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Free cake to celebrate UW-Madison’s 159th birthday

January 29, 2008 By Kate Dixon

This year, the Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA) is feeding students’ minds as well as their bodies during the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s birthday.

UW-Madison held its first day of class on Feb. 5, 1849, and for more than 80 years, alumni across the country have commemorated this occasion at Founders’ Day events hosted by local WAA chapters. On Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008, current students can get a taste of those celebrations with free cake and a free talk.

WAA and University Housing invite all UW–Madison students to enjoy a free piece of birthday cake in the dining halls at Chadbourne, Liz Waters, Gordon Commons, or Frank’s Place from noon until it’s gone.

Faculty, staff and students can also join UW graduates for cake and a free talk on the history of UW–Madison, given by Art Hove, special assistant emeritus, at 2 p.m. in Memorial Union’s Tripp Commons.

"We want students to be part of the time-honored tradition of Founders’ Day," said WAA President and CEO Paula Bonner. "We host more than 60 events around the country, and we also invite all those on campus to celebrate being a Badger and honor our UW heritage."

The very first Founders’ Day event was held in 1924 at UW–Madison’s Stock Pavilion. The 6,000 people who celebrated got a piece of a huge white cake made from three-quarters of a barrel of flour, 150 pounds of sugar, 480 eggs, 40 pounds of butter, and 32 quarts of milk. This year’s cake won’t be quite as large, but students who show up at the dining halls will get a slice.

Participation and membership in WAA and its chapters are open to all alumni, students and friends of UW–Madison.

Founded in 1861, WAA offers UW alumni and friends a wide variety of services, including the award-winning On Wisconsin Magazine, Badger Insider Magazine, student programs and scholarships, career services, and lifelong learning events.