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Hove, Arthur (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 62, Number 15 (July 1961)

Alumni have fostered a tradition of support,   pp. 14-15

Page 15

The late Thomas E. Brittingham, Jr. (left) sparked the drive to raise funds
for the Alumni House. Brittingham is
shown here with Dr. John A. Keenan, chairman of the Alumni House Fund Campaign,
and Wisconsin cheerleader
Betty Miller as he presented his check for $33,333.33 to the Alumni House
plans for the University's Centennial    officers included: George B. Luhman,
activities. The primary function of the  Frank 0. Holt, William   S. Kies,
Council was "to encourage the growing    Harry A. Bullis.
practice of making gifts to the Univer-    In the sixteen years since its
sity". The Council was governed by a     alumni and friends have given
board of directors which included: Pres. than $5,000,000 to the University
E. B. Fred; Walter Hodgkins, president   through the Foundation. The largest
of the Board of Regents; Frank 0. Holt,  centage of this, $2.3-million, was
director of the Department of Public     to construct the Wisconsin Center
Service; Philip H. Falk, president of the building.
Wisconsin Alumni Association; John
Berge, executive director of the Associa- D EALIZING the importance of this
tion; nine members electe by the Board    L  development and the increased
of Regents; and six members elected by   for annual alumni giving, the Associa-
the Wisconsin Alumni Association.        tion has worked closely with this
   Shortly after the formation of the    alumni arm of the University in
Council was announced in the February    ing funds for research, scholarship,
issue of the Alumnus, several alumni    building.
and a member of the Regents who was        The most recent example of alumni
not an alumnus, raised their voices      readily responding to a call for
against the Council. This group main-   was the Alumni House Fund campaign.
tained that it was illegal for the Univer- In 1952 the drive to build an
sity and its officials to belong to an  House got under way when the Class
organization whose primary function      1903 gave $7,500 and an anonymous
was soliciting funds.                   Madison alumnus gave an additional
  Under pressure from   the dissenters, $1,000 to begin the project.
the Gifts and Bequests Council was dis-    The Regents and the Association
solved. After that, a private corporation,  about picking a site for the
the University of Wisconsin Foundation, House and, in 1956, Washburn Ob-
was established along the lines of the  servatory was chosen by the Campus
Council. George I. Haight was named     Planning Commission. In the fall
chairman of the board, and Howard I.    1958, James E. Bie was recruited
to raise
Potter was appointed president of the   funds for remodelling the Observatory.
new organization. Other key alumni in   The following spring, however, it
executive positions on that first slate of  recommended that the Alumni House
Wisconsin Alumnus, July, 1961
would   be better equipped    to serve
alumni if it were located on the lower
campus, close to the Wisconsin Center
and the Memorial Union. This meant
that additional funds would have to be
raised to construct a new building. As a
special challenge to alumni, the late
Thomas E. Brittingham, Jr., offered to
donate one-third of $100,000 if alumni
would contribute the remaining two-
thirds. The response to Brittingham's
challenge was overwhelming and, at
Homecoming in 1959, Brittingham pre-
sented his check for $33,333 to the
Association and it was announced that
alumni had contributed more than
$240,000 for their new home on the
   The Alumni House will be con-
structed on the present site of the Sigma
Chi fraternity. The Regents have begun
condemnation proceedings on the prop-
erty and it is hoped that construction
can begin sometime in 1962.
   The concept of alumni giving is not
new or revolutionary but its importance
in an era of mounting costs is incalcula-
ble. All three alumni arms of the Uni-
versity-the Association, WARF, and
the Foundation-rely on the support of
alumni to carry forward their programs
of service to the University. An invest-
ment in each of these organizations is a
permanent investment in the University
of Wisconsin.

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