Welcome To My Blog

Weekends are for wandering Wisconsin. That's what Rick, my guy, and I do. Occasionally we wander during the week, too. Sometimes we just drop in on other people's lives.

This blog is my way of sharing where we've been, neat places and things to do that we've found.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Celebrating At My Alma Mater

Very close to home this past week and a half. On October 18 I attended the Grand Opening of the Nancy Nicholas Hall on the UW-Madison Campus. This new hall is the first exclusive-use academic building on campus named in honor of a woman. And this building houses my school – the School of Human Ecology. With its mission of improving the quality of human life, SOHE turned out to be a great place for me these many years ago. 
The new building, with an attached preschool and an appropriate place
for SOHE's nationally-known Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection,
gave the School much needed space.

This is the old building - rather, the "historic building." Its second floor
looks very much like it did when this building opened nearly 100 years
ago. The terrazzo floor remains.
The two buildings are connected by "The Link."
Bucky Badger on a mural directs visitors from the parking area below
the new building to the public stairway.
There's even a secure area for bikes
in the parking area.

I’ll admit that graduating from SOHE (formerly School of Family Resources and Consumer Sciences, and before that Home Economics) was the quickest way to finish my undergraduate education. I had taken a variety of classes during some tumultuous times at UW-Madison without having a specific goal in mind. Fortunately, I stumbled upon SOHE. The School accepted all of my prior courses. In the end, my undergraduate years provided me with a great liberal arts education. I like to say that I was a few decades ahead of my time because now there’s a department in SOHE, Interdisciplinary Studies, that offers a major in community & nonprofit leadership. This would have been my major had SOHE been organized back then the way it is today!
Parents dropping off their children for the SOHE Preschool have their
own secure elevator from the parking area. LED lights change color on
the marquee. Notice the drop ceiling. What could be more appropriate
in a school that offers a design major!

One of my jobs when I was in human resources was at the Wisconsin Union. The organization has two facilities – Memorial Union on Langdon Street and Union South near the College of Engineering campus. Back when I was hired, Union South (originally built in 1971) was relatively new. However, in the 70s, it seemed that buildings were designed to be disposable. So 40 years later, there’s a new Union South. It is a stunning structure, planned to last far longer than its predecessor.

Last Saturday was Homecoming at UW-Madison and the 40th anniversary of the biggest tailgate party on campus – Badger Bash at Union South. Former Wisconsin Union staff and student leaders were invited to celebrate the occasion. The best treat was a pre-game show from the wonderful UW-Madison Marching Band, led by Mike Lekrone now in his 44th year as Director. The band performed in the plaza between Union South and the Engineering Library. We had a fabulous view from a second floor balcony.
There's even a big screen TV so fans on the ground don't miss
a moment of pre-game action.
Mike Lekrone directing the band. It was a great mini-concert designed
to rev up Badger football fans.
Our view was spectacular. 
My cousin’s son, Eric, plays euphonium in the band. Early this year he had the unique experience of participating in the 2012 Rose Bowl. Eric is following in the footsteps of his uncle, another cousin, who played tuba a few years earlier, also under the direction of Lekrone. Given his tenure at UW, today Lekrone might very well be directing grandchildren of band members who were there in 1969 when he became head of the program!

Rick is a graduate of UW-Milwaukee, but he enjoyed the Bash as much as I did. He even captured the band doing the “Bud” song.

When you say “Wisconsin,” you’ve said it all!

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