Interview with Michael Brady, 04/25/2018

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
Tanner Hagerstorm, Interviewer | uwocs_Michael_Brady_04252018_uc.mp3
Campus Stories Oral History Project (UWO Audio Series 51) |


´╗┐TH: Today is April 25th. I'm here with Michael Brady. Uh, we're doing a Skype interview with audio only. He lives in Georgia, so obviously we couldn't make it happen in Oshkosh, but still should work perfect for us. Um, first off, Michael, where did you grow up?

MB: You can call me Mike.

TH: Mike?

MB: I guess I would claim I grew up in Wauwatosa. The reality of it is I was born in Madison. My father changed jobs several times so I, uh, lived in Eau Claire, started school in Waukegan and moved to Wauwatosa in the third grade.

TH: So you were moving all over the place most of your life?

MB: Well, uh, it just got me prepared to being a corporate gypsy once I finished school. But yes.

TH: All right, perfect. When you were growing up, what were some of your interests and hobbies as a kid?

MB: I was your typical-- athlete slash juvenile delinquent. I mean we played 1:00outside all the time, um depending on the season. I went to a parochial grade-school in Milwaukee, had a tremendous [unclear] sports program. So, I basically played football, basketball, and baseball for the school. In high school I played football, I swam, I played baseball for a couple of summers. Um, then I had to get a job to start paying for college, and in those days, I think it's still the same way today, baseball in Wisconsin is either a spring sport or a summer sport. Two separate seasons, two separate programs, two separate championships. Wauwatosa had a single unified team despite the fact we had two public high schools, and some of the parochial high school kids could play on 2:00it, but we played in the summer league. So, that kind of conflicted with, um, I got a job as a lifeguard for Milwaukee County. After my junior year in high school, I kind of ended the baseball.

TH: Oh, I'm sorry, go ahead.

MB: I got into a fair amount of trouble. I was, uh, I guess you're only in trouble if you get caught. I was lucky -- for the most part, I didn't get caught, but we did the typical knuckle head things adolescents do.

TH: Exactly. Was it pretty typical for high school athletes to play all sports? Like I know today a lot of people focus only on one specific sport. Was it pretty common that everyone played everything?

MB: No, because you did not have a lot of these year-round programs, so that - in you tended to see a lot of the same faces playing all of the sports.


MB: I hated running, so I did not do track. I was a -- a quasi-varsity intramural sport. That was what I did in the spring, but because you didn't have 3:00the concentration. Uh, it wasn't that difficult, so that's what we did. Now, I've got two daughters, 33 and 29, and uh, especially the younger one, uh, until she got to high school, played all kinds of sports. Once you get to high school, I mean it was literally, oh, led to winter, a hitting league led to spring softball, led back to summer travel team.

TH: Okay, so she was more the --

MB: I tallied it up one time; she was playing 80 games a year! Literally over half what a minor league baseball player would play.

TH: Wow! That's incredible.

MB: But I realized it's a little more difficult now, but when I was a kid, that's all we did. It went sport to sport to sport.

TH: That's awesome. Uh, how about the education side, were you big into school? What were some of your favorite subjects?

MB: I was a terrible student; I was under-motivated! I learned when I was in 4:00graduate school how close I came to having to start college on probation. I, like a lot of guys my age, ended up in college because the alternative was getting drafted and going to Vietnam. But both of my parents were UW graduates. Uh, they had season football tickets. Did not like what they were seeing on campus, so they told myself and my five siblings and we could not start at Madison. After two years, if we wanted to, we could transfer. Um, but, but in those days it was, first of all, there were two university of Wisconsin systems. There was the UW system which was for a long time just Madison and Milwaukee, a couple of outstate campuses. Then they started Parkside and UW Green Bay. And 5:00then you had the old Wisconsin State University system. Which was the old 2 year teachers colleges that over time morphed into four year universities and added some graduate programs. So, they went from normal schools to state colleges, and I think Oshkosh, became a state university, Wisconsin State University Oshkosh in about 1964. But in fact, the WSUC athletic league is literally the nine level schools and went through that transformation. That's one of the things that's been perpetuated. But, uh, in those days there was a law that said if you're in the upper three quarters of your graduating class from Wisconsin high school, a UW school had to accept you, but if you were between a half and three quarters, 6:00they'd admit you on probation. The significance being, if you in on probation, and didn't pull 2 points your first semester, you were gone. If you came in in good standing you had one, basically 2 semesters before they'd kick you out. I discovered from my high school transcript I was number 201 in a class of 403!

