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Schoenfeld, Clay (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 48, Number 10 (July 1947-Aug. 1947)

UW Records Office trails 133,000 Badgers,   pp. 8-9

Page 8

UW Records Office Trails 133,000 Badgers
   THE SUN NEVER sets on the
Wisconsin Badger. You can walk
down Broadway in New York or
Bubbling Well Road in Shanghai
and run into someone whose face
lights up at the sound of On, Wis-
consin. Hot on the trail of the
133,000 alumni who have gone
through the University of Wis-
consin since 1849 is a staff whose
members combine the best traits
of Secret Service agent a'd blood-
hound. It's the University of Wis-
consin Alumni Records office.
   Offering invaluable help to persons
in pursuit of old classmates, -missing
*heirs, and former sweethearts is just
a minor phase of the colossal "keeping
track" job of -the Alumni Records,
Office,- located in the Memorial Union
on the campus. Financed by the Ulni-
versity and administered, by the Wis-
consin Alumni Association under the
leadership of Executive Secretary John
Berge, the Records Office boasts a cross-
indexed file system whose bulk could
challenge the capacity of two box cars.
  Key to the entire organization is the
baric file (112 drawers) containing
varicolored cards for all alumni who
ever climbed the Hill: white for gradu-
ates. buff -for ex-students, blue for:
Agricultural Short Course graduates,
cherry for graduates of the preparatory
courses offered by the University in its
earlier. days. For practical purposes,
the Records Office considers as "alumni"
all former students who attended the
University for at least one semester
,or three summer schools-whether they
were graduated or :not.
  The basic card provides space for
  name, address, class, and occupation;
registration address and reference ad-
dresses; degrees from Wisconsin and
other institutions; date and place of
birth. In addition, Alumni Association
members, Memorial Union life meni-
bers, "W" men, war veterans, fraternity
and sorority members, and the deceased
are so designated. An indicati6n, per-
haps, of middlewestern conservatism is
the provision for marriage status. In
contrast to Harvard's blanks for 2
marriages and 3 divorces, the UW's
1fie card allows space for only one of
each. Further marital adventures are
relegated to the margin. Changes of
.name, whether by marriage or the
courts, are clarified through  cross-
   As of June 1, 1947, the basic file con-
tabined approximately 133,000 cards (in-
cluding this year's graduates). This
figure breaks down into 58,000 gradu-
ates zind 75,000 former ztudents.
   The file indicates Badgers are a foot-
loose crowd, with Wisconsin alumni in
each of the 48 states, and 1155 former
students and graduates scattered from
the Yukon to the Malay States in more
than 50 foreign countrites. Of these, 128
are members of the Wisconsin Alumni
  An Association file is an inlepend-
  en. t unit with a card for each of its
  14,000 members.
  - A chronological file (105 drawers)
  contains graduates only, listed by year
  and degree. Thus it is possible to de-
  Lost, Strayed, Stolen
    THESE BADGERS are "lost." Can
  you help us find them? The city listed
  is their last- known address.
    Austin, Charles Willis, '94, Houston,
    Bailey,' Mrs. Arthur T., '15, Sioux
  City, Ia.
    Charles, Lucile, '14, Madison, Wis:
    Dickson, Lester, '25, South Bend,
    Emerson, Hugh, '20, Patterson, Calif.
    Glass, Charles, x'27, Milwaukee,
    Hirsch, Marx, '08, New York City.
    Johnson, Richard, '32, Phillipsburg,
    Kloetzner, Ottomar, '20, Milwaukee,
    Singer, Ben, '27, Gary, Ind.
  termine instantly, for example, how
  many people received a BS in 1907. A
  biographical' file (139 drawers) con-
  tains for, every alumnus a manila
  folder which holds all supplementary
  data: letters, pictures, newspaper clip-
  pings, and tracers. An addressplate file
  (665 drawers) holds plates for all
  alumni-for whom the office has correct
  mailing addresses.
    Current registration, withdrawn,
  faculty, and obituary files total another
  43 drawers. According to latest infor-
  mation received in. the Records Office,
  the obituary file includes 10,370 de-
  ceased. Graduate. men comprise 4414'
  of these; graduate women-1166; "x"
men-3873; "x" women-917. Undoubt-
  edly the number of dead is much
  greater, but relatives are often slow
  to inform the office of alumni deaths.
    All this mass of pertinent U1W rec-
  ords did not exist before 1924, when
  the Alumni Records Office was estab.'
  lished. The first Alumni Recorder, John'
  Dollard, '22, toured neighboring schooIs
  to compare systems. As a result, the
  Wisconsin office was patterned, after
  that of Michigan. The initial task of
  the newly-established office - locating
  graduates and ex-students- required
  the use of thousands of tracers and no
  little detective work.               ,
  After doing the preliminary spade,
  work, Mr.. Dollard accepted a position
  as secretary to Max Mason, then presi-
  -dent' of Chicago University. He is now
  with the Institute of Human Relations
  at Yale University. PorterĂ½ Butts, '24,
  succeeded him as Alumni Recorder, and
  was later followed by John L. Berg-
  stresser, '25. Mr. Butts is now direc-
  tor of the Memorial Union at the Uni-
  versity; Mr. Bergstresser is Dean of
  Students at the University of Chicago.
  The Alumni Association officially took
  over the Records Office in 1930.
    Unlike the general public, the rec-
  ords office was not caught napping on
  Dec. 7, 1941. The peacetime draft of
  October, 1940, heralded the birth im-
  mediately thereafter of the War Rec-
ROW ON ROW of card files contain vital statistics about every student who
has ever climbed the Hill foi
a semester or more. Keeping track of Wisconsin alumni is the full-time job
of a staff of 11. The work is
supervised by the Wisconsin Alumni Association, financed by the University.

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