Club of Wisconsin



12 Wisconsin Seniors Admitted to Harvard Class of 2019

Twelve Wisconsin high school seniors were admitted to the Harvard College Class of 2020.  Two were admitted earlier, in December 2015, and ten were admitted on March 31, 2016.  They are:

  • Adil Bhatia, Brookfield Academy, a mock trial standout
  • Brennan Gregg, Whitefish Bay, state ranked in tennis and a cello player
  • Kayla Lentz, Plymouth Comprehensive, heading for a career in pediatric oncology
  • Riya Sood, University School of Milwaukee, a state champion tennis player and MYSO violist
  • Dahlia Tesfamichael, Divine Savior Holy Angels, a state forensics poetry winner whose parents came from Eritrea
  • Lizzie Tong, Nicolet, computer science and robotics
  • Amanda Zhang, Madison West, a writer passionate about social justice
  • Daniel Park, Franklin
  • MacKinley FitzPatrick, Lakeland Union in Rhinelander,  a cross country skier competing internationally
  • Teddy Liu, Waunakee, a Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra trumpet player
  • Henry Lynch, Wauwatosa East, an accomplished actor
  • Julia Engleberg, Southern Door County, raised a grand champion steer, set school records in track and wants to learn Arabic

An additional  27 students from Wisconsin are on the wait list.



Record Number of Applicants Apply to Harvard Class of 2019

We have a record 311 applications to the class of 2019.  Of 59 "early"  (action) applications, three were admitted and nearly all others were deferred.  Admitted were  Austin Dawson from Chilton H.S., a budding economist;  Jason Thong from Oak Creek H.S., a robotics wizard and clarinet player;  and Simon Rosenblum-Larson of Madison West, a nationally recruited baseball player (pitcher).



All-Ivy Mixer May 8, 2014, 7:00 - 9:00 PM, in Madison, WI

The 2nd Annual Ivy+ Mixer will be held at Hotel Red from 7-9 pm on Thursday, May 8th.  The cost of the event will be $10 pre-registration and $15 at the door.  We will have hors d' deuvres and a cash bar.  The event will be located in the Regent & Monroe Rooms of the hotel.


Six Wisconsin students admitted to Harvard's class of 2018

Six Wisconsin students were admitted to Harvard in late March, joining the six admitted earlier, in December.  The new admits, all exceptional students, are:

          Jonathan Baron from Ashwaubenon, a mathematician and soccer player.  Jonathan's family brought him here from Mexico at an early age.
          Eden Girma from Middleton, another mathematician and national Finalist for Jazz Voice.
          Leah Lee from Brookfield Central, a musician who has played in Carnegie Hall, swims competitively and looks forward to a career in medicine.
          William McCarty from Brookfield Academy, who plays first violin in the Milwaukee Symphony Youth Orchestra, composes music for piano and guitar, 
          enjoys multivariate calculus and material science.
          Kartik Papatla from Homestead HS in Mequon, a cellist who has played around the world with the National Youth Symphony Orchestra and will study mathematics.
          Madeline Saviano from Whitefish Bay HS, who studies math at UWM and plays the violin. 
265 Wisconsin high school seniors applied to Harvard this year.

Distinguished composer John Adams AB '71 MA '72 will be in Wisconsin this week

Distinguished composer John Adams AB '71 MA '72 will be in Wisconsin this week to celebrate the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's (and his good friend MSO music director Edo de Waart's) performance of Adam's "Saxophone Concerto"  (March 28-30). The most frequently performed living American composer of orchestral music, Adam's best known works include the opera "Nixon In China" (1987)  and "On the Transmigration of Souls," commissioned in honor of the heroes and in memory of the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and first performed by the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center.  The weekend of March 21 the MSO performed Adam's "The Wound Dresser," an orchestral setting of the Whitman poem.  While at Harvard College Adams conducted the Bach Society Orchestra and was a reserve clarinetist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.


Badgers women's hockey: Harvard awaits in NCAA quarterfinals on Saturday in Madison

It was announced Sunday that the Badgers (27-7-2 overall) will host Harvard (23-6-4) in a NCAA quarterfinal game at 7 p.m. Saturday at LaBahn Arena.  The winner will advance to the NCAA Frozen Four, which will be staged March 21 to 23 at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn.  Read more in the Wisconsin State Journal


Nathan Dane Portrait Reception in Madison

Neng Thao '15 and Tim Kiefer HLS '98 worked together to find out why Dane County was named for Nathan Dane (who helped create the Northwest Ordinance that led to Wisconsin's statehood) and then, to paint and hang a portrait of Dane in the City-County Building.  The painting was unveiled at a reception in Madison on January 23.  Read the full article in the Wisconsin State Journal here.


2013 Admissions

Forty-seven high school seniors from around the State applied for admission to the Harvard College Class of 2018 under the early action program.  They applied by November 1; six were admitted early in December (as compared to three of forty-two last year).  They have until May 1 to decide whether to accept Harvard; historically, nearly all early admitted students have.  The students admitted have stellar academic records.  Many are taking college and even graduate level university courses while still in high school.   Some have participated in advanced research projects, medical or environmental.  Music and sports are high on their list of extracurricular activities.

