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Johnson, Dwight A. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 51, Number 5 (Feb. 1950)

Meyer, Wallace
Regents give green light to plans for the Wisconsin Center building,   pp. 8-9


Page 8


Regents Give GREEN LIGHT
A.(
to Plans for the Wisconsin Center
  By Wallace Meyer, '16
ON JANUARY 13, the Construc-
     tional Development committee
     of the Board of Regents gave
the green light to plans for the new
Wisconsin Center building. At a
previous meeting the Regents took
action making available the building
site at the northwest corner of Lake
and Langdon. So the stage is set.
  And now, to use plain English,
the University of Wisconsin Foun-
dation is straining to raise enough
money through g i f t s to break
ground next summer and get the
building built.
  The Foundation took the bull by
the horns two or three years ago
and so far, so good. But a great
many of us friends and alumni of
the University have got to lend a
hand. Or else-no Center building
after all this talk. And that would
be a shame, a pity. Yes, a disgrace
to all of us who ever sang, If You
Want to Be a Badger.
  There's more to being a badger
than singing, On Wisconsin or Var-
sity.
Adams Gives for Seawater Research
     Renks Give for Center Building
To Make Salt Water Fresh
  A NEW GIFT of far-reaching im-
portance has been received by the
University of Wisconsin Foundation
from Harry W. Adams, '00, promi-
nent Beloit industrialist, attorney,
and former mayor. Mr. Adams is an
enthusiastic alumnus of the Univer-'
sity and during the year 1949 made
three other gifts to the Foundation,
two for the encouragement of for-
ensics or public speaking, and one
for the use of the School of Com-
merce.
  Mr. Adam's latest gift is to be
used by the chemical engineering de-
partment of the School of Engineer-
ing for research which may give
basic information on the separation
of impurities from water, and lead
to more advanced scientific work on
the problem  of recovering fresh
water from sea water. Mr. Adams
in his letter of transmittal states
that the dominant motive of the
grant is to make sea water usable
ior ordinary purposes, especially
for irrigation.
  Appraising Mr. Adams' action as
unusually important, Prof. 0. A.
Hougen, former chairman of the
chemical engineering  department,
said, "The grant of Mr. Adams for
research in chemical engineering of-
fers the department an opportunity
to embark in a field of process de-
velopment and to establish itself in
the field of biochemical engineering.
It raises hopes of contributing to a
new industrial chemical process for
Wisconsin. It will also provide edu-
cation and research opportunities to
graduate students in chemical engi-
neering which in itself is of definite
advantage to the University and the
people of Wisconsin."
  In making this gift, Mr. Adams
asked that it be administered by a
committee consisting of Professor
Hougen, Basil I. Peterson, admin-
istrative secretary of the Founda-
tion, and Prof. Kurt F. Wendt. For
the University, the following com-
mittee met with Mr. Adams and
worked out a program. Professors
Hougen, W. R. Marshall, Jr., C. C'.
Watson, K. M. Watson, R. A.
Ragatz, and Wendt.
To Help Serve the Farmer
  WILL   RENK, prominent Sun
Prairie farmer, and his two sons,
Walter, '24, and Wilbur, '32, have
contributed a substantial gift to the
University of Wisconsin Foundation
to help build the proposed new Wis-
consin Center building.
  "We believe the Center will en-
able Wisconsin people to take full
advantage of the new things the
University is constantly learning,"
said Will Renk. "We farm people
will gain a great deal by having this
building as a place to sit down and
talk things over with the College of
Agriculture in livestock, seed, soil,
dairy practice, silage, and other sub-
jects.
  "We appreciate what the Univer-
sity is doing for farmers every day
and our family is especially grate-
ful as I graduated from two years
of short courses in 1896, while Wal-
ter and Wilbur graduated from the
full four year course in 1924 and
1932 respectively. This last fall,
Walter's son John enrolled as a
freshman."
Now Comes the Showdown
  Everyone agrees that the Univer-
sity of Wisconsin must have a Cen-
ter building where adult groups can
hold study courses, conferences, and
clinics on the campus without crowd-
ing out or being crowded out by stu-
dent classes.
  No one doubts that our state uni-
versity has made tremendous con-
tributions to public and private wel-
fare through the Wisconsin Idea of
Service. And no one should doubt
that the University is deplorably
handicapped in its service by reason
of gross overcrowding.
  By this time nearly everyone must
know that the University of Wiscon-
sin Foundation recognized the criti-
cal need for a Center building and
annouced that it would collect gifts
from alumni and friends of the Uni-
versity for the purpose of erecting a
suitable building. (Minnesota has
had a Center building for several
years and it is one of the busiest and
most useful places on that campus.)
  Working with a faculty commit-
tee appointed by President E. B.
Fred, and with the state architect,
the Foundation engaged the archi-
tectural firm of Foeller, Schober,
Berners, Safford & Jahn of Green
Bay. After months of work by all
three groups, preliminary p 1 a n s
were completed on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
Since then developments have come
fast.
  On the 5th the prelimary plans
were approved at a joint meeting of
the two committees held at Kohler,
Wis., where the host was Herbert
V. Kohler, chairman of the Founda-
tion's Centennial Committee. On the
10th the plans were approved by the
steering committee of the Campus
Planning  and  Development Com-
mission at Madison, and on the 11th
they were unanimously approved by
the commission.
  On January 13 the plans were
examined in detail and approved by
t h e Constructional Development
committee of the Board of Regents.
Many Have Worked Hard
  A hundred and more men have
  given many hours of study that
  these plans may provide a most use-
  ful and convenient place for adult
  groups to meet with specialists from
  the University faculty.
  Many others have made calls so-
  liciting the support of alumni and
  friends. Several thousand persons
  have made individual contributions,
WISCONSIN ALUMNUS
8


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