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Resolution, carillon concert on Oct. 2 to honor Rebecca M. Blank

September 27, 2023
Portrait of Rebecca Blank

Rebecca Blank

Faculty, staff and students are invited to attend a carillon concert in honor of Chancellor Emerita Rebecca Blank on Oct. 2 after the reading of a memorial resolution for her at the Faculty Senate.

Free ice cream will be available beginning at 4:30 p.m. near the Social Sciences building by the carillon tower. The concert will start at 4:50 p.m. and last approximately 20 minutes.

The event is hosted by the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty and the Office of the Chancellor.

Blank, an economist and educator who served in high-level U.S. government and academic positions, died of cancer on Feb. 17. She was 67.

During her tenure at UW–Madison, from 2013–2022, Blank focused on improving educational outcomes and the student experience, further elevating the university’s world-class faculty and placing the university on firm financial footing through a combination of private fundraising and inventive strategies. She was known for her direct style, quick analysis and dry sense of humor, all while leading one of the country’s top public research universities through a complex political period and a devastating global pandemic.

The carillon concert will be performed by Lyle Anderson, university carillonneur emeritus, and will include “On, Wisconsin,” variations on “Amazing Grace,” “Varsity” and “Magic Penny,” which was sung at Rebecca M. Blank and Hanns Kuttner’s wedding.

UW–Madison’s carillon tower, rising over Observatory Drive near Bascom Hall, has serenaded the campus community for nearly nine decades. Within its 85-foot-high tower, UW’s carillon comprises 56 bells, ranging from 15 to nearly 7,000 pounds and activated by fist and foot with wooden levers and pedal keys.

Abstract of Memorial Resolution of the Faculty of the University of Wisconsin­–Madison

On the Death of Chancellor Emerita Rebecca M. Blank

Chancellor Emerita Rebecca Blank died on February 17, 2023. She served as Chancellor from 2013 to 2022, a period of difficult political challenges, extreme budget cuts, and the COVID-19 pandemic, leading the University to emerge stronger than ever. Her achievements include increasing accessibility to UW–Madison for low-income students; expanding undergraduate enrollment; diversifying faculty and student bodies; reducing time to graduation; creating the School of Computer, Data, and Information Sciences; leading the largest fundraising campaign in university history; and leaving the University substantially more financially secure than when she arrived. She was a brilliant scholar, dedicated public servant, transformational administrator, devoted teacher and mentor, and loving family and community member whose legacy will long outlast her years.