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Badger Bulletin: Fall 2015

Notes and pictures from Badgers around the world.

Ernie Pellegrino Badger garage picture

One of our favorite things about creating Badger Insider magazine is getting to hear from our readers. Every issue, we receive photos and notes that make us laugh, cry, smile, and reminisce. Here’s what we heard from you:

Ernie Pellegrino ’61, MD’64 went from doctor to artist as he painted a life-size Bucky Badger on his garage door. Michael “Mikey” Moga x’36 wasted no time decorating his new set of wheels. Badger besties Melina Bast ’09, Elspeth Wilde ’09, Andrea Christensen ’08, and Rachel Le Vely ’09 brought their Badger pride to Peru. Sawyer x’30 and Izzy x’31 Brault one-upped a Michigan fan on the beach in Sanibel Island, Florida. And six Badger friends reunited to celebrate the 60th wedding anniversary of Jeanne “Jinx” Oppenheimer Akerkar ’51 and P.K. “Anand” Akerkar MA’51.

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Note from Herbert Laufenburg ’50, MD’53:

“It was 1952 and I was a third-year medical student at the University of Wisconsin. I was attending a lecture on the third floor of what was then the University Hospital. The lecture was over and as I walked down the hall, I came upon a gathering of nurses, student nurses, medical students, hospital staff, and who knows. They were seated in the chairs with their attention focused on a rather large opening in the wall that looked down on the second floor that was an operating room in which surgery was being performed. I decided to join the group and approach the only chair remaining. As I was about to sit, the chair next to mine was occupied by a beautiful redheaded student nurse with brown eyes, brown hair, dimples and a beautiful smile. My first thought was that happy days are here again. I sat down, introduced myself as she did. We happily talked and I forgot about the surgery. Our meeting was brief as the surgery was over and everyone was leaving.

To tell the truth, I was unable to get her out of my mind. This led me to call her at the nurses dorm three days later and asked her to go out with me on a date. [Diane Gehler Laufenburg ’54 and I] went to a movie and from that time on, our relationship grew and has never ended. We became a pair and attended many Badger activities.

As one Christmas approached, we drove to her parent’s home in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Her parents were gone and we were sitting on the davenport talking when, without warning, I reached over, took her left hand, and slipped an engagement ring on her fourth finger. Silence and hesitation ensued for about 15 minutes when I heard her say ‘yes.’

To make a long story short, we were now engaged and on June 19, 1953 I graduated from medical school. The very next day, June 20, 1953, we were married, and have lived happily ever after, and with four wonderful children.”

Note from Carol Gresch:

When my husband and I went to school in Madison in 1969, I lived at the “Nunnery,” Barnard Hall, on University Avenue and Bill lived in DTS house on Langdon Street. We met on a blind date, set up by his friend from Antigo, Wisconsin, and over three years we went out sometimes to the Arboretum for picnics or the Union for dinner. Depending on who had the most money, we ate but never sat watching the lake with the sailboats.

I had to work for News and Publications in Bascom Hall and Bill did odd jobs for the richer people up the hill on University Avenue.

In 1970, we married and moved to Antigo, Wisconsin, to run a family business. We had four boys—two went to UW-Madison, one went to UW-Stevens Point, and one went to UW-Milwaukee (he is still there in Information Studies). I’m glad I we paid for UW-Madison Alumni membership.


Carol Knaack Gresch ’70 and William Gresch ’70

Thanks for sharing, Badgers! Have something you’d like to see in an upcoming issue of Badger Insider? Send your notes and photos to

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