Campus News

Flamingos on Bascom represent another successful year of donations for WAA

Wisconsin Alumni Association’s 4th Annual Fill the Hill collected more than its goal from donors, who the organization honored by placing a flamingo for each donation on Bascom Hill.

Image By: Alayna Truttmann

What started as a prank from a satirical political group, the Pail and Shovel Party Student Government, in the fall of 1979 has turned into an annual philanthropy event for UW-Madison.

This year, the Wisconsin Alumni Association held the 4th Annual Fill the Hill event on Bascom Oct. 27 and 28.

For each donation given, a pink flamingo was put on Bascom Hill to honor a well-known prank in campus history and to thank those who have financially contributed to the university.

Fill the Hill is the university’s largest giving event during its campaign cycle from October through the end of the school year, according to WAA Senior Marketing Coordinator Caroline Sullivan. 

Sullivan said most donations are given by UW-Madison alumni and other donors of the university, but students are welcome to contribute.

“Even if a student can’t give $500, they can give $5,” Sullivan said. “If you don’t think your donation matters, think five other students might have given $5, and that adds up.”

This year’s event raised just over the desired goal of $1,100 within the 24-hour period. 

Donors are able to choose specifically what they want their money to be put towards, whether it’s as small as a student organization or as large as the Chancellor's Annual Fund.

“I think it’s very important to have this event because we are a top-ranked institution in education experience and research, and something we have to face is that our government isn’t providing us with what we need to continue on this great track,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said she wanted to get involved with Fill the Hill because she realized the university increasingly relies on donors to assist with funds as the budget for UW-Madison continues to get cut.

“I am interested in annual giving and how it affects the university,” Sullivan said. “I think it’s cool to do something that was once funny and is historic and use it as something good for the university. It’s also just cool to have alumni and donors come together and see the hill turn pink for the day.”

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