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UW–Madison Founders’ Day Celebration in Wausau

Two Badgers to be honored at event.

MADISON, Wisconsin (April 16, 2018) — University of Wisconsin–Madison alumni and friends will gather in Wausau to celebrate Founders’ Day, which commemorates the first day of classes held at the University of Wisconsin on February 5, 1849.

As part of that event, the Wisconsin Alumni Association® (WAA) and the WAA: Wausau Chapter will present awards to two Badgers who are living the Wisconsin Idea: the principle that graduates should use their UW–Madison education to better their community and the world.

Forward under 40 Award to Kevin Thao ’06, MD’10, MPH’11: Thao majored in medical microbiology and immunology as a UW–Madison undergraduate and then returned to earn his doctor of medicine and master’s in public health degrees. Thao is currently a primary-care physician at Aspirus Wausau Family Medicine. He is also a faculty associate in the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Family and Community Health. Thao focuses on preventing long-term disease and promoting a healthier lifestyle for the Wausau area’s large Hmong population.

Badger of the Year Award to William Nietert ’74, MD’78: Nietert earned both his undergraduate and doctor of medicine degrees from the University of Wisconsin, and he completed his residency at UW Hospital. Nietert has been in family medicine for 39 years, currently practices at Aspirus Kronenwetter Clinic, and is affiliated with Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Event attendees will also enjoy a special presentation, “Much More Than Just Traditions: Principles That Define the University of Wisconsin,” by Jeff Wendorf ’82, vice president of advancement for the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.

The celebration, sponsored by the WAA: Wausau Chapter, will be held on April 19 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Great Dane Pub and Brewing Company, 2305 Sherman Street, Wausau.

Media Information

Contact: Tod Pritchard,, 608-609-5217, @WisAlumni

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