Alumni and Friends Make the Difference

Thanks to the many and varied contributions of our alumni and friends, we are advancing internationalization across campus and beyond. A highlight this fall was an alumni and student gathering at the Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C. celebrating the success of the Washington D.C. Semester in International Affairs, now in its second year. This year, the program grew by 60%, from five students to eight. Alumni are truly at the heart of this program, providing internship opportunities, guest lectures, and overall program support and coordination.

Also this fall, the Dean of International Studies Advisory Board welcomed Richard Franklin, partner at Baker & McKenzie international law firm, as its new Chair. The Board is committed to advancing UW-Madison’s international education agenda and continues to provide valuable insight to the Division. In 2006 the Board focused on the global university, expanding the Wisconsin Idea across state and national borders, and fostering community-building among alumni groups.

Additionally, the Board has begun spearheading a fund-raising drive for graduate study and research abroad, helping students conduct field work and pre-dissertation research critical to their professional training. Expanding study abroad opportunities has been one of my highest priorities, and, thanks to you, we have made great strides. In 2006, we awarded over 30 study-abroad scholarships to UW-Madison undergraduate students. With the success of the fall 2006 telethon, administered by the UW Foundation, we have moved closer to our goal of providing 100 scholarships per year. Over 400 alumni, including many recent graduates, pledged $34,000 during the telethon, more than three times the amount pledged during a similar telethon two years ago. Overall, we received $360,000 in gifts and pledges toward study abroad in 2006, a terrific commemoration of the Year of Study Abroad, contributing to the $1.4 million in gifts and pledges that International Studies has received during Create the Future: The Wisconsin Campaign.

During the summer of 2006, seven UW-Madison students participated in the International Academic Internships Initiative, a pilot program. Alumni and friends provided internships at their companies in Japan and the Netherlands as well as financial support for the program, resulting in important experiences for both the students and the companies. To read more about the International Academic Internship Initiative, please see our accompanying E-International article. Together we are forging international networks, building a better world, and educating students to become globally competent citizens.

Please contact me to become involved in our efforts, or send me your comments at Again, thank you for your outstanding commitment and support!

— Dean Gilles Bousquet