The six admitted are Daphne Thompson from Oshkosh West, a newspaper managing editor and scholar of English literature;  Molly Jennerman of Monona and Katie Felsheim of Divine Savior (Milwaukee), both rowers;  Alexa Jaeger from Catholic Memorial (Waukesha), a rugby star;  Wentong Zhang from Whitefish Bay, a concert-master violinist and tennis player;  and Sriyani Diaz-Granados from Brookfield East, who has lived with her family and served communities in Brazil, Mexico, and Spain. College alumni(ae) personally interviewed and strongly recommended them for admission.


In Memoriam:  Mike Ash JD '67

Mike Ash, a 1967 graduate of Harvard Law School, died on August 24, 2013 at the age of 74.  He was a retired attorney who lived in Fox Point.  

Mike graduated from Marquette High School and earned a BA from Marquette University before attending  Harvard Law School and the Harvard University Graduate School of Government. 

After serving as a law clerk for US District Court Judge John Reynolds, Mike joined the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office and later joined the firm of Godfrey & Kahn. 


Thirteen Wisconsin Students Admitted to Harvard in 2013  

Thirteen Wisconsin high school students were admitted to Harvard College for the academic year beginning in the fall of 2013.  Of those admitted, seven were from the Milwaukee area, four from Madison, one from Chilton and one from Wausau. There were 245 applicants from Wisconsin.

"We are very pleased that 13 students from Wisconsin were accepted at Harvard College this year," said Stuart Parsons, chair of the Schools and Scholarships Committee for the Harvard Club of Wisconsin.  "This achievement is due in no small part to the work of our volunteer alumni interviewers, and we are thankful for their diligent work through this past admissions year."

A total of 2,029 students were admitted, for an admission rate of 5.8 percent of the applicant pool of 35,023.

“Unprecedented levels of financial aid played a major role in producing a record applicant pool and an admitted group that promises to be one of the best in Harvard’s history,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid. 

“We expect that nearly 60 percent of the students admitted to the Class of 2017 will need financial assistance in order to attend,” said Sarah C. Donahue, director of financial aid. “Their families will pay an average of only $12,000 per year. About 20 percent of Harvard families, those with normal assets making $65,000 or less annually, will pay nothing at all.”

Alumni who are interested in becoming an admissions interviewer should contact Stuart Parsons at stuart.parsons@quarles.com or 414 277-5657.



Harvard Club Sponsors Madison School Board Candidate Forum


On March 28, 2013, the Harvard Club of Wisconsin hosted a forum for each of the candidates running for the Madison School Board.  Candidates in attendance were Dean Loumos and Wayne Strong running for seat 3, James Howard and Greg Packnett running for seat 4, and T.J. Mertz running for seat 5. 


The winners of the school board election will be serving with two Harvard alumni.  Harvard Business School alumna Mary Burke was elected to the Madison School Board in 2012, and Harvard Graduate School of Education alumna Jennifer Cheatham was recently hired as the district's school superintendent.



Milwaukee Architect Grace La Appointed as Tenured Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design


Milwaukee architect Grace La ‘92, M.Arch. ’95, has been appointed as a tenured professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.  La and James Dallman are the co-founders of La Dallman Architects in Milwaukee.  She is also an Associate Professor at the UW-Milwaukee School of Architecture & Urban Planning.  Her appointment will take effect July 1, 2013.  The office of La Dallman will continue to practice in Milwaukee, and will also expand to Boston. 


La received her M.Arch with thesis distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1995, winning the Clifford Wong Housing Prize.  She graduated A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard in Visual and Environmental Studies in 1992.


La Dallman’s built work includes Kilbourn Tower, the Miller Brewing Meeting Center (building by Ulrich Franzen), and the UW-Milwaukee Hillel Student Center.  La Dallman is currently commissioned to design renovations and additions to the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. 



In Memoriam:  Eldred Mansford Swingen


By Tom Ragatz

Eldred Mansford Swingen, a Madison lawyer who attended Harvard Law School before his studies were interrupted by World War II, died on November 13, 2012 at age 95.

"Swing," as he was known in the local Bar, was born in Cooperstown, North Dakota, raised there in the Village of Hannaford, and graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1939 with a B.S. in Commerce.  He then attended Harvard Law School before being drafted into the U.S. Army before Pearl Harbor.

Swing was commissioned in the 80th Infantry Division, and served as S-2 Captain in World War II.  He was awarded a Bronze Star with Oakleaf Cluster and four battle stars.

After World War II he came to Wisconsin and attended the U.W.  Law School, receiving his LL.B in September,1946.

During Swing’s long legal career he served as a District Claim Agent for the Chicago  & Northwestern Railroad, and was a founder and sole survivor of the firm of Swingen, Stern & Lenahan, with offices in Madison and Oshkosh.  He also served as a partner in the firm of Johnson, Swingen  & Atterbury.  He retired from law practice on December 31, 2009 as a sole practitioner.

His passions included his family, model trains, golf and world travels.  He is survived by his wife and a daughter, and will be remembered in the profession and in the community for his smile and pleasant manner.  


