A just graduated student holding onto their diploma. (Image courtesy of University Communications.)


Halloween isn’t the only Badger tradition that has funny costumes. Commencement is the time when Badgers don their caps and gowns and join the community of more than 400,000 living alumni of the University of Wisconsin. Whether it took place at the Field House, the Kohl Center, or Camp Randall, this special occasion gives Varsity a whole new meaning.

Lesson in the Latin
Often cause for confusion, the term “alumni” only refers to a group of graduates. The astute Badger understands:

  • alumnae: more than one female graduate (pronounced uh-luhm-nee)
  • alumnus: one male graduate
  • alumna: one female graduate
  • alumni: more than one male graduate, or a group of male and female graduates

And, with that in mind, to say “former alumnus” or “former graduate” is a bit nonsensical. Once a grad, always a grad. On, Wisconsin!