The University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, a staple of the city's northwest side, is throwing a golden birthday party.

The big bash is in honor of the school's 50th anniversary this year, but beyond the party and accolades is a history which reveals how the school, 1500 N. University Drive, has grown since its inception in 1966.

The school is also marketing itself, highlighting its beginnings and its role in the community today.

In a press release issued by April Larsen of z2 Marketing, school officials have standout alumni, among their numbers.

"What do Attorney General Brad Schimel, the founders of David and Goliath Builders, and one of the world’s leading experts in airway management and clinical innovation all have in common? Each began their careers with a foundation of knowledge gained from a small, respected, local institute for higher education—UW-Waukesha," Larsen said.

Campus growth

The 50th anniversary of the institution is marked by progressive growth, outstanding leadership, and successful alumni, officials say.

According to the university officials, UW-Waukesha started in 1966 as two buildings on an 86-acre plot of farmland and has grown to become the largest of the 13 UW Colleges in the state.

A freshman/sophomore campus, UW-Waukesha opened with a student body of 400 in a facility designed to hold 750. Tuition was $105 per semester in 1966.

Today, it has grown to a student body of more than 2,000 with a faculty and staff of 165. Collaborations with four-year campuses now allow students to gain a four-year degree — Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences.

"While a great deal has changed, many things have remained the same, including small classes, lower tuition, and professors dedicated to quality teaching," Larsen noted.

Party time

The university has a smorgasbord of events planned for alumni and the community to celebrate the golden anniversary.

Those events include a special banquet honoring students, scholarship winners and "outstanding alumnus" John M. Huber; a fish fry featuring live-band karaoke; various class reunions; and a campus theater production of Neil Simon's "The Good Doctor."

A commemorative student art collage, titled "50 Years on Paper," that features print media in a variety of art forms will also be on display.

See the attached schedule of events that begin this week.

For more information or directions to the campus, visit the school's website at www.waukesha.uwc.edu. Updates on the 50th anniversary celebration can be found on social media, using the hashtag #UWAUK50 or, Twitter and Instagram.

UW-W golden celebration

The University of Wisconsin-Waukesha will kick-off its anniversary year with special events this week and beyond.

Thursday, Oct. 20, kick off

  • 4 to 7 p.m.: Reception for local, county and state government officials, local business leaders, foundation board members and former outstanding alumni.
  • 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Honors and achievement banquet, which will recognizing scholarship winners, honor students, new Phi Theta Kappa students and outstanding alumnus, John M. Huber.

Friday, Oct. 21, community social

  • 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.: Current and retired faculty and staff social mixer
  • 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Friday fish fry plus live band karaoke lead by alumnus Mike Grassman for current students and the community.
  • 7:30 p.m.: Campus theatre production of Neil Simon’s "The Good Doctor" with special performances by UW-Waukesha alums.

Saturday, Oct. 22, beer, brats and big band

  • 2 to 4 p.m.: Class reunions, mixer alumni, faculty and staff in the Commons
  • 4 to 7 p.m.: Food, drink and music from Jazz Express (band was founded on the UW-Waukesha campus by alums) in the Hub.
  • 7:30 p.m.: Campus theater production "The Good Doctor" (the play is also being performed on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m.)
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