On misty mornings when the lake is clear of ice, the UW’s rowing teams can be found sculling their way across the surface of Lake Mendota, a coach often motoring along beside them, shouting instructions and encouragement over a megaphone. Rowing is the oldest sport at UW–Madison, dating back to the 1870s. It’s also the sport in which the Badgers have won the most national championships: nine for men’s teams, and seven for women’s, as of 2016. The sport requires a bit of a vocabulary lesson: the squad can be called a rowing team or a crew, but never a crew team (that’s redundant); the boats are called shells, and the oars are called sculls. The person in the shell who doesn’t row but calls out instructions to keep the rowers working in unison is the coxswain or cox. The Badgers do not row in the Big Ten Conference, but rather as part of the Eastern College Athletic Conference, and 18-school association that includes Boston University, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Georgetown, George Washington, Harvard, Holy Cross, M.I.T., Northeastern, Princeton, Rutgers, Syracuse, Navy, Pennsylvania, and Yale.
The art for the Badger Pride Wall was created for WAA by Madison illustrator Nate Koehler.