Oh, what a year! From the polar vortex and golden leaves galore, to a Final Four appearance and a Heisman finalist, to seemingly endless construction and the comeback of pink flamingos, the UW-Madison community offered us reasons to be excited, inspired, celebratory and proud. This was the stuff of memories. University Communications photographers Jeff Miller and Bryce Richter selected some of the favorite moments they captured during the year, allowing us to experience them now — and revisit them again and again. Words: Cindy Foss Photos: Jeff Miller and Bryce Richter
1 A soapy bubble freezes astoundingly fast on a January day atop Bascom Hill, as we learn to brave frigid temperatures and comprehend a new term — the polar vortex.
2 Warmth hits frigid air as dusk turns to nighttime on the west end of campus.
3 Finding the fun in frigid, UW sophomore Tyler Cox competes during the Hoofers Winter Carnival Rail Jam event on Observatory Hill in February.
4 Hoping for strikes — and carrying on a campus tradition — the UW Bowling Team hits the lanes at Union South.
5 With a nod to its historic character (and characters), Der Stiftskeller at Memorial Union reopens in February after undergoing renovation.
6 As spring arrives on campus, so, too, does an art installation along a corridor of the Mosse Humanities Building.
7 Lucky UW students who traveled to the NCAA Final Four men's basketball tournament in North Texas in April lose no time showing their Badger enthusiasm before tipoff.
8 But some Badger fans settle in closer to home to watch the Final Four game; students get comfy at Sellery Hall — but ultimately watch Wisconsin lose a closely fought game against Kentucky.
9 Believing that you’re never too young for hockey, Wisconsin women's forward Molly Doner helps a wee one take aim during the Badger Sports Kids' Fair at the McClain Center.
10 Undergraduate Chandler Davis works out during a UW Boxing Club practice at the Gymnasium-Natatorium in April.
11 Moving is always challenging, and this was no exception: a crew transports Ancient Fishing, a bronze sculpture by artist Jim Dine, to its new home near the Chazen Museum of Art’s front entrance.
12 During a drumming and dance ceremony held for Spring Powwow, an event celebrating American Indian culture, head dancer Joe Syrette holds an eagle-head staff.
13 The ghostly shapes of meeting participants appear behind notes on a frosted-glass wall in Signe Skott Cooper Hall.
14 Robert Schlotthauer, a mortician with the Body Donor Program, works quietly in a lesser-known space in the campus’s Bardeen Medical Laboratories Building.
15 With a captivating stare, a wild fox roams the grounds near the Soils Building on a spring morning.
16 Bringing back a tradition, commencement speakers, including UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank, address graduates during a ceremony at Camp Randall Stadium — the first held outdoors in more than two decades.
17 There’s no better time for stylish eyewear: Graduates celebrate during spring commencement at Camp Randall Stadium.
18 Tippy canoe? Professor Tom DuBois and graduate student Colin Connors hope not as they travel a short distance to launch a birchbark canoe crafted under the direction of artist-in-residence Wayne Valliere.
19 And so it begins: In May, workers use heavy construction equipment to start demolition of the concrete streetscape near Library Mall; in time, the area will be transformed with a refreshed design.
20 With teamwork front and center, in July multiple agencies take part in Operation Wisconsin Dawn, an exercise at Camp Randall Stadium designed to improve the university's response to emergency or disaster situations.
21 Moooo! A Holstein dairy calf looks out from its hutch enclosure at the UW Emmons Blaine Dairy Cattle Research Center in Arlington.
22 While swimmers bob in the water nearby, newlyweds Matt and Jessi Hill pose for their wedding photos on the pier at the Memorial Union Terrace in June.
23 As dusk falls on a picture-perfect summer evening, people line the Memorial Union Terrace and shoreline piers.
24 Digging into local research, Don Kowalski (left) and UW student Amanda McMahon sift through soil with a mesh screen at an archeological site at Trempealeau, Wisconsin.
25 Laughing while they learn, middle school students construct robots using LEGO Mindstorm kits during a Pre-College Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE) workshop.
26 Making themselves at home on the football field, more than 6,000 people watch a free, public screening of The Lego Movie during Movie Night at Camp Randall in late June.
27 With their board resting on an iconic Terrace table, two gentlemen challenge each other to a game of chess at the Memorial Union on a summer evening.
28 This one’s for you: Volunteers distribute copies of "I Am Malala" to UW students following the Chancellor's Convocation at the Kohl Center in August, kicking off this year’s Go Big Read, UW-Madison’s common-reading program.
29 And we’re off! Assistant professor Keith Woodward speaks with students on the first day of fall semester in his Geography 101 course in Science Hall.
30 With no fear of heights, the aerial dance troupe BANDALOOP rehearses on the exterior wall of the Wisconsin Union Theater in September, readying for a celebration to mark the reopening of the newly renovated west wing of Memorial Union.
31 PJ Liesch, UW-Madison's new “bug guy,” holds one of the subjects of his expertise in his work space in Russell Labs.
32 Late afternoon shadows surround prospective students and their families as they make a stop near 333 East Campus Mall during a campus tour led by Campus and Visitor Relations guide CJ Fischer.
33 A Badger family captures the moment during a Parents' Weekend festival — complete with ice cream and entertainment by UW student groups — held at Union South in September.
34 With a blast from the past, pink flamingos dot Bascom Hill for the annual "Fill the Hill" event, part of the UW's Annual Campaign.
35 We love a parade — especially when the folks lining the streets get to see Frank Kaminsky, a forward on the men’s basketball team, and the UW Alumni Cheerleading Association during Homecoming festivities in October.
36 A day planner and a smartphone help undergraduate Hannah Rosso keep all the balls in the air as a busy semester unfolds.
37 Earning tenure deserves a celebration, the Dance Department agrees, as its faculty, staff and students don costumes for a parade across Bascom Hill in honor of professors Kate Corby and Chris Walker (pictured at left and right of center).
38 Who doesn’t love that face? A newly designed banner featuring mascot Bucky Badger hangs between the columns of Bascom Hall as students study on the hill one autumn afternoon.
39 Putting classes and studying on temporary hold, undergraduates Jenny Recktenwald (left) and Aubrey Nigh play in the fallen leaves outside Elizabeth Waters Hall.
40 Welcoming a good scare, visitors tour the UW Saddle & Sirloin Haunted House held in the Horse Barn, an annual event that supports local food banks as Halloween nears.
41 Heading for the Heisman Trophy finalist position he eventually lands, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon III runs for open field during a game against the Minnesota Gophers in late November.
42 With thanks from grateful pedestrians — and with similar work in his future — a member of the UW grounds crew drives a broom truck and clears the sidewalk of ice and snow along Bascom Hill.
43 A UW Spirit Squad cheerleader. A giant flag adorned with the Motion W. Camp Randall Stadium. Red and white. Snow. Another year at UW-Madison nears an end. And another begins.