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When WALSAA was established in 1972, the organization embarked on a remarkable journey of service and fellowship with alumni and friends of CALS. “As alumni, we can act more effectively than any single group to build the image of greatness and at the same time enjoy the fellowship of working together,” said Roger Biddick, the first WALSAA president at the inaugural annual meeting.
WALSAA’s flagship events, the WALSAA Football Fire-Up, and Summer Picnic during Wisconsin Farm Technology Days will showcase 50th anniversary special events. “I am excited to welcome alumni and friends of UW-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences to celebrate WALSAA’s 50th Anniversary at these events,” says Taylor Fritsch, WALSAA President. “We look forward to honoring WALSAA’s legacy of service while building momentum for the next 50 years. Our 50th Anniversary will reconnect alumni and friends with colleagues and the campus community. We hope to see you at one of our flagship events!” Members should check the quarterly newsletter, WALSAA Express, and follow the organization's Facebook and Instagram pages to learn more about the 50th Anniversary special additions.
For the past 50 years, WALSAA has supported numerous CALS students annually through the Outstanding Sophomore Award scholarships, Farm and Industry Short Course awards, Student Organization Impact Grant awards, and new in the 50th year Senior Impact Awards. In 2022, WALSAA has awarded more than $20,000 in student scholarships and awards. WALSAA also provides funding for the CALS Ambassadors who are the recruitment team engaging with prospective high school students.
Additionally, WALSAA supports students by providing alumni members as speakers for student organizations on topics such as resumes, interviews, goal setting, and life transitions from college to the first career. WALSAA members serve as mentors for students in aligned career fields.
To recognize faculty and staff advisors, WALSAA developed and endowed the WALSAA Advising Award. Established in 1997, the award is given to a member of the CALS faculty for exceptional student advising service.