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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 54, Number 10 (May 1953)

Freizer, Lou
The class of 1953: its past, present, and future,   pp. 18-19

Page 18

By Lou Freizer. '53
The Class
     of 1953
                                       The Senior Council of 1953 in action.
Its Past, Present, and Future
O N THE MORNING of June 19, of this year, the
     University of Wisconsin will graduate its one hun-
     dredth senior class. About 1600 students will receive
their baccalaureate degrees at the fieldhouse and take their
place among the ranks of Badger alumni.
  This is a story of that class: its prospects, its past, and
its contributions to the University.
  Wisconsin, four years ago, in the minds of many prospec-
tive graduates, was just another name, another school con-
sidered in making out forms and applications for college
entrance. Why did so many choose the UW? A boy from
Appleton came down because his father and grandfather
before him studied at the "U." A student from Bombay,
India, entered on the strength of a university reputation
spread half-way around the world. A pretty co-ed from the
West wanted to study speech education and knew Wiscon-
sin pioneered in her field with the first speech correction
clinic ever set up at an American university. And finally,
family and high school friends introduced freshmen from
all over the state and nation to the Badger campus.
   Most of those who chose and were accepted at the UW
entered in September, 1949. It was the fall before the
Korean conflict and the new freshmen entertained nothing
but thoughts of a peaceful four years of collegiate life. Like
many classes before them, they were welcomed by the presi-
dent, and stumbled over the half-familiar verses of "On
Wisconsin" and "If You Want to Be a Badger." They
received a "Cook's tour" of the campus in a pouring rain.
  The housing shortage was acute at that time and many
men found themselves living in emergency University dorms
at Truax field. But on campus freshmen were quickly
assimilated into the scholastic and extra-curricular activities
of the University.
  The sports minded among them will probably remember
their first football game. Magazines had picked Wisconsin
that year to place in or near the Big Ten cellar. One journal
went as far as to state, "If Wisconsin wins two games this
season there'll be dancing in the streets of Madison." With
the aid of a new coach, Ivy Williamson, things ended up
a bit differently than forecast.
  About this time the new library was hardly more than
a hole in the ground. Students out for a coke break went
to the "Rat." Today the library is about ready to open its
doors and while they still go to the "Rat," the Pine room,
or the "pharm," for that coke, they can, if they wish, stop
off at the new Babcock hall dairy building right across
from T-16. There they will find a completely equipped soda
fountain selling soft drinks and ice-cream, some of which is
made right on the premises by students.
  With the construction of the new engineering buildings,
the stadium extension, the home economics wing, the hy-
giene lab, a "new look" for the hospital, and other addi-
tions, the face of the campus has been substantially changed
since 1949.
  The beginning of the Korean war that following summer
brought a new seriousness with the return of the now
sophomores in the fall of 1950. There were fewer jokes
about military training, and more men were quick to take
advantage of R.O.T.C. deferments. Four hundred      and
twelve men from this June's class will get their reserve
commissions along with their degrees and prepare to serve
in the nation's armed forces.

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