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Thoma, Harry C. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 38, Number IX (June 1937)

Bullis, Harry A.
Shall we go at it together?,   pp. 337-338


Page 337


         shall We Ga at It Tnqether?
The future of the Alumni Association is in your                       membersyare
coymli alumdni. New
                                                                      also
indicates the intensive activity
hands;    what are       you   going     to  do   about it?           of
a superlative organization at
                                                                      headquarters,
namely, the peer of
                                                                      all
Executive Secretaries, A. John
                                                                      Berge,
and that exceptional editor
                4, arry A. Bial~is, 'ii7
                                                                      of
the Wisconsin Alumnus, Harry
            President, The Wisconsin Alumni Association               Thoma.
Their responsibilities and
                                                                      activities
have been expanded.
                                                                      They
have become major influences
                                                                      in
the Association's growth to-
I N this pleasant month of reunion, it is my un-    ward health and strength
and a fuller opportunity for
   pleasant duty to ask you to face and help solve a  service.
   problem which affects every one of us:              However, to operate
without deficit under our pres-
      Do we want a strong, active Alumni Asso-       ent budget, we must
have at the least 6,000 members.
      ciation which is a                                                
  And therein lies the reason
  genuine asset to our                                                  
  why we must decide right
  Alma Mater or are we                                                  
  now the future character of
  going to reverse our pol-    It'sTime to Come Back Home               
  our Association.
  icy of the last seventy-                                              
    A year ago your Directors
  five years and become           Let me add my own personal invita-    
deliberately set up an operat-
  satisfied with a weak-        tion to those you have already received,
 ing budget based upon great-
  kneed, "pink-tea" or-         urging you to come back to the
campus    er  income   (largely  from
  ganization?                   for the commencement exercises and      
  membership dues) than was
I can hear some of the Uni-     class reunions, June 18, 19 and 20. The 
 then in sight. This was done
versity's best friends saying,  University marches forward, but the     
  for just one reason; to make
"Now, Harry, aren't you ex-     Hill has lost none of its magic. This
    possible the organization, the
aggerating a little?  Surely    was your home during four priceless     
  planned activity, and the ser-
the situation can't be so crit-  years. Now-this June-it's time to      
  vices which would result in a
ical as all that!"              come back home, time to revisit the
cam-  very large increase in Associa-
  Perhaps I am exaggerating.    pus that lives in your memories, time to
 tion membership. It was done
Nevertheless, I would be re-    realize again the strength and greatness
 because your officers and di-
miss in my duties as your       of your University, time to re-dedicate 
rectors knew that without a
president if I failed to em-    yourself to Alma Mater.                 
  large and representative mem-
phasize-the-significance of the-                                        
 --bership,- the Association could
problem which we face js a                                              
  never become a real force
result of the depression. Like                                          
  working actively for the good
other Associations, we suffered badly from the de-  of the University.
pression. Our membership dropped from 8,000 to         Today, looking squarely
at the facts, we must ad-
2,49 1.                                              mit that the results
are still far below expectations.
  Our major problem today, therefore, is a definitely  The decisions of 1936
were not an example of op-
by-product of the depression, because no organization  timism gone wild.
The 75th Anniversary Diamond
can suffer such a staggering membership loss without  Jubilee program was
properly timed and organized
meeting the problem which I presented to. you in my  to build an Association
every one of us could be
opening paragraph.                                   proud of. The famed
Wisconsin spirit was burning
  Many of you-all, I hope     will be coming to     with new glory as Harry
A. Stuhldreher started to
Madison for reunion on the Hill this month. The     do his marvelous job
at Camp Randall. Alumni
annual meeting of the Alumni Association will be    everywhere began to take
new interest in University
held on Saturday morning, June 19. As a member       and Association affairs.
Our membership grew by
of the Association you are virtually a stockholder,  leaps and bounds. We
had reached third base and
coming to the meeting to learn what has happened in  were making the turn
for the sprint across the plate
your "company" during this past year and what        with the winning
run   but today we are still on
reasonably can be expected to happen next. This     third.
page, then, is the President's report on conditions as  The impasse between
the Board of Regents and
you will find them. It is intended to inform you, in  Dr. Frank not only
caused a crisis in the University's
outline at least, so you may be prepared for discussion  affairs, but its
repercussions put a sudden stop to the
and action.                                          flow of new Association
memberships. That incident
  In February, 1936, the Wisconsin Alumni Associ-  is now closed. What has
happened since then is to
ation was at the bottom of its depression valley.   the lasting good of the
University. Clarence A. Dyk-
Only 2,491 of our 70,000 living alumni were en-     stra, a man of great
natural ability and an adminis-
rolled. In fourteen months since that time, more    trator with a remarkable
record, is now "Prexy." He
than two thousand additional alumni have joined the  has been formally and
enthusiastically welcomed by
Association. We have just passed the 4,500 mark, a  the Alumni Association.
Almost his first act after
total which indicates a tremendous amount of work   accepting his appointment
was to write to all Associa-
                                                337


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