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

The Association's chief concern is to develop informed support,   pp. 16-18


Page 17


  Immediately the Association sprung
to the aid of the University. Under the
leadership of WAA President George I.
Haight '99, "Wisconsin's Number One
Alumnus," the Association published a
handbook of facts citing the needs of
the University. In addition, missionaries
of understanding were sent throughout
the state, armed with charts and figures,
to explain to the people the crisis facing
the University should the budget cuts
be adopted as recommended. The cam-
paign was highly successful. Through a,
zealously forwarded program of infor-
mation, the Association had helped the
University stave off withering budget
cuts. The Legislature, heeding the warn-
ings of the alumni, provided the Uni-
versity with an adequate operating
budget and kicked in an additional
$1,500,000 for building operation and
construction.
   Then the fabulous "night out" of the
 twenties came to an end. With the stock
 market crash and the ensuing depres-
 sion, the fortunes of the Association
 began to falter. By 1935, membership
 had dropped to less than 5%    of the
 total number of Wisconsin alumni and
 the Association's financial condition was
 shaky. Faced with these developments,
 Herman Egstad '17, resigned as execu-
 tive secretary of the Association and the
 directors appointed A. John Berge '22
 who had been the sales counselor of the
 National Association of Real Estate
-Boarin U 1eago,-_-
   Berge was quick to recognize the need
for a good informational program to
promote membership in the Association
and to further the alumni understanding
of the University. In the spring of 1936,
Berge put the Wisconsin Alumni Asso-
ciation and the University on the air.
As the "opening gun" of its Diamond
Jubilee Celebration, the Association
staged a special radio program over the
facilities of the NBC Blue network.
More than 30 stations carried the pro-
gram "far and wide," as 30 local alumni
meetings were organized to listen to the
program and more than 450 alumni
gathered in Great Hall to mark the
event. Speakers on that first broadcast
included: Myron T. Harshaw '12, Asso-
ciation president; Mrs. Zona Gale
Breese '95, noted Wisconsin author and
former Regent; and University President
Glenn Frank. Greetings also came from
Wisconsin Alumnus, July, 1961
When Fighting Badgers, like the members of the bomber crew pictured above,
went to
war, the Association kept them in touch with the University through an extensive
infor-
mation program. The Wisconsin Alumnus, Cardinal Communique, and Coach Stuhl-
dreher's Football Letter were all sent, free, to Badgers overseas.
Merlyn H. Aylesworth '07 in New York
and Fredric March '20 in Hollywood.
   In the fall of that same year, the
Association began an informational fea-
ture that has been popular for more
than  twenty-five years. Coach Harry
Stuhldreher began describing Wisconsin
football "direct from the sidelines" as
the Association initiated the publication
of its Football Bullletin. At the same
time, the Wisconsin Alumni Magazine
was updated and given a new name, the
Wisconsin Alumnus.
  But the Association was not limited
to solving its own problems and work-
ing with the University. In these times
of economic strain, it sought to help
promote the welfare of alumni. In early
1938, the Asssociation established  a
placement committee with John Lord
'04 as chairman. The committee was
"composed of outstanding alumni who
are influential figures in the business and
industrial worlds," and who would have
a great deal of knowledge in advising
alumni, especially graduating seniors,
on how and where to find jobs. In addi-
tion to maintaining the committee, the
Association published a 28-page mono-
graph by Glenn Gardiner '18 entitled
"The College Senior Seeks a Job" which
was distributed free to all members of
the senior class.
PERHAPS the Association's most im-
    pressive accomplishment in keeping
alumni informed about their contempo-
raries and about the University came
during World War II. In the fall of
1941, just before Pearl Harbor, it was
announced that the Alumnus was being
sent free to all Wisconsin men in the
service. These men were also to get spe-
cial newsletters and bulletins from time
to time.
   By April of 1942, the Alumnus was
devoting half of its contents to the news
of the war. Columns listing those Wis-
consin men who had died "In Line of
Duty," who were "Prisoner of War" or
"Missing in Action," as well as a roster
of "Fighting Badgers" kept the pages
of the Alumnus alive with the prog-
ress of the war and the contribution
that Wisconsin men and women were
making.
  The fighting spread and the Associa-
tion created the War Activities Com-
mittee "for the purpose of providing
the maximum support to the war effort
and Wisconsin alumni in military serv-
ice." As it was explained in the Alum-
nus, "The existing war activities pro-
gram of the Association includes a war
records clerk to keep as complete a rec-
ord as possible of all Wisconsin alumni
in military service, the sending of all
Association publications to men in the
service, free, and complete cooperation
with the government and University war
programs.
  In March, 1943, the publication of
the Cardinal Communique was an-
nounced. Its purpose was "to furnish
University and alumni news to the hun-
dreds of Fighting Badgers overseas"
                                   17


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