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Blushing Badgers – 1940s

As the war ended, Badgers turned to thoughts of love…

Badgers know that Cupid’s bow shoots missiles tipped with Motion W–shaped arrowheads. Students find chemistry with each other while sharing a Bunsen burner, or they make sweet music during a trombone lesson. We asked you readers to share tales of where love found you while you were on campus, and your responses brought an ear-splitting chorus of “Awwww…” We have space to reproduce only a fraction of what we received, which should still be enough to send the dial on the romance-o-meter spinning.

In this update, Badger grads of the ’40s share tales of campus romance. Check out the links below for stories from other decades.

More Blushing Badgers

Sarah Hogoboom ‘51


My favorite romantic spot would have to be Observatory Hill. My mother and dad met there in the summer of 1924. Later, in 1946 when Bill [Hogoboom ‘51] and I were freshmen, we loved that view of the lake.  Yet today at age 87, I take that drive and park for a few moments to remember.

Richard Jones ‘50

Melbourne, Florida

I married the widow of a sergeant who was killed in my unit in Holland. In 1946 we moved from Milwaukee and I started my second year at Wisconsin and commuted daily from Badger Village. Getting up the hills during the winter on the bus we used was always "Iffy".  Living at Badger for three years was one of the best memories of my college years.

Muriel Splitgerber

San Diego, California

We met at the U in 1948 Chick [Splitgerber ’50, PhD’74] lived at the Delta Sig house, I lived at Liz Waters. Our 65th anniversary will be on April 15th,2015!

Shirley Gruen ‘45

Port Washington, Wisconsin

I met my "soul mate" at UW Madison in 1942. Gerald A. Gruen ‘47, along with many other Badgers in ROTC. He left Madison to sign up for the WAR (II) and begin Basic training in Georgia (I think) the group passed the requirements for Officers Candidate School, but because OCS was full at that time, they were sent to their respective Universities for the next 3 months until they could begin their officer candidate course.  As a member of the sorority Alpha Chi Omega, my "sisters" were signing me up with Gerald because I was not too tall for him,(   He was 5' 8") I liked him right away because he was "smart' and very intelligent, so conversations with him were fun and interesting, and that was the beginning. After the three months were up, the Badgers went to Officers Candidate School and now it was Lt. Gerald A. Gruen I was in love with. Lt. Gruen was assigned to t he 7th Calvary and was part of the effort to invade Japan when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the war ended. Lt. Gruen was part of the military forces occupying Japan until he arrived home in 1946.

Meanwhile I graduated in 1945 with a BS degree in Art Education and attended further art studies at Art Center College in Los Angeles. Gerald finished his remaining semester at UW Madison and graduated with a degree in Philosophy (PHB)

We were married on Feb 1, 1947 at Port Washington Wisconsin.  Gerald started his own Real Estate Company in Glendale, WI and became that city's second Mayor.  He opened a 2nd Real Estate office in Port Washington and we built our home there. I opened my own Gallery in Port Washington. We had three children: Jerry Jr. (Jean) a lawyer specializing in Social Security disability with an office in Port Washington, Lorelei (Kirk) Hosler, a teacher of English as a second language, Rockford, IL, and Lorna (Bill) Nagler, President of Bealls Dept. Stores in Sarasota, Fla.

We have three grandchildren: Deirdre (James) Coder, a lawyer with the State of Massachusetts in Boston, and Brett Hosler, Manager of Ozaukee Country Club Golf in Brown Deer, WI and Ty (Linda) who is with the Federal Communications Commission in Washington D.C. We were married 63 years

Gerald A Gruen died in Feb 2010 at age 88.

Keith H. Brown '46

Hot Springs Village, Arizona

Was pleased to see Johnny Tackett '07 enjoy Humorology in '06-07. I was President of the Interfraternity Council in '46-'47 and Chairman of the FIRST Humorology in that year. Further met a nice coed over a bridge table at the Sigma Nu house in the spring of '47; we went our own ways for two years, and then at a UW Alumni social in Sheboygan in Dec, '49 Jean Van Ouwerkerk ’47 and I re-met. It had snowed about 6 inches, so I followed her home to be  sure she had no problems, we dated, and were married Dec. 2, '50. Have been following her ever since.'50. In a couple of weeks it will be 64 years!!

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