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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 16

WYHEN HE WAS president of the
      Wisconsin Alumni Association,
the late Thomas E. Brittingham, Jr., ob-
served: "One of the major functions of
our Association is to interpret the Uni-
versity to its alumni. This includes
a sound information program which
makes the University's aims, achieve-
ments, and needs clear to alumni and
citizens of Wisconsin. Informed sup-
port is the strongest support, and our
Association must consistently empha-
size its information program in all its
  The major development of the Asso-
ciation during its first one hundred
years has been its information program
which has helped perpetuate the Asso-
ciation's tradition of service to the
The first substantial signs of alumni
marshalling together to form an influ-
ential segment of University affairs and
policy came with the publication of the
Wisconsin Alumni Magazine. At the
beginning of the 1890's there had been
some effort to stimulate alumni interest
through a regular column which ap-
peared in the Aegis, a campus literary
magazine of the period. Later, one issue
a week of the Daily Cardinal was de-
voted to the alumni and the Association.
In 1897, the Association voted to adopt
the Aegis as its official publication, but
sentiment was strong among alumni for
a magazine of their own. Two years
later, the Wisconsin Alumni Magazine
came into being.
   "The aims of the magazine," as it was
explained in the first issue, ". . . will
be two: first, to keep alumni in touch
with one another; secondly, to keep
them in touch with the University." The
magazine immediately assumed its role
as the chief link between the University
and the alumni. Some of the important
topics discussed in the first issues of the
Magazine were faculty salaries, alumni
scholarships, and the role of "big-time
football" in the life of the University.
  The growing spirit of alumni respon-
sibility in shaping the future of the Uni-
versity that had been engendered with
the birth of the Magazine came to the
fore upon the announced retirement of
Pres. Charles K. Adams. In an editorial,
the Magazine commented on appointing
a new University president: "In the
selection of such a man . . . the alumni
of the University have not only a deep
interest but a right to the expression of
a judgment which shall carry considei-
able weight . . ."
   The newly appointed president was
Charles R. Van Hise '79. It was under
Van Hise that the University became
aware of its responsibility of keeping the
public informed of its activities. The
Association was quick to realize the im-
port of Van Hise's ideas and utilized
them to pioneer in a series of informa-
tional programs which have since meant
a great deal to the University.
   In October, 1909, Louis P. Lochner
 '09, an alumni fellow in journalism, was
 made editor and business manager of
 the Magazine. Later, he was to become
 the Association's first full-time execu-
 tive secretary.
   Under Lochner, the Association estab-
 lished a bureau of information to keep
 alumni abreast of University adminis-
 tration policies. The bureau, in turn,
 published a "Handbook of Information
 Concerning the University of Wiscon-
 sin" which was included in the Decem-
 ber, 1912 issue of the Magazine. Later,
 10,000 additional copies of the hand-
        The Association's Chief
        Concern is to Develop
Informed Support
George I. Haight, "Wisconsin's Number
One Alumnus", led a drive to help the
University head off harmful budget cuts.
of Public Welfare had recommended
withering cuts in the University's
budget. In commenting on the serious-
ness of the situation, Theodore Krons-
hage, Jr., president of the Board of Re-
gents, said that the "proposed reduction
in funds for operations strikes directly
and immediately at the life of the Uni-
versity," and appealed to help from
alumni and friends.
      Wisconsin Alumnus, fuly, 1961
book were ordered by the University and
sent, along with the University business
manager's report, throughout the state.
   At-this same time the Association also
started an employment bureau, secured
lantern slides for use at alumni club
gatherings and, in line with the Van
Hise desire to keep the University in the
public conscience, the Association set
up a publicity department "for the pur-
pose of furnishing to the press of the
state at least a weekly newsletter relating
to the University and its work." In
1914, the Association began to publish
a daily calendar of events.
    these types of informational pro-
grams through World War I and into
the booming twenties. Among the serv-
ices rendered by the Association follow-
ing the war was the publication of an
Alumni Directory listing more than
5,500 Association members. The Asso-
ciation also beat the drum for funds to
support the construction of a Memorial
  Then, in 1925, the University told the
alumni that it was in trouble. The Board

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