Skip Navigation

Badgers, Badgers, Everywhere: Stateside

Badgers Stateside.


I had finished army basic training a few months after graduating from the UW and was in a barracks at Fort Benning, Georgia, for advanced training. A fellow trainee was wearing a ring from a fraternity with which I was familiar. I told him that we had a chapter of the same fraternity where I went to school. He told me that he was a graduate of the UW as well, and I he told me that his fraternity was next door to my fraternity house on Langdon Street. We never knew each other in college, though we were next door neighbors!
Ed Berman ’70
Chicago, Illinois

An unexpected encounter! Living in a condo on a beach in Florida, I look forward each year to the “snowbirds” returning. A couple of years ago (in January), a car pulled into my building and into the parking space next to me. The New York license plate read “Judge 27.” But out of the car stepped a man dressed in Badger gear from head to toe. Introducing myself, I discovered that his name was Gerard Rosenberg. Then we learned that we had both graduated from UW in 1956! He had been a justice of the New York state Supreme Court for 27 years! Classmates! Then I retrieved my Badger from 1956, and there we are on opposite pages of the yearbook — almost looking at each other. Such a coincidence. Now I look forward to Gerry and his wife, Harriet, returning every year — feel we are related!!!
Sylvia Sachtjen Payne ’56
Longboat Key, Florida

My husband and I were on our honeymoon in Utah in September 2012 — we're both geologists (although he's not a Wisconsin native and didn't attend UW), so it was a natural choice for that special trip. We were at the Kennecott/Bingham Copper Mine outside of Salt Lake City, poking around the gift shop, when I saw a woman wearing a Badgers shirt. I gave her an excited greeting and we chatted briefly, then went on our ways while my new husband chuckled at how excited I was to see a fellow Badgers fan. Of course, Utah has a special place in the heart of most UW geology grads, since our field camp is based out of Park City ... and it didn't hurt that a day or so later we were at a brewpub in Moab, seated next to Bears fans with me in my Packers gear, watching the Packers beat the Bears on Thursday night football.
Julie Hill ’02
Addison, Texas

I live in Utah where I am a member of a local chapter of the Audubon Society. This past July, we had the biannual National Audubon convention in Park City. While I was attending and volunteering at the convention, I had random conversations with two other UW alumni! It appears we Badgers like birds!
Ian Batterman ’09
Sandy, Utah

Hmmm. Where was the most unexpected place I ever encountered a fellow Badger? I would have to say the men's room at a Packer game. I guess she was just tired of waiting in line, too.
Lynn Jindra Gadzinski ’63
Jefferson, Wisconsin

I taught with a UW–Madison graduate — track coach Bob Duffield MS’53, or as he was affectionately known by his athletes, "The Duffer" — for seven years in the 70s at the old Elgin High School in Chicago suburb Elgin, where he taught social studies and led the perennial championship track team. Bob took me under his well-weathered wing with advice for surviving my first years as a rookie teacher, as well as encouraging me and often joining me to attend a variety of education conferences in the area. His mentoring and encouragement helped improve my practice and gave me the overview of the profession that would serve me well later after I graduated from UW–Madison, both as a public-school administrator and later as a professor of education leadership in Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. I suppose he saw some potential for leadership in me and chose to develop it as a means of giving back in the true spirit of the Wisconsin Idea. It wasn't until long after I left the Chicago area and public-school teaching that I discovered his name in the alumni magazine as a member of the Class of 1959, where he excelled as a track athlete for the UW during his years as an undergraduate. The Badger spirit of giving and mentoring lives … On Wisconsin!
Christopher Sny PhD’84
Newburgh, Indiana

I met a fellow badger at Crafts in the Meadow working one of the booths. It is a craft show in Tyler State Park in Richboro, Pennsylvania, in October. We talked about what our majors were and when we were there.
Charlotte Chatfield ’78
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

