It is a longstanding tradition for UW-Madison alumni returning to campus for class reunions to consider making a gift to benefit their alma mater. The fiftieth—often called the “Golden Jubilee”—is perhaps the most significant of class reunions. It provides opportunities to renew old acquaintances, to reflect on a half century of lives greatly influenced by UW years, and to enjoy saying thank-you to the University in the form of a class gift.
Several important developments in the Lakeshore Nature Preserve have been the direct result of such generosity.
Class officers and reunion committees typically focus on creating legacies of lasting value that cannot usually be accommodated within the UW’s general operating budget. Individual class members may have ideas about ways they believe their gifts can benefit the University, or the class may invite proposals from departments and organizations on campus. Over the years, class gifts have brought substantial benefits to the University and to the Preserve.
An inspiring example from the Class of 1918 Marsh
The earliest gift that benefited the Lakeshore Nature Preserve was that of the class of 1918. It was the first class gift ever to focus on environmental issues rather than bricks and mortar or academic support. The pattern that the Class of 1918 set has been followed by others down to the present.
The classes listed below all gave major gifts to the Preserve as part of their reunion celebrations between 1968 and 2006:
Class of 1918 (Restoring the 1918 Marsh)
Class of 1922 (The University Bay Project)
Class of 1946 (Frautschi Point Entrance)
Class of 1953 (West Lakeshore Path)
Class of 1955 (Tent Colony Woods)
Class of 1963 (East Lakeshore Path)