Der Rathskeller opened in 1928 in the Memorial Union, and only male students were allowed inside. In response, the Union Women Affairs Committee established a meeting place in the Paul Bunyan room in 1934, and called it "Der Catskeller". Finally, in 1941, women were allowed to use Der Rathskeller, but only after 2:30 PM. (These days, they are welcome any time!)
At this juncture, an event called Danceskeller began to run every Friday and Saturday night, where male and female students paid 25 cents to swing dance the night away.
The word "Rathskeller" is German, and roughly translates to "the basement of a town hall", which was widely known in Germany as a place where citizens would meet for fellowship and refreshments after a long day.
Do you appreciate that the sidewalks and delivery docks are clear when you arrive on a snowy morning? Check out these statistics on the amazing crew responsible for clearing the snow on campus.
Sift and Winnow
Following controversy in 1894, regents adopt an academic freedom statement: “Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great State University of Wisconsin shall ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth may be found.”
Ask Bucky, the Campus and Visitor Relations chat/search/email service for answering questions about the campus and community, is celebrating 20 years of service. Click on the headline to take a quiz to match your wits against Bucky’s.
Did you know artists can display their paintings, photography and more at the OHR? Visit their Art Gallery website for more information. (Image of painting by John Ribble.)
Our campus offers a full-service Veterinary Clinic and hospital! At University of Wisconsin Veterinary Care, they’re committed to being your partner in the health of your pet, performance animal, livestock or patient. As the state’s leader in veterinary care, they give their patients the expertise, latest treatments and compassion they need to get back on track. The team of specialists in all areas of veterinary medicine are here for you, whether your pet requires routine or specialty care. And, it's a learning hospital to train the students of today to be the specialists of tomorrow! So bring your cat, dog, badger or horse to them today.
The Babcock Hall Dairy Plant processes approximately 10,000 pounds of raw milk per day during the school year. Some of the milk is produced right here on campus; the rest comes from private farms in the Dane County area. Unlike most industrial dairy plants, the Babcock Hall plant produces a variety of products and is required to recover 100 percent of its operating costs from the sale of dairy products on campus. The plant’s in-house processing equipment manufactures yogurt, butter, cheese, fluid milk and most fermented dairy products — and the delicious ice cream that put Babcock Hall on the map! You can bring staff through on a tour of the plant to learn more about their process, and have a delicious treat at the end!
Get your physics on! Visit this unique museum in the heart of the UW campus: the L.R. Ingersoll Physics Museum is located inside Chamberlin Hall at 1150 University Avenue. Established in 1918, their museum is a Free public venue and is open to all visitors (M-F) from 8:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. The exhibits give you a "hands-on" experience of physical concepts ranging from mechanics to modern physics in a demonstration-driven, kid-friendly environment. But don't let that discourage the adults from going — everyone will learn something at this amazing piece of our campus.
Did you know that the university has sheep and a shepherd? In fact, the first shepherd was hired around 1910. While some of the shepherd’s basic responsibilities are the same, most of the work in which the sheep are involved has changed completely.
Five have held the title of shepherd, but the first was Frank Kleinheinz, the son of a German farmer, who had a solid understanding of sheep herding and care. Soon after he came to Madison in the early 1900s, he started hanging around the agriculture campus. Impressed with his knowledge, faculty hired him and eventually bestowed Kleinheinz, who had no formal college education, with the title “professor of animal husbandry.”
Today, Todd Taylor is the shepherd, and the sheep have been moved to a farm off Highway 14. The flock of about 375 females mostly consists of four types of purebreds. Click the headline to read more about this.
UW-Madison units can now request fine art for their facilities using a new program administered by Facilities Planning & Management.
The Campus Art Exchange is an innovative program that provides fine art for public display across campus at little or no cost by circulating art works in the campus collection.
The Art Exchange allows you to view an online gallery to view currently available works of art and request the artwork that you want to display in your building.
The campus has a FREE bike repair area located in the parking ramp of Helen C. White Library, at the end of Lake Street! This do-it-yourself station includes air pump, tools, a bike repair stand, grease and lube, repair manuals, and much more. They won't do the work for you, but if you're handy, this is a great resource for you to do quick adjustments or tire changes. They even provide maps of the area and offer classes and events! Check them out today.
As sleepy students made their way up Bascom Hill on the first day of classes in 1979, they were greeted by an unbelievable sight: 1,008 pink flamingos covered the hill in front of the dean's office. At 8am on September 4, 1979, members of the now legendary Pail & Shovel Party had begun planting the birds. By 2pm that afternoon, however, the ephemeral wonder had disappeared from the hill, the birds taken one-by-one by students who displayed them for years afterward in their dorm rooms, apartments, and elsewhere around campus. The Party's president, James J. Mallon, and vice-president, Leon D. Varjian, salvaged one flamingo and soon afterward donated it to the State Historical Society to preserve it for posterity. These days, the UW sponsors a fundraiser called "Fill the Hill" where they recreate this act for charity.
There are two bodies buried on Bascom Hill. No, they are not students who collapsed traversing the steep path to the top of the hill for class; they are in fact early settlers of Madison, buried there when Bascom Hill was used as a cemetery for white settlers in Madison from 1837. In about 1846, the city cemetery was moved elsewhere, but these two graves were overlooked until the early 1900s when they were uncovered while Abe was being installed in his perch atop the hill. For the whole story, click on the title above.
