Alumni and Giving

Your gifts help us to maintain our excellence as an English Department. Through the generosity of alumni and other donors, we've been able to provide our students and faculty with resources to enrich their learning, advance their research, and recognize their achievements. Here's how you can help.


Your Gift Impact

Many English Badgers have had great success in life, and lots have given back to the English Department. We are deeply grateful! Your generosity keeps our lively intellectual community going.

Every single gift makes a difference:

  • $50
    This amount allowed us to throw a pizza party for busy students who attended a career workshop during the dinner hour.
  • $100
    This past year, we used two gifts of this amount to subsidize theater tickets for undergraduate classes.

    One student in English 432 wrote: “It was my first time seeing Shakespeare performed, and I loved seeing the play come alive and the director's particular vision for it and how it was similar and different from aspects we discussed in class. I've felt like I've really begun to understand and appreciate many of Shakespeare's plays for the first time this semester, and getting to see a contemporary production of Macbeth and have in-class discussions about Shakespeare on stage have been really important to my understanding and enjoyment of his work. Thanks to the English Department for funding the tickets to this play! It was definitely a valuable and memorable experience for me.
  • $200
    Modest gifts from alums have allowed the Madison Undergraduate Society for English (MUSE) to host an annual national conference of emerging scholars and writers. They launch a website, print programs, and serve breakfast and lunch to UW undergraduates and visitors from around the country.
  • $500
    This is a princely sum for a graduate or undergraduate student who wants to conduct research in an archive or present work at a national conference! Your gift can make an exciting research opportunity possible.
  • $750
    A gift of this size has a major impact. In 2013, Professor Josh Calhoun founded the Early Modern Play-reading Group, which brings together faculty, students, and members of the wider community to read little-known Renaissance plays. It’s fun and challenging, but it costs some money to get everyone access to the texts and provide drinks and snacks for the monthly gatherings. One generous gift covers the whole year’s program.
  • $1000
    These are the kinds of sums that allow us to bring distinguished scholars and writers to campus. This past year saw exciting visits from Pulitzer-Prize winning writers Anthony Doerr and Elizabeth Kolbert.
  • $5000
    Transformative and exciting, a gift of this size allows us to offer a substantial scholarship to an under-represented minority student or to host a major international conference on campus, raising the profile of the Department and stimulating new intellectual trends and conversations. This past year we held conferences on applied linguistics, peace and violence in the Renaissance, literature and the environment, and rhetoric. We hire students to help in the planning and the programming, and they benefit from access to the latest research.
  • $10,000
    Gifts like these are game-changers. Among other fantastic opportunities, they allow us to offer strong recruitment packages to top graduate students and to attract exciting new faculty members to UW-Madison. In the past couple of years, we were able to woo prize-winning fiction writer Danielle Evans, who was teaching at American University in Washington DC, and Stephanie Elsky, a specialist in Renaissance literature and law, who was on a postdoctoral fellowship at Amherst College when we snapped her up.
  • $100,000 and over
    To keep the MFA in Creative Writing ranked #3 in the nation and our whole Department ranked at #17, we do need the help of friends. Large endowments allow us to create named professorships that are essential to attracting and retaining top-quality faculty.