From Bascom to the Bay

By Dexter Patterson '14 on March 9, 2016

On March 5, more than 300 alumni painted the Golden Gate city of San Francisco Badger red as they celebrated the largest comprehensive campaign in university history at the beautiful Palace Hotel.

The event brought Wisconsin alumni together to toast the All Ways Forward campaign and also to network and discover how philanthropic giving significantly improves the lives of current and future Badgers.

“Red is the color that unites us”Tashia Morgridge

The program began with John and Tashia Morgridge tugging at heartstrings through their notable affection for each other and their touching stories of why they choose to give back to the university they love. “Red is the color that unites us,” said Tashia, while John’s signature Morgridge Institute for Research bow tie and “Motion W” dress shirt illuminated the room.

Professor William Cronon spoke eloquently about the university’s impressive, 168-year history and reminded everyone how far the UW has come over the years. Professor Richard Davidson, the founder of the Center for Healthy Minds, discussed his recent research on kindness and mindfulness, and how both have had a positive effect on children in the Madison community, and how he plans to share these advances with communities around the world.

To close the program, Chancellor Rebecca Blank delivered an inspirational speech that focused on how far the university has already come in its campaign. About the $3.2 billion campaign goal, she said she is “happy to announce we are nearly halfway there.” The chancellor expressed her thanks to donors such as the Morgridges, Ab and Nancy Nicholas, Jerome and Simona Chazen, and the Grainger Foundation for leading the way during the All Ways Forward campaign. And, with the ongoing support of alumni and friends, UW-Madison will continue its journey of progress, growth, and discovery for the next 168 years.


The event concluded with a strolling supper that was full of conversation, laughter, good food, and an abundance of Badger pride. The Bascom Hill photo opportunity was a huge hit, as were the interactive stations that represented the campaign’s four pillars: providing student support, enhancing the educational experience, protecting faculty excellence, and advancing research and innovation. Staffed by eminent faculty members and researchers, these stations represent the Wisconsin Idea and how it remains vibrant and relevant for students, UW alumni, and the world.

One thing is clear: as long as alumni and friends are boundless together, the University of Wisconsin-Madison will remain a top-ranked, world-class institution.

To learn more about the All Ways Forward campaign, please contact Vincent Sweeney, vice president of communications, UW Foundation.