coke for the price of a six-pack.

I started at UW when I was seventeen and the beer drinking age was eighteen then. I didn't like beer anyway, but some of my dorm mates gave me several stolen beer glasses from The Pub for my eighteenth birthday.

In the early sixties the girls actually wore skirts and high heels to class. Bascom Hill was a challenge in heels!

Also when I lived at Ann Emery there was a Friday night panty raid. I had gone to bed early because I had a 7:45 a.m. Saturday class. I was awakened by a loud roaring sound. When I tried to turn on the light to see what was going on, I found that the House Mother had turned the power off so the crowd of panty raiders couldn't see into the dorm rooms where some residents were dangling panties out the windows.

—Susan Wilson Schneider ’83
Middleton, Wisconsin

I've always wondered what happened to the late seventies/early eighties hockey superfan when the games were at the Dane County Coliseum. Between the second and third periods, shortly before play started and after fans had started to return from the beer garden, he would make his way to the balcony over the opposing goal with a rubber chicken tied to a hockey stick and lead the following cheer:

Superfan: "Is this not the winning net?" pointing to the Badger goal with his chicken

Crowd response: "Yes this is the winning net!"

Superfan: "Is this not the losing net?" pointing to the opposing goal

Crowd response: "Yes this is the losing net!"

Superfan: "Is this not the BIG scoreboard?" pointing to the scoreboard over center ice

Crowd response: "Yes this is the BIG scoreboard?"

Superfan: "Is this not the rumble rink?"

Crowd response: "Yes this is the rumble rink!"

Superfan: "Winning net!"

Crowd: "Winning net!"

Superfan: "Losing net!"

Crowd" "Losing net!"

Superfan: "BIG scoreboard!"

Crowd: "BIG scoreboard!"

Superfan: "Rumble rink!"

Crowd: "Rumble rink!"

And the finale, Superfan: "Who's a sieve?"

And the crowd would loudly respond with the goalie's last name and then start the Sieve chant.

I suspect this tradition got lost somewhere either with the fan no longer attending games, or when the Badgers took up residence in the Kohl Center.

—Jeff Wiesner '83
Madison

I originally thought that it was a myth, the fire slide located in the Science Hall Building, until someone finally showed me where it was. Considering that it was supposed to be an easily accessible way to escape a burning building it was sure hard to find. We made it a tradition to use it after finals each semester in the early ‘80s. It's circuitous, 4-story tall route had us laughing like five year olds when we popped out into the parking lot behind the building. It was a great reward to the end of a hard semester of studying.

—Mark Rein ’84
Peoria, Illinois

I miss the 'Ovens of Brittany' on State Street and out on University Avenue. The morning rolls were a great part of the UW Madison experience. They were well-priced, fresh and really filling. A perfect Saturday morning treat after a week of classes.

—Thomas Turner JD’85
Chicago, Illinois

Elizabeth Waters as a women’s only dorm

—Ad Lane ’86
Wausau, Wisconsin

1990s

Brat und Brau! Great pizza across from Camp Randall. Have also missed Uncle Jim's pizza ever since the early '90s!

—Karyn Roelke ’90
Hartland, Wisconsin

Places gone and missed:
• The Cellar Bar
• Bunky's
• Wild Iris Cafe

UW Program gone:
• Ag Engr Construction Administration

—Jed Cohen '92
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1. The student film societies that screened movies in the lecture halls on Friday and Saturday nights. That was a cheap source of entertainment in the days when very few of us had VCRs (remember those?) in our dorm rooms or apartments.

2. Paper meal tickets in the res hall cafeterias. And the "black market" in meal tickets where you could buy them for around two-thirds of their face value.

—Jim Eisenmann ’95
Madison

2000s

1) Traying down Bascom Hill in the winter time. Sure the last bump could hurt if you didn't roll off it in time, but we were young and stupid, when else are you going to get to do stuff like that! Do they still do that?
2) Do they still put the lost hats and mittens on Lincoln's statue?
3) Throwing the beach balls around during commencement. They put a stop to that the year before I graduated. My own commencement it was so boring I thought I aged 80+ years just sitting there waiting for my name to be called.
4) Friday afternoon beer at the Rathskellar. I actually had a Constitutional Law prof that would walk down there after class and sit down with a pint to talk about any law issues any of the students wanted to. Sort of open office hours at the Rath! I can't imagine too many profs do that these days.

—Paige Ryan
Virginia Beach, Virginia

I just wanted to contribute some memories about my experience at UW-Madison that are now just a thing of the past. One would be riding the L bus route around campus (I think it's now called route 80). Another would be using the phone system to register for classes (and waiting impatiently for my 'time' to come up). Also, I attended pharmacy school for 2 years in Chamberlain Hall before the newer Rennebohm Hall was finished. It is hard to believe how much can change in just 5-10 years, but I'm sure it's all for the better.

—Rosie Andre, PharmD’04
York, Pennsylvania

My Freshman year, 2002-2003, the renovation to the Stadium hadn't started yet. There was a shooting range in the eastern portion of the original horse shoe section of the stands. I believe it was maintained by the Army ROTC unit, but they let the Naval ROTC unit use it. Every week of the Fall Semester 2002, the Assistant Marine Officer instructor, a USMC Gunnery Sergeant, would have shooting practice there for the Midshipmen. Even though I was a Navy option Mid, I had to go to the range and practice shooting. I used to wonder why I was required to do that since I was being groomed to drive Ships. Since I'm writing to you from Afghanistan, the Gunny is vindicated! I always remember the range was like stepping into the past, the old pennants from the Big 10 schools (from when there were only 10) and the smell of gun oil and old stone.

The Spring of 2003 the construction started and removed the range, but I'm happy I had at least one Semester of shooting inside Camp Randal, a part of its long history of training the Military.

—LT Peter Rusch ’07, USN
Afghanistan

My Freshmen and sophomore year the ticket process for Men's season hockey tickets was different. We had to camp out in line for days in front of the Kohl Center to hold our spot for season ticket priority. It was a rough few days but it really showed our dedication to the badger squad. Many great memories were created during those all nighters. You really had to earn those seats. In a way i wish they never changed the process.

—Ben Sandvig '09
Chicago, Illinois

Related News and Stories

<

When would you be ready to take part in an in-person Badger activity?

>