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Alumni Weekend 2010 brings great food, notable grads and Badger spirit to campus

March 2, 2010 By Kate Dixon

It’ll be this spring’s biggest weekend on campus.

It’s Alumni Weekend 2010, a full weekend of activities set for April 22-24 at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Alumni and friends will be back to mingle with notable graduates, enjoy locally sourced food and drink, connect back to campus, work out their Crazylegs and show off their Badger spirit.

Alumni Weekend 2010 is hosted by the Wisconsin Alumni Association. New events for 2010 include a daylong Food Summit and the launch of Crazylegs World, as well as traditions, such as the Distinguished Alumni Awards and Spirit Day.

The weekend starts early with the Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony on Thursday, April 22 at 5 p.m. in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union. Five alumni will receive WAA’s highest honor, bestowed upon graduates who have made extraordinary contributions in their life and work in the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea.

The 2010 honorees are: Robert Barnett ’68, a leading representative of authors, television news professionals, and government officials; Rita Braver ’70, an award-winning senior correspondent at CBS News Sunday Morning; Haynes Johnson MS’56, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and commentator; Kathryn Oberly ’71, JD’73, an associate judge on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals; and Arnold Weiss ’51, LLB’53, a retired investment-bank attorney and decorated World War II veteran whose efforts led to the capture of Hitler’s last will, now in the National Archives.

Free and open to the public, the awards ceremony will feature a musical tribute performance by UW coed a cappella group Redefined. Tickets to a reception and dinner to follow, featuring a sustainable and locally sourced menu, are $65.

The Food Summit, on Friday, April 23, will feature a series of lectures and discussions that extend the campus discussion on a wide variety of topics surrounding food, including a keynote address by former U.S. Sen. George McGovern, who was instrumental in passing federal school lunch legislation. Other speakers at the summit will include Madison food writer Michelle Wildgen ’97 and UW faculty experts in biochemistry, food science, nutrition and consumer science.

The Day on Campus: Food Summit will be at Memorial Union, and sessions are free and open to the public. Tickets to the Food Summit luncheon are $25. The Food Summit is co-sponsored by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Also debuting on April 24 as part of Alumni Weekend 2010, alumni anywhere can join in the fun of Crazylegs World, an effort to get Badger enthusiasts everywhere out and running in support of UW Athletics. The Crazylegs Classic has been an annual road race and fundraiser for the Athletic Department since 1982. This year, WAA is working with alumni to create parallel races in cities around the globe, which can be held anytime, anyplace.

Other Alumni Weekend events include:

  • Spirit Day: Wear Badger red on Friday, April 23 and showcase the valuable role that UW grads play in the workforce and in communities around the world. A photo contest is open to grads all over the world.
  • Across Campus: Departments, schools, colleges and centers across campus welcome all alumni and friends to receptions and events throughout the weekend. Participants include Integrated Liberal Studies, Department of Physics, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Hillel and several foreign studies and study abroad programs. The weekend also includes special tours of Camp Randall and the Lakeshore Preserve, as well as a performance of Into the Woods at University Theatre.
  • Class of 1960 Reunion: Alumni celebrating their 50-year class reunion will mark the occasion with a dinner on April 24, when Chancellor Carolyn “Biddy” Martin inducts the Half Century Club’s newest members and alumni will present a Class Gift to the University of Wisconsin Foundation.

Alumni Weekend begins as students on campus will be finishing a week of celebrating All-Campus Party, making Friday, April 23, one of the most spirited days on campus.

A full Alumni Weekend schedule and registration is available at