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Eleven Grads Added to Alumni Park

At Alumni Park’s fifth anniversary in October 2022, WAA created new exhibits honoring 11 prominent grads.

Alumni Park and fountain.

The Wisconsin Alumni Association celebrated the fifth anniversary of Alumni Park with special festivities and the unveiling of 11 new alumni honorees and their exhibits featured in the park.

Several of the new honorees, including U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Governor Tony Evers, attended the induction ceremony and community celebration.  

The new Alumni Park honorees include:

•          Kiana Beaudin ’10, MPAS’15  

            Executive Director of Health, Ho-Chunk Nation

“I hope my legacy is that the future generations don't have to fight the same fights that I'm fighting today.”

•          William Campbell MS’54, PhD'57

            Discovered the drug ivermectin and won a Nobel Prize

“As a young man, I had an unexpected opportunity to go to America to be a graduate student, and that would mean crossing the Atlantic in a big ocean liner and going to a place with the exotic name, Wisconsin. I didn't know where Wisconsin was in America, but all I knew and needed to know was that I would be a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin and it would be a great adventure.”

•          André De Shields ’70 

            Tony award–winning actor

•          Tony Evers ’73, MS’76, PhD’86

            Governor of Wisconsin 

“I had the opportunity to see the far left. I had opportunities to see the far right — to see the effectiveness of either one or the ineffectiveness of either one. And it caused me to be kind of in the middle because when you're in the middle, you can accomplish more things. And so it was a real awakening for me politically.”

•          Elzie Higginbottom ’65

Founder of East Lake Management, one of the largest real estate development firms in Illinois

“What I am today is a result of what I got from the University of Wisconsin and all the wonderful people in Wisconsin who supported me and the things that I was really interested in.”

•          Geraldine Hines JD’71

            First Black woman to serve on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

“I was committed and hell-bent on changing the world when I left here. And I learned a few things about that along the way. Change is hard, but you have to keep trying. Even after 50 years, I'm still going strong. I'm passing the torch to younger, more energetic, and more visionary young people, but I did what I could.”

•          Marcy Kaptur ’68 

            Democratic U.S. representative for Ohio’s Ninth Congressional District

•          Jesús Salas MA’85

            Labor organizer and educator, established Chican@ and Latin@ Studies program at the UW

“When I came in 1974, there were a couple of handfuls of Latinos … at the University of Wisconsin, but there were no academic courses. And today at the University of Wisconsin in Letters & Science, there's 24 affiliated faculty members.”

•          Jim Sensenbrenner JD’68  

            Former Republican U.S. representative for Wisconsin’s Fifth Congressional District

•          Linda Thomas-Greenfield MA’75 (scheduled to attend the event)

            U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

“When I came to Madison, Wisconsin in 1974 as a 22-year-old, it was my first time leaving Louisiana, it was my first time ever flying on a plane, and it was my first time really engaging with white people even though I'd gone to LSU. LSU was very much a segregated university. So I was somewhat traumatized when I arrived here. But what I got when I arrived was a welcoming community, a welcoming community that helped me to find my own voice here at this university.”

•          Allee Willis ’69  

            Songwriter, multimedia performer (posthumous honoree)

UW Band Director Corey Pompey spoke about Allee Willis. “'Do you remember the 21st night of September?' Those are the immortal words of this honoree. And if that had been it, that would've been enough. As far as I'm concerned, she didn't have to do anything else in life because she wrote the world's greatest song, but that's not it.”

A gift to the University of Wisconsin–Madison from alumni and friends around the world, Alumni Park tells the story of what it means to be a Badger. Located on the UW–Madison campus, Alumni Park contains inspiring sculptures, statues, panels, inscriptions, and beloved UW traditions. The exhibits — laid out in 10 areas of distinction, such as health and medicine, education, and the environment — feature more than 120 alumni, highlighting decades of achievements beyond the classroom that embody the Wisconsin Idea: the UW’s cherished principle that the “beneficent influence” of the university should reach to the borders of the state and well beyond.

In 2009, the park was conceived as an elegant and spirited way to complete the Lakefront Gateway, which includes the Gordon Dining and Event Center, East Campus Mall, Library Mall, the Red Gym, Memorial Union, and the Lake Mendota shoreline. Alumni Park opened on October 6, 2017.

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