Note from the Chair

In October, I asked English alums to send me news of themselves: what—I asked—have you done with your English major? This question drew a torrent of replies: I heard from medical doctors and technology CEOs, from high-powered attorneys and prize-winning teachers. And I heard from a huge array of writers. One memorable reply came from Thomas J. Waite, who had a meteoric business career before turning to the task of writing murderous techno-thrillers: Terminal Value (2012) and Lethal Code (coming in 2014). I also heard from Teresa Cader, author of award-winning collections of poetry, from Regina Weinreich, who has written and produced documentaries on the Beat poets, and from Bob Barnett, one of the premier authors’ representatives in the world. It couldn’t be clearer that Badger English alumni are doing absolutely extraordinary things! Please send in your good news, your memories, and your career stories, and we’ll proudly feature them to the world.

I wish I could focus all of my attention on the great success stories, but as you may know, these are tough economic times for public universities. Around 50% of our budget came from the State of Wisconsin in 1960; now it’s down to 15%. We are turning more and more to alumni and friends to ask for help. If you have the means to send us a gift, I promise we’ll put it to good use. We’d love to furnish a new undergraduate lounge in Helen C. White, foster great student writing, and celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday this coming April! We’ll make sure we direct your support exactly where you want it to go…

With warmest wishes,
Caroline Levine 
Professor and Chair of the English Department