One thing that makes this place special is the loyalty of UW’s alumni. Madison is fortunate to have so many generous and loyal alumni who continue to give back to their university. Let me tell you about one.
Allan “Bud” Selig and his wife, Suzanne, have long been outstanding friends to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Bud has just retired after more than two decades as acting and official Commissioner of Major League Baseball. It was my great honor to welcome Bud as he returned to campus this week with a reception at the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Reading Room, which I’m told was one of his favorite study spots when he was a student here.
Bud finished a dual major in history and political science in 1956. He has often credited the education he received at UW–Madison with helping him analyze complex situations and make sound decisions in business, as team president and owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, and later commissioner. His success is proof that an educational background in the humanities is outstanding preparation for success in most any field.
Bud and Suzanne are giving back in major ways to UW–Madison. He has endowed two chairs and two scholarships in the Department of History. Endowed chairs are enormously important to this university, helping us attract and retain the very best faculty who in turn attract talented junior faculty, top-notch graduate students, and the best and brightest undergraduates — all of which burnishes our reputation and helps to keep the UW History Department one of the top-ranked history departments in the country.
We are welcoming Bud back to campus to co-teach a class with Professor David McDonald called “Baseball and American Society since World War II.” (Sorry, registration for the class is already closed.) He’ll also be writing his memoirs on campus and will have his papers archived at the Wisconsin Historical Society.
In addition to all that, Bud and Suzanne inspired the creation of a UW-Madison Great People Scholarship, which their friends from Major League Baseball have endowed as a tribute to the wonderful couple. The scholarship has already funded more than 20 undergraduates here, many of them first-generation college students
On June 11 Bud’s many accomplishments and contributions will be honored with Wisconsin Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award at a special event in Milwaukee. His fellow honoree that evening will be his UW fraternity brother, longtime U.S. Senator Herb Kohl.
Welcome back to Bud Selig. We’re always happy when our alums return home.