Bucky's Butchery at the Meat Lab offers reasonably-priced meat every Friday from 11-3 on our campus. Buy our students' homework!
Bucky’s Butchery is operated by a team of UW-Madison undergraduate students. The retail shop and processing plant is located in the UW Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory. The Meat Science program is within the Department of Animal Sciences. All of the meat sold by Bucky’s Butchery is produced right here on campus. Students working at the Meat Lab gain extensive experience in many facets of the meat industry including animal harvest, carcass fabrication, meat processing, product development, HACCP, and proper food safety and sanitation procedures. Working in a retail setting, undergraduates gain have experience with customer interaction, marketing, and product sales.
If you would like to receive Bucky’s Butchery weekly email, send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chazen Museum is a world-renowned facility, available to all of us for FREE — take some time off and browse their galleries. Want to do a different type of team building event with your staff? You can schedule group tours at http://www.chazen.wisc.edu/learn/general-community/. Get out of the office and learn about the community you work within!
Allen Centennial Gardens offers visitors a peaceful respite, a beautiful and visually stimulating place to relax amid a multitude of botanical delights. The gardens are open to the public 365 days a year from dawn to dusk with no admission fee. Take your staff there for a break from the office — have an outdoor meeting! P.S. The 80 bus goes right by this true campus paradise. Visit their website for more information about the gardens. Click the title above for a link to a recent On Wisconsin article about the gardens.
Two sets of labyrinthine steam tunnels — extending from Memorial Library to the Waisman Center, and from Lake Mendota to University Avenue — run under the streets of campus to heat and cool its buildings. This 20-mile subterranean maze has been a fixture at UW-Madison since the late 1800s, when the first tunnels were constructed.
Over the years, they’ve attracted many adventurous student explorers. Some have reported sightings of an elusive tunnel traveler, while plenty of others have written him off as an urban legend.
Since 1975, Tunnel Bob — or Robert Gruenenwald — has made it his duty to patrol the tunnels. As a kind of steam-tunnel tourist, he’s even traveled to other campuses across the country to explore their tunnel infrastructure, but he always returns to Madison. Clearly, our tunnels reign superior.
After some coaxing, Tunnel Bob agreed to let a handful of students follow him through the tunnels … and document their travels.
Click on the title for more details on Tunnel Bob.
Did you know the UW-Madison launched the nation’s first university dance program way back in 1926? Or that we invented Vitamin B? Or started the first educational radio station? Click the link to see more of the 24 firsts we are credited with.
What's that loud noise near the terrace? The steam whistle, located atop the Helen C. White observatory tower, announces the countdown to sundown during sailing season. The whistle blows approximately one hour before sunset each evening. The main purpose of the whistle, however, is to warn boaters of an oncoming dangerous storm. Three short blasts indicate an approaching storm. If they hear the warning, boaters should clear the water. For more information, click on the title above.
Statue of Liberty on Lake Mendota
The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Pail and Shovel Party promised that, if elected to student government, they would move the Statue of Liberty to Lake Mendota, and they made good on their promise.
In February 1979 an astonishing sight appeared on Wisconsin’s Lake Mendota. The top of the Statue of Liberty seemed to emerge from the icy water. Astonished local residents flocked to the lake to witness the bizarre spectacle. It was not a mirage. It was, instead, one of the most famous college pranks of all time.
Innovation at UW-Madison
Using techniques developed at the UW, the first bone marrow transplant in the United States was performed at UW Hospital in 1968.
The carillon tower on UW-Madison's campus is a unique gem, not to be taken for granted. Designed by Arthur Peabody, the UW-Madison carillon was originally dedicated in 1936 with 25 bells. Additions and replacements resulted in the current configuration of 56 bells ranging in size from 15 to 6,823 pounds. The UW-Madison carillon is one of three in Wisconsin, the others being at Marquette University in Milwaukee and First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Green Bay. The carillon is featured in weekly recitals by University Carillonneur Lyle Anderson during the academic year and by Mr. Anderson and guest artists each summer. You can watch the Carillonneur masterfully manipulate the instrument and listen to a sampling of music. The carillon is played most Wednesdays and Fridays at 1 pm, for about 15 minutes, throughout the semester, as well as other special events throughout the year. Reservations are required for group tours. Click the title for an article about the tower.
The Geology Museum has a storied history, surviving a fire at Science Hall and eventually amassing over 120,000 specimens for viewing in their current location on West Dayton Street to support their dedication to education and research in Geoscience. The museum is free to visit, and welcomes visitors of all ages. Come discover the amazing history and geology of our planet; bring staff members for a break from their daily digs and see what this amazing department does for our community. Click the title for a link to a recent On Wisconsin article about the museum's largest exhibit, the Mastodon.
We have our own resident bracketology experts on campus, in the College of Engineering! Badger Bracketology is a University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering sports analytics team directed by Laura Albert McLay that has developed a methodology for forecasting the four team NCAA football playoff starting back in 2014 using advanced analytics and discrete event simulation. Simulations and forecasts are updated weekly. To see a quick interview with Laura Albert McLay go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=463Lyo8xfLY.
Science Hall was the second building in the country to be built entirely with steel-frame construction and may be the oldest all-steel-beam building standing today. It is also said to be haunted by the souls of cadavers previously stored in its bowels.