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While the UW certainly has a rich, tradition-filled history, it’s crucial to remember that the land on which our university sits holds a history that goes back much farther than 1848. This past summer, university leaders took steps to recognize the Ho-Chunk land that campus occupies, as well as the troubled history of its acquisition. The recognition came in the form of a new heritage marker on Bascom Hill called Our Shared Future. At the dedication ceremony on June 18, Chancellor Blank acknowledged that “no plaque or monument can ever adequately convey a difficult and complicated history,” but its goal is to begin a continued practice of education. A secondary part of the Our Shared Future initiative is a grant that awards funding to UW schools, colleges, and departments that propose a series of structured learning experiences that focus on the Ho-Chunk culture and history. In addition to grant money, the winning units also host the heritage marker for a time. This allows the marker to share its message and meaning with the full campus community. After a year, the marker will permanently reside on Bascom Hill.

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