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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 59, Number 11 (March 1958)

Conrad Arnold Elvehjem: 13th president of the University,   pp. [2]-[7]


Page [5]


  "In a laboratory, you get results rather quickly," he told
a reporter. "In administration, the results may not be evident
for months or years. That's the biggest job I'll have .... I'll
have to learn to be patient."
  Dr. Elvehjem's activities, outside his University work, have
generalty centered around his family. He and his wife, the
former Constance Waltz '27, have two children, Peggy '53,
now a home economist with General Mills in Minneapolis,
and Robert, a sophomore on the Madison campus. (See
Wisconsin   Women, this issue, for a report on     Mrs.
Elvehjem.)
  The Elvehjems will be moving from their residence on
Madison's west side to the official president's residence on
North Prospect Avenue, which was never lived in by Pres.
and Mrs. Fred. The latter will continue to reside in their
Babcock Drive residence on the campus.
  For the most part, Dr. Elvehjem has been able to spare
little time for golf-which he occasionally plays-or for
vacations. The majority of his waking hours have been spent
on the campus, and he expects that this will continue to be
the case.
                        He is an able, though not spectac-
ular, speaker and he has been well-
received at a number of alumni func-
tions throughout the country. Last
fall, for example, he was main
speaker at a pre-football game meet-
ing of Twin City area clubs. Dr.
Elvehjem is an easy, but not breezy,
conversationalist. He doesn't smoke
                      and takes but an occasional cocktail
at official functions where such is the order of the day.
  He is a good listener. His colleagues note that he is not
given to rash decisions, and possesses a rare ability to keep
things running smoothly in groups with which he works.
  Obviously, this characteristic will serve him well as
he takes over the reins at one of the nation's first ranking
universities.
                                              similarities and contrasts:
President Fred and President-designate Elvehjem
E LECT    A  NEW    President of the United States, or
   General Motors,. or the University of Wisconsin, and
what is one of the first things people start doing?
  Making comparisons!
   Quite naturally, then, the entire Wisconsin community
began indulging in that pastime within minutes of the an-
nouncement that the Board of Regents had selected Conrad
A. Elvehjem to succeed Edwin B. Fred as president of the
University of Wisconsin.
   How are these two men alike? How do they differ?
   A canvass of opinions of some of the colleagues of Fred
and Elvehjem offers an interesting case study of personalities,
aptitudes, and methods.
  They are alike on three important points:
  ONE. They both love to work. They enjoy normal
satisfaction in accomplishment, but the sheer joy of work
itself thrills them. They are devotees of the long workday,
of weekends at the desk or laboratory, of vacations
snatched only when there's nothing pressing at hand.
  TWO. Both are great natural scientists with interna-
tional reputations. Both have a consuming interest and curi-
osity toward science which marks the first-rate mentality.
Both bring the trained mind of the scientist to bear on
administrative problems, although the approach is different.
  THREE. Both have an intense love for the University
                By Don Anderson
Director, Wisconsin Alumni Association
                  rubtisber, wi tsconsrn mate journat
                  Reprinted by permission of that newspaper.
of Wisconsin, and are willing and eager to immerse them-
selves in work for its welfare.
  There are other similarities. Both men are devoted
fathers and are close to their families. Not an unimportant
factor, both have intelligent, active wives who have com-
plemented their husband's careers. Both men are pleasant,
easy to approach. Not a stuffed shirt in their wardrobe.
  How do Fred and Elvehjem differ?
  President Fred enjoys the complex faculty committee
system. He works with it and through it with a skill and
finesse that few of his predecessors possessed.
  He enjoys bringing many people into his office to discuss
university problems. Sometimes he follows their advice,
sometimes not, but he seldom moves until he has explored,
discussed, and digested all the facets of a problem.
The Wisconsin Alumnus is entered as second class matter at the post office
at Madison, Wis., under the act of March 3, 1879.


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