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What was the most memorable class you took at UW–Madison?

Andrea Stegman
February 24, 2023

Tell us about your most memorable class, and we’ll add your memory to our Badger Scrapbook.


I love how Professor Harold Scheub (of blessed memory) is mentioned here repeatedly. His courses were the best the UW could offer. He was also my advisor for my individual major in African Studies called North Africa and the Near East (now called Middle Eastern Studies - can you imagine a time when that did not exist?). Prof. Scheub was inspiring, funny, serious, and incredibly knowledgeable. He shaped my career as a teacher. A gem of a man in my life, and clearly for many others.

Lisagail Zeitlin

Women in Literature. It was incredible. An elective I saved to the end and was not remotely interested in taking it. LOVED it. Still have the anthology book and smile every time I glance at it.

Sandra Kitzman Ranck

As a Child & Family Studies major in the 1980's, I took many interesting education and psychology courses (motivation with Frank Farley comes to mind), but summer courses were a chance to branch out. I think the most memorable class I took was the intro to African literature, because it exposed me to books I would've never picked up otherwise. That is one of the greatest things about UW-Madison - a large campus gives you so many options.

Jill Wilson

I was a life science communications major and my intro to soil science class was fascinating! The professor was brilliant, and showed me that “dirt” is really a dirty word!

Laura Ahlgren

Honestly, I thoroughly enjoyed all my classes and seem to remember that period of time vividly and fondly even 25+ years later. 1st amendment law, any class taught by “Prof Bauf” as well as many others. Very grateful for my UW education.

Nicole Baumann-Budleski

Lloyd Pray's "Geology 101" was so inspiring I took other geology classes. I majored in Anthropology / Archaeology. I often applied information I learned in his class when doing fieldwork. Pray's enthusiasm for the subject matter was contagious.

Jane Adams Stillinger

FRANCIS HOLE’s “Geography of Wisconsin” c. 1978. Professor Hole delivered amazing lectures at historic Science Hall. Perhaps, the most memorable was when he compared soil to his violin which he played to the delight of all present.

Peter Arndt

Richard Davis’ Jazz Appreciation classes. I’m an economics major but have a great love for all music. Professor Davis is still #1 on my list of influential teachers in my history. He was engaging, he made sure to remember everyone’s names (or the nicknames he gave them), he included everyone, and he was so kind. I was just speaking about him last week at a Leadership training class we were having at work. 

Jennifer Crisp

Hip Hop in the 90s with Craig Werner or of course, the African Storyteller! Video Production too.

Alicia Hazen

The Big Bands, with Prof. Lekrone. I type this as I'm in New Orleans about to head into Preservation Hall. Mark McCubbin

I enjoyed my BBA classes but really enjoyed my electives such as Creative Writing, French and Ballroom Dancing! I’ll pick Ballroom dancing as my favorite since my dance partner was my future husband!

Mary Anderson

Marching and Varsity Band - best 1 credit class every semester!

Sue Ryan

History of WWII with Stephen Ambrose as a visiting professor in Fall ‘96. I just happened to get into the class and had NO idea who he was. Needless to say, was probably the best lecture I’ve ever had the opportunity to take. I was an English w/ Fiction writing emphasis major.

Bethany DeBroux Adams

Intro to Computer Programming in fall 1965. First undergrad computer science course offered. Became my major and was the base for a wonderful career.

Kathy Miller

My favorite class at UW was definitely Irish History with Professor James Donnelly (Fall 1999). I still have all the text books...after taking his class, I became a History major and studied abroad in Ireland multiple times.

Meg Byrnes

American Environmental History with the legendary Bill Cronon. Oh and technically Marching Band is a 1 credit class, so that too, with Mike.

John Ewanowski

Marching band aside…Rhetoric of Campaigns and Revolutions. I was an English major.

Caitlin Marie

Criminal Law with Professor Downs, Human Sexuality, anything with J-School professor Drechsel, ugh take me back!