My family and I were vacationing in Hawaii this past spring break. On March 24th, 2017, we went to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I was wearing my beloved Badger T-shirt as our basketball team was going to be playing Florida in the fourth round of the Men’s NCAA Tournament later that day. We were walking along through woods, foothills and caves enjoying the scenery when someone shouted “Go, Badgers!!!” The young lady who called it out was also a fellow Badger alum (Class of 2007) from New York. My wife, Karen ’86, and I had a wonderful chat with her and her sister (also a fellow alum, Class of 2009) regarding the UW and how cool it was to have met each other the way we did. It was the most unexpected place to meet a fellow Badger, and certainly an encounter I will always remember!!!
Bill Monfre ’85
Green Bay, Wisconsin

I was riding my bike on the 606 trail in downtown Chicago when numerous people yelled “Go Badgers’ and “On, Wisconsin.” At first, I didn't realize it but I had my Badger hat on. It was great. I felt like I was riding down State Street.
Bud Damato ’80
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

On a warm but pleasant summer evening a couple of years ago, my wife, Ida, and I decided to dine at Richmond, Virginia's best and most popular barbeque establishment, a place called Buzz and Ned's. As we sat down, we noticed a couple of our generation nearby and he was wearing a Wisconsin T-shirt. We introduced ourselves and for the next hour or so shared our fondest memories of our days at the UW. Had he not been wearing the shirt, we never would have known we were in the company of a fellow Badger.
Charles Hurlbut ’69
Prince George, Virginia

I was in Bethesda, Maryland, attending a conference for work. It happened to be during March Madness, which we all know involves the Badgers. After a busy day attending multiple sessions at my conference, a group of us went to a bar for drinks. I ordered a beer and as I was paying, the person next to me said “OMG ... are you a Badger? ... I graduated from the UW in the 90s!” He noticed the Bucky “tattoo” I had stamped on my hand. Needless to say, I did not have to pay for that drink.
Rhonda Larson Sager ’99, MA’01
Madison, Wisconsin

In 2007, I moved to North Carolina from Virginia. I began teaching English as a foreign language at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh in 2008. I discovered a fellow Badger, David Cooper ’88 in an office down the hall from my office. He taught developmental math. I have since retired, but he still works there as an administrator. Also in our hallway was a Wolverine, a Buckeye, and a Nittany Lion! The Big Ten was well represented in our little corner of campus!
Donna Hart Riddel ’69
Apex, North Carolina

My wife, Marcia ’68, and I, both Badgers, retired and moved to tiny Glen Arbor, Michigan (population 580 at the time). Our daughter, living in Illinois and a UW law school graduate, became engaged to be married soon after our retirement. The ideal location for a beautiful lakefront wedding was the Glen Arbor Yacht Club, available for weddings only to members. We were not members, and our boating was, and is, mostly limited to kayaking. We discovered that a neighbor couple whom we had not met were members — and Badgers. When they learned that we were Badgers, that was all they needed to know to offer to sponsor our daughter’s wedding at the Yacht Club. It was a pristine June day and a splendid event, as attested to by guests from far and near, including our Badger alumni neighbors, who have been our friends for ten years.
David Harris ’67, MS’70, PhD’76
Glen Arbor, Michigan

One day, I came home to find a Wisconsin alumni newsletter in our mailbox. My wife, Andrea DPM’07, and I are both alums and my lab was in the School of Pharmacy, so I look through the magazines for both the College of Engineering and School of Pharmacy. Except I didn't recognize any faculty or even the building. Confused, I paged through the whole thing until I flipped the back cover to realize it was from the School of Education. Odd. I looked at the address — it was the same house number, but one street off. That's not uncommon in Wisconsin, but in Cleveland, randomly running into another Badger is a lot less common — especially one street away!
Sean Zuckerman MS’06, PhD’08
Lakewood, Ohio

As a retired Los Angeles City Council member, when I downsized from the home we lived in for 48 years to a condo, still in the San Fernando Valley, and still Los Angeles, I turned over my personal files to the library of our local university, California State University Northridge (CSUN). The Oviatt Library was happy to receive them, despite the lack of organization. I'm an on to the next project person, and not a good maintenance person. Sometime later, I learned that the Oviatt Library at CSUN had processed my papers, and created the beautiful Joy Picus Special Collection. I invited the dean of the library to lunch, along with the archivist who had worked on my materials. Imagine our mutual delight when Ellen Jarosz ’02, MA’05 and I discovered we were both University of Wisconsin–Madison alumnae! So satisfying for both of us, and we have retained an ongoing relationship!
Joy Newberger Picus ’51
Reseda, California

