Class of ‘68 celebrates 50 years years

Members of the Warhawk class of 1968 return to their university


Killian Jauch, News Editor

After graduating college, everyone takes a different path. Some stay close and very involved on campus while others choose to maintain their distance. Regardless of which direction they go, the campus where they spent four or more years of their lives can still be an important part of their lives long after they throw their caps. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater class of 1968 is no exception.

This homecoming, UW-W proudly celebrates the 50th anniversary of the class of ‘68, which has many graduates who still play a big role on the campus. One of those graduates is Jon Greenwood.

Greenwood was a member of both the concert and marching bands, the varsity track and tennis teams, and he participated in many intramural sports.

Now, living in Waukesha, he tries to get to campus as much as he is able to. He is a member of the Deans Advising Board which meets once a year, and in the past he has handed out a scholarship alongside his wife to students in the College of Arts and Communication.

You’ll even be able to see him marching with the Alumni Band in the Homecoming Parade.

“I like to keep in touch with the campus,” Greenwood said. “I try to come down once or twice a year at least, and whenever Whitewater teams come up in our area I usually go watch. I’m excited to come back this weekend, but right now I gotta find out how I’m going to do rehearsal for the band and the Chancellor’s tent at the same time.”

While Greenwood still plays a very active role on campus, some graduates aren’t able to be so involved once they leave. However, that doesn’t mean the university doesn’t hold a place in their hearts. This is certainly the case for Edward and Sue Ellen Madere.

Sue Ellen is another member of the class of ‘68, and Edward graduated a year later as a member of the class of 1969. The couple met on this very campus at a college mixer in 1966. They recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

“I was with one of my girlfriends and he asked me to dance,” said Sue Ellen. “I honestly thought he looked like one of the Beatles. I grew up on a farm outside of Whitewater so I had never been anywhere and he was a military brat so he had been all over the place. He was probably the most mature guy I had met at age 20.”

They were both very involved students in their time at UW-W as well. Edward was political science major and Sue Ellen majored in English.

“I was a member of various clubs, mostly it was studying,” Edward said. “But I was very active in assorted political science clubs, and I was a member of the Young Democrats club.”

“I worked in the library and at the radio station and studied a lot,” Sue Ellen said. “Except at the dances of course.”

They have lived all over the country, and coming back to campus has been a geographic issue for a long time.

Both are retired, now living in Janesville. Edward spent over 35 years in municipal government in many different cities, and Sue Ellen spent many years as a librarian. She continues to volunteer at the library today.

“We’ve lived in New Jersey, east of Highway 1. We’ve lived in Oregon, west of Highway 101 and a lot of other places throughout the country.” Sue Ellen said. “But Wisconsin definitely got their money’s worth out of us.”

Although this weekend will be their first time back to campus in quite a while, the love they hold for UW-W has not faded.

“Sometimes when you’re young and stupid you hear people say they’d like to go back to high school,” Edward says. “I wouldn’t go back to high school if you paid me a lot of money, but I’d go back to college tomorrow. I look back on college in Whitewater very fondly. I hope students take advantage of their college experience.”

Alumni Program coordinator Keri Schroeder has organized the reunion and is excited to see the outcome.

“This is always my favorite event,” Schroeder said. “I love giving these people the opportunity to come back to campus.”

Jon Greenwood, Edward and Sue Ellen Madere and many more alumni from 1968 and other years will be back this weekend to experience the campus that still holds so much meaning to them.

“I was fortunate to be able to come to Whitewater,” Edward Madere said. “It was a great experience, in a sense I truly hated to graduate.”