Dana Nowa Kaphingst

No doubt. Professor Allen's "Plants and Man." Many outstanding courses, but that one stood out.

Starr Labrador

1978 or 1979 Frank Sechrist - Meteorolgy - I hated of any kind...and one of the first lessons he taught was "How to get hit by lightning". No pun intended, but that was seared into my brain & I learned SO much from him in a semester & I think I got an A or an AB.

Liz Erickson

ILS course Literary Interpretation of Technology in 1993. I can’t remember the professor, but the main lesson the prof wanted us engineering/science majors to learn was to step back from our technical work and reflect on its impact on society.

Robert Zieroth

European Cultural History with Professor George Mosse. His breadth and depth of knowledge was stunning, and yet he could convey it with humor and warmth. I wish I would have had the chance to take more classes from him. RIP, Professor Mosse.

Scott Peterson

Genetics with Dr Crow. An amazing professor, wonderful person, and fascinating subject. I even ended up becoming a Medical Geneticist as a career. As a side story, I had Dr Crow his last year of teaching, while my father took the same course from him about 30 years previously.

Kerry Baldwin Jjedele

I took two history classes (90/94) Prof Schultz, I still think he’s one of the most dynamic educators I’ve ever come across. Communicative Sciences & Disorders major.

Tricia Murphy Herzog

French throughout my years at Madison with Professor Peter Schofer. I’ve been to Montreal and France a few times and can still remember a lot of my French, thanks to him! (Social Work major ‘81)

Jenny Minturn Fostner

I adore this post!!!! As a professor now, it makes me happy and a little teary! I treasure so much about my time there. I majored in soc and had to take a science and Bernice Durand in physics was a phenomenal professor and person. I don’t recall the content now but her passion and devotion as a professor made all the difference to me! I adored Susan Stanford Friedman for Women in the Arts. I still have the project I did for that class 32 years ago!! Doug Maynard in sociology is fantastic, and his Social Problems class is why I chose soc as a major! Mary Gilfus in social work and women’s studies was incredible!!! Students there are sooooooo lucky!!!! On Wisconsin!!!

Deborah J Cohan

An Intro to American Lit class with Professor Ron Wallace freshman year. The man gave an entire lecture dressed as Frankenstein's monster! He then became my creative writing thesis professor my Senior year. It was a fantastic full circle with an inspiring and kind man.

Steve Siglinsky

“Blues, Rap, and Literature of the Streets” in the mid-80’s. I learned a lot!! (Psych major)

Diane Richards-Cook

It’s a toss up between Human Sexuality taught by Prof Janet Hyde and Primates taught by Prof. Chris Coe.

Erica Blustein Freeman

Promotional campaigns in the j school, it changed my life. I knew advertising is where I belonged.

Jim Andrews

History of the Vietnam War with Prof. McCoy. Amazing course.

James DuChateau

Political History of the Modern Olympics with Professor Senn. My engineering major roommates hated me all semester.

Peter Diamond

Weather and Climate- use what I learned there every single day.

Abbey Middleton

I took a class on graffiti. I really liked it. I needed a humanities credit and the class was great!

Jane Carnes

The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen in the Humanities building was so popular it was live in one lecture hall of 500 and broadcast in another of the same size.

Lisa Gurskis

I signed up for a literature course in Greek humor and the first day the professor announced that there was a mistake in the catalog; that it was actually a course in Greek tragedy. I stayed in it and loved it.

Mary Kay Kirsner

My personal favorite was the marathon training class with Ronnie Carda! I made lifelong friends and picked up valuable lifelong skills and lessons. Nearly 20 years later, I think of that class often. 

Melissa Paulson Fandrich

Wisconsin Folklore with Jim Leary. On the first day, you told him your name and hometown (if WI) and he told you some facts about yourself. Loved that class! Sociology major, class of '01

Lisa Lietzer

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