Greetings from the shores of Lake Mendota on the UW campus, where summer is holding sway, and the city of Madison is buzzing with the usual seasonal activity. Throughout the school year, I love seeing and interacting with students on campus, but I have to admit that the summers here are pretty wonderful. Many of our students are away, but the newly reopened Memorial Union Terrace and the beautiful scenery of a campus in full bloom make it a great place to work each day. If you spent a summer here on campus, I’m sure you can relate.
If you do make it back to campus for a visit this summer, you’ll notice that change is happening everywhere, and at WAA it’s no different. Two summers ago, we became part of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, a newly formed organization that comprises the Wisconsin Alumni Association® and the UW Foundation. We are excited about this new structure and confident that it will deliver better service to our alumni, our chapter leaders and our university.
The Below Alumni Center has gone through a number of changes as well. We have renovated our office spaces, created a new space for alumni called One Alumni Place, and we are in the process of bringing a long-held dream to reality by creating Alumni Park, a beautiful green space on the lakeshore, between the Memorial Union and the Red Gym.
One Alumni Place will be the home for grads as they return to campus: a visitor center with information about what’s going on, a lounge where you can get a cup of coffee, a multi-purpose gathering space for alumni events, and a rooftop terrace, where Badgers can come together. Alumni Park will create a lakefront green space devoted to celebrating our alumni who fulfill the Wisconsin Idea: the principle that the University should benefit people throughout Wisconsin and beyond. Construction has been underway since the summer of 2015. Alumni Park will be completed in late 2016, with grand opening celebrations in spring, 2017.
Lots of changes for sure, however, one thing that hasn’t changed is that the “A House” is as much your home now as it was when you were a student. And I know that your pride and affection for the university are as strong as ever. I hope you will continue to support your alma mater and stay connected. This e-newsletter is just one way we hope to foster that connection.
Now, go have an unforgettable fall season.
Jeff Wendorf ’82
Vice President, Alumni Relations