Cheerleaders singing varsity with Badger fans.


U-Rah-Rah has been a UW cheer since before Henry Dyke Sleeper wrote the lyrics for “Varsity” (or “Varisty Toast,” as it was originally titled) in 1898. Sleeper was an instructor in the School of Music. But it was Ray Dvorak — the UW Band director from 1934 until 1968 — who made the song and cheer a lasting campus tradition. Shortly after he started, he introduced the arm wave (right arm only, in sync with the song’s final line), and once it caught on, he came to believe that “Varsity is the best-loved, best-sung alma mater anywhere in the United States.” And this despite the fact that so few of its lyrics are actual words. Read more about the origins of Varsity >

The art for the Badger Pride Wall was created for WAA by Madison illustrator Nate Koehler.