Welcome to Evolution Wisconsin

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, evolution is more than a theory taught in classrooms around campus. Evolution is the fabric that holds together the existence of the school, the surrounding community and the cultures it has cultivated.

In 1848, a land grant opened the door for the University of Wisconsin to begin instruction. In the years since, hundreds of thousands of young men and women from Wisconsin, the United States and abroad have attended the university. In that time, nearly everything about the school has changed.

A campus which began as one small building with just two men in its first graduating class has grown into a 936-acre learning and research community with over 350 buildings and more than 40,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

The evolution that occurred at this university over the past 150 years did not come without frustration, culture shock, violence and, ultimately, an insatiable need to continue following the university’s motto: forward.

The research and writing on this website aim to explain some of the more unique aspects of the campus as they’ve evolved and ultimately show how they exist today. From protests, racial injustice and political controversy to university infrastructure, school radio stations, Badger athletics and beyond, every piece of writing, audio, video and graphic seeks to explore the evolution of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This collection represents the unique writing, editing and storytelling capabilities of students within the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Students in the School of Journalism 335 “Intermediate Reporting” course single-handedly researched and wrote about every topic you will read about. Our goal is to try to understand how the unique individuals, communities, cultures and the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a whole find ways to innovate, excel and ultimately, keep moving forward.

We hope you enjoy and On, Wisconsin.