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The University of Wisconsin
A Pictorial History
Arthur Hove

If you have ever spent part of your life on the shores of Lake Mendota—whether student or staff, whether personally or vicariously as a parent, whether then or now—you will immediately recognize The University of Wisconsin: A Pictorial History as a celebration of that time and memory, of that community. It is part of your family tree.

In eight lively, readable chapters Arthur Hove tells us the story of a tiny pre-Civil War land grant college that grew into the modern "multiversity" we know today (which, by itself, would be the sixth largest "city" in the state). But the text, engaging as it is, is really the frame for the book's most impressive feature—the exquisite album of nearly 400 photographs, thirty-two pages of them in full color, that capture the timeless moments and faces, the unforgettable characters and controversies, the high points (and the hijinks!) of 130 years of Badger lore.

The words and images tell countless stories:

  • of Bascom Hall, which was originally domed. After a mysterious fire destroyed the dome in 1916 it was simply never restored.
  • of the famous "sifting and winnowing" plaque. The regents of the time didn't care for it much—academic "freedom" was a radical idea. It gathered dust in a basement for years before it was finally mounted in 1915.
  • of Pat O'Dea, who made a sixty-three-yard drop kick against Northwestern in 1899. Lost and presumed dead in World War I, he was "discovered" in 1934 living under an assumed name in California.
  • of Harry Steenbock, who was offered $900,000 (in 1925!) for commercial rights to his food irradiation process that eliminated rickets in children. Instead, he helped set up the WARF foundation to fund research from his patent proceeds.

Arthur Hove, special assistant emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, served in a number of capacities during a long association with the University. He was assistant to the chancellor and director of public information from 1970 to 1989. From 1989 until his retirement in 1996 he was special assistant to the provost. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, he also taught courses in the School of Business, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Department of Art. He holds the Distinguished Alumnus Award presented by the Wisconsin Alumni Association and is co-author, with Warrington Colescott, of Progressive Printmakers: Wisconsin Artists and the Print Renaissance (1999) also published by the Press. In the eight years he spent researching and writing the History, Hove combed the University's archives and those of the State Historical Society. In much of this work, he was assisted by Anne Biebel.


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cover of Hove's book features a photograph of Bascom Hall

August 1991
366 pp.  8 1/2 x 11
32 color illus., 383 b/w illus.
ISBN-10: 0-299-13000-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-299-13000-8

Cloth edition is out of print

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Updated July 23, 2010

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