My wife and I were living in Madison after having lived in Clearwater, Florida, for a number of years. Our daughter graduated from high school in Clearwater and then also attended UW–Madison. Upon graduation, she moved to Fort Lauderdale to live with her best friend, Sue Kisiel (now Morris) from high school. They met us in Tampa to attend the Hall of Fame Bowl, and my wife, Lynne, had prepared well for all of us having scored some beer-mug hats in advance for us to wear at the game. So, the Badger Plus newspaper caught us high up in the stands (well, high, anyway) during the game, which is the picture tied to the story. The other image was taken by an alumni friend in the parking lot at the stadium. A great time was had by all.
Neil Kosterman ’72
Madison, Wisconsin

Moving into our condo six years ago, we found we were sharing our duplex wall with a fellow Badger. Always fun to share our experiences.
Lee Ladenburger ’56
Belvidere, Illinois

Four interesting places: One was on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, in November 1973 — the year I graduated. (He was a law student who had been in a class with me at UW.) The second was in a bar on High Street in Columbus, Ohio, after a football game in the late 1970s. (We had also been high school classmates.) The third was on an el-train in Chicago one night after a White Sox game in 1980. (We had a mutual friend.) The last was as I was leaving the football stadium in Berkeley, California, after the UW played there in 1989, when I heard my name called. It was Elroy Hirsch (who remembered me from when I was a sportswriter at the Daily Cardinal.) Bonus credit from my wife, a non-graduate: After the 2015 football game at Maryland, two men called her name. They were Milwaukee County judges Thomas McAdams ’83, JD’87 and David Feiss JD’85, both UW grads. They had worked with her in the Milwaukee County district attorney's office.
Bill Kurtz ’73
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Almost without fail, wearing Badger gear prompts a response, usually from fellow Badgers. I was on a tour to Alaska in early September that included a couple of days in Denali National Park. On a free evening, I decided to go into the village at the edge of the park for dinner. I went to a typical Alaska roadhouse — that state's version of rural Wisconsin supper clubs — and I was minding my own business when a young couple exclaimed “On, Wisconsin!” to me. They explained that they were UW grads, as well — she from Janesville, Wisconsin — visiting Alaska for some camping and hiking. “Do you know where New Glarus is?” asked her companion, and I replied that I have enjoyed many a beer in that charming town. In January, I'm traveling to Israel on a tour sponsored by the WAA, and Badger gear will be in my suitcase. I don't want to miss the chance to be greeted by a fellow Badger in that historic region.
James Podgers ’73
Chicago, Illinois

It was at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. In August, my wife and I were enjoying a crystal-clear day at one of the most beautiful sites in this country when a couple came up to us and said, “Go Badgers!” We shared a bottle of wine and some stories of bygone days.
Barbara ’75 and David JBA’74
Fitchburg, Wisconsin

In the late 1960s, I was working out of Chicago and doing a lot of flying in and out of O’Hare Airport. My next-door neighbor was a pilot for United Airlines and we often talked about meeting up some time at the airport and sharing a ride home. The stars finally aligned and we were able to set up a time when I could meet him in the United area and get a ride home with him. This was way before highjacking was taking place and it was a fairly simple exercise for me to gain access to the United operations area. We walked down to the tarmac and waited on the shuttle bus to bring in a load of United personnel. The bus arrived and began to unload. Toward the end of the line of people getting off the bus was one of my fraternity brothers and a fellow graduate of the UW. We only had a few moments to catch up and then we parted. My pilot friend turned to me and said, “I have been here two years. I had worked for the company out in San Francisco for three years before that. I have never run into anyone from either location when I have come out to the shuttle. You come out one time and you get a hit!” It turns out that I have had a number of “small world” stories happen to me over the years.
Jake Moelk ’65
Carmel, Indiana

Badgers Are Everywhere

Related News and Stories