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Hove, Arthur (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 62, Number 13 (May 1961)

Berge, John
Keeping in touch with Wisconsin,   pp. 7-8


Page 7


Alumnus of the Year:
Donald S. Slichter
f ISCONSIN        ALUMNUS of the year is Donald S.
      Slichter, president of Northwestern Mutual Life In-
surance Company. This award will be presented to him at
the Wisconsin Alumni Association's Centennial Dinner on
June third.
   Don Slichter is a distinguished member of one of Madi-
son's most distinguished families. His father, Charles S.
Slichter, was dean of Wisconsin's Graduate School from
1920 to 1934. Prior to his deanship he was professor of
applied mathematics.
   All four of the Slichter sons attained eminence in their
 respective fields. Prior to his death, Sumner Slichter was pro-
 fessor of economics at Harvard University. He was one of
 the most widely quoted economists in America. Allen Slich-
 ter is the president and principal owner of Pelton Steel Cast-
 ing Company. Louis B. Slichter is internationally known as
 director of the Institute of Geophysics of the University of
 California with headquarters on the Los Angeles campus. All
 have added lustre to their Alma Mater.
   IAllfour 1    hesegdsdinuie ss we     gadted   fro
the University of Wisconsin. Don graduated in 1922, major-
ing in Chemical Engineering. During his vacation periods as
a student he had worked for the Lake Superior District
Power Company in Ashland. After graduation he worked
with his company for three years. In 1925 he became a part-
ner and business manager of the geophysical and engineer-
ing firm of Mason, Slichter and Gould with offices in Madi-
son and Toronto.
  When this firm disbanded in 1929, Don joined the in-
vestment firm of Thomas E. Brittingham, Jr. This started a
teamwork relationship that has been highly significant to the
University of Wisconsin for more than a quarter of a cen-
tury. Years later Tom made the following comments to a
representative of The Eastern Underwriter: "Don and I at-
tended college together, were in the same fraternity. Later we
worked together in my office in Madison for five years where
we devoted a great amount of time to studying difficult in-
dustries and their connections with forecasting market trends.
-As I look back on the early days in Madison I now think
that one of the real advantages we had was that we started
out where no one in the locale knew anything about stock
market. Thus, Don and I were spared many of the miscon-
ceptions which have always abounded in Wall Street."
Wisconsin Alumnus, May, 1961
   In 1934 Don Slichter joined Northwestern 'Mutual Life
 and in a few months became director of public utility and
 bond research. In describing his work, Eastern Underwriter
 said: "Mr. Slichter's engineering and investment background
 and ability were a decided asset to the company in investi-
 g        a   twatirg 1he1ecuriti~es- ered!to the co any
 -Mr. Slichter soon became known in investment circles and
 his judgment and flexibility, so necessary in deals of this
 kind, were recognized early in the game." In 1949 Don be-
 came a vice president of Northwestern Mutual and nine years
 later he was elevated to the presidency.
   In spite of the manifold problems of running one of the
largest insurance companies in America, Donald Slichter al-
ways has managed to find time to be helpful to the Univer-
sity of Wisconsin. For the last fifteen years, for example, he
has rendered outstanding service as a trustee of the Wiscon-
sin Alumni Research Foundation. As a trustee of WARF he
teamed up again with his fellow Badger, Tom Brittingham-
a great team for doing things for the University of Wis-
consin. When Tom died a year ago, Don was elected to suc-
ceed him as chairman of the board of trustees of WARF.
  Selection of this year's alumnus of the year was made by
the Alumni Awards Committee of the Wisconsin Alumni
Association: Charles L. Byron, Chicago, Chairman; Dr. Rob-
ert Barter, Washington; Dr. Norman Becker, Fond du Lac;
President C. A. Elvehjem, Madison; Mrs. Paul Fisher,
Evanston; R. T. Johnstone, Detroit; Maxine Plate, Milwau-
kee. All members of this important committee are WAA
directors.-JOHN BERGE, Executive Director
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