Family is 2 for 2 on Presidential Scholars; Both to Attend Harvard 
Suman Gunasekaran, a senior at James Madison Memorial High School in Madison, was named a Presidential Scholar in May 2012, an honor which his sister Suvai Gunasekaran earned in 2009, according to a news article in the Wisconsin State Journal.  Suman will attend Harvard this fall, where Suvai is already enrolled.  According to the State Journal report, this year 141 Presidential Scholars were selected from more than 3,300 applicants, and it is not known if there has ever previously been more than one winner from the same family.
Mary Burke Elected to Madison School Board
Mary Burke, who earned her MBA at Harvard Business School, was elected to the Madison School Board in the spring election held on April 3, 2012.  Burke is a community volunteer who formerly worked as an executive at Trek Bicycle.  She served as Wisconsin Commerce Secretary during the administration of Gov. Jim Doyle, JD '72.  In 2011, Burke pledged a $2.5 million donation to the Madison Preparatory Academy.
Also in the April 3 election, attorney Tim Kiefer, JD '98, was elected to a seat on the Dane County Board of Supervisors.  He will represent a district including all of Waunakee and part of Westport.
In Memoriam:  Dwight Ellis '69, JD '72
Dwight Ellis '69, JD '72, a former president of the Harvard Club of Wisconsin, died in September 2011 of complications from cancer.  He was 64 years old.
From 1973 to 1977, Ellis was a member of the Judge Advocate General Corps of the US Air Force.  For the next 27 years, from 1977 to 2004, Ellis practiced law in Milwaukee with Whyte & Hirschboeck, S.C.  He opened a solo law practice in Milwaukee in 2004.
As an undergrad, Ellis managed the Harvard hockey team.  After graduation he continued to follow the hockey team and volunteered as an alumni interviewer for students applying to Harvard College.
For First Time Since 1957, No Harvard Alumnus Will Represent Wisconsin in the US Senate 
A 55-year streak came to an end in January 2013.  For the first time since August 1957, neither of Wisconsin's two US senators are Harvard alumni.
In May 2011, US Senator Herb Kohl, MBA '58, announced that he will be leaving the Senate at the end of his term in January 2013.  Kohl has served in the US Senate since 1989.
Kohl's seat was previously held by US Senator William Proxmire, who graduated from Harvard Business School in 1940 and the Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration in 1948.  Proxmire took office in August 1957, following a special election to fill the vacancy left by the death of US Senator Joseph McCarthy.
From 1993 until 2011, during the three terms of US Senator Russ Feingold, JD '79, both of Wisconsin's US Senate seats were held by Harvard graduates.  
Feingold, who was defeated in his 2010 reelection bid, was mentioned as a possible candidate to succeed Kohl, but he announced that he would not run.  
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind '85 was also mentioned as a potential US Senate candidate, but he also announced that he would not run.  Kind played quarterback on the Harvard football team and currently represents a congressional district in western Wisconsin.
Two Harvard alumni are representing Wisconsin in the US House of Representatives.  Kind was reelected to the House in November 2012, along with US Rep. Thomas Petri '62, JD '65, who represents a district in the Fond du Lac area.
Kathryn Smith '95 to Lead Madison Opera

Kathryn Smith '95 has joined Madison Opera as general director.  Her arrival in Madison in July 2011 followed seven years as general director of Tacoma Opera in Washington state. 

Prior to her work in Tacoma, Smith spent six years with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where she was assistant artistic administrator.  She received her Harvard A.B. magna cum laude in Women’s Studies, where she lived in North House. 

While at Harvard, Smith was involved with Lowell House Opera for three years, doing work not dissimilar to what she now does for a living.  She was involved with the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club, stage managing a number of productions in both the Loeb Ex and the mainstage.  While an undergraduate, she also worked for Boston Lyric Opera and Wolf Trap Opera. 

A Seattle native, Smith received ArtsFund’s 2008 Outstanding Achievement in the Arts Award and has judged for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and Portland Opera’s Lieber Competition.

Madison Opera is a resident organization of the Overture Center for the Arts, where the company stages three operas each year.  The company also presents "Opera in the Park," a free performance which draws thousands to Garner Park each summer.



Eva Lam '10 Wins Rhodes Scholarship


Eva Z. Lam, a senior at Harvard College, has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship for the fall of 2010, according to an announcement from the American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust.  Lam is from Milwaukee, and graduated from Rufus King High School.  


Lam is president of the Harvard College Democrats.  She worked at Harvard and in New Hampshire on the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, JD '91.


Lam, a social studies major, is particularly interested in education reform.  Her thesis is on cultural competency training in Teach for America, and she will soon be certified to teach high school history.


She has a black belt in taekwondo, and while at Rufus King High School she was a national champion debater.


Rhodes Scholarships are awarded to 32 Americans each year.  The scholarship funds two to four years of study at the University of Oxford in England.  Past recipients of the scholarship include President Bill Clinton and Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, JD '79.




Photo: Eva Lam and Harvard Club of Wisconsin President Steve Anderson at the 2009 Harvard Club of Wisconsin Holiday Luncheon.