TH: Okay, so right in the middle.

MB: I came into college in good standing because I was the last guy the upper half of my graduating class! I had - I was constantly getting harangued by parents and guidance counselors because I was - I had good skills in math. Uh, English and stuff was not so hot, but I was - for all intents and purposes, I was in high school just to serve my time and get my diploma and make sure I stayed eligible for athletics.

TH: Okay, so uh, you said both of your parents attended Oshkosh, right?

MB: No, they went to Madison.

TH: Oh they went to Madison? OK.


MB: I'm the oldest of six. My mother was an only child. Her father graduated with a chemical engineering degree, and actually was the captain of the basketball team in Madison in the early twenties. My Dad was a Madison native who, uh, went to UW, was actually on the freshman basketball team the year that Wisconsin won the [unclear] so he knew a lot of those guys, but then once World War Two started, he enlisted in the Navy, which left him at Madison except for he finished his college career at North Carolina State, finishing up the credits he needed for an engineering degree while going to diesel engine school before he joined the fleet. And my mother was, uh, basically started school during the war, was in pre-med and then she said once the war was over and the boys came home "I didn't want to study that hard!" so she got a degree in, uh, secondary 8:00ed with an emphasis on science. So they were college grads. My mother passed away about four years ago. My dad is 95 and still living in West Bend. Ah, the season football tickets they got in 1948, we still have in the family for Madison.

TH: Wow.

MB: So, I mean they were - they were huge boost- boosters, but they did not like - and in the early sixties, the general consensus was if you [unclear] radical political cultures, Berkeley was the most radical campus in the country and Wisconsin and Columbia, New York City were a close second. So they were concerned that their children would be led astray.

TH: Okay.

MB: Now, I actually seriously considered transferring to Madison, but when I sat back and looked at it realistically, I was an hour and a half away, and because my grandparents lived in Madison - I knew the city fairly well. So, I had the added advantage during Wisconsin football weekends, my grandmother who lived 9:00literally a mile from State Street would go to Milwaukee to take care of my siblings, so my buddies and I would take over her house for 2 days.

TH: I can imagine how that went.

MB: I had all of the social amenities of Madison without the aggravation of long hikes to class! So I happened to stay at Oshkosh.

TH: That's awesome.

MB: But uh, my, my, my grade point trajectory went from probably a 2.3 in high school to close to a 3 at Oshkosh, and at graduate school going on with a 3.6 or 3.7 whatever. I mean, you got to really do something stupid to get a bad grade in graduate school, and there's a few but - if you're smart enough to get in, as long as you basically do the work, the worst you'll get is a B.

TH: Ok. So, uh, tell me about the community you grew up in. Like did, was it a pretty typical that like people after high school would go to college?

MB: Wauwatosa is a-- where did you grow up, Tanner?


TH: Uh, I grew up in De Pere, right by Green bay.

MB: Yeah I know, ok. I dated a girl for several years who lived in Allouez. Uh, but Wauwatosa was the near end suburb in Milwaukee county. Uh, for a while it was kind of the end of the street car line so that it was more upper middle class. Uh, well we did have technical school classes in the high school. A lot of it was college prep, so I would guess that probably somewhere between 60 and 75 percent of my classmates did at least start in college after high school.

TH: Oh wow.

MB: Anyways it was a typical near end urban suburb. You could get anywhere on the bus. We used to ride our bikes everywhere, obviously you don't do that anymore. You have the amenities of the big city. I mean as I tell my friends 11:00down here - I've been in Atlanta now for 14 years, for years, my favorite teams were who's ever playing the Braves, or the Yankees tonight because I went through after my sophomore year in high school and I used to go to 30 Braves games a year. Now all of a sudden the carpet baggers moved into Atlanta, and I got no baseball! But it was a pretty typical suburban kind of environment before the state started sticking its nose to the athletic stuff. There was a great athletic conference called the Milwaukee Suburban Conference, which was basically the schools in the near end suburbs starting in in South Milwaukee and Cudahy, West Milwaukee, West Dallas, Wauwatosa, Shorewood, White Fish Bay, Waukesha. A very competitive league for any sport you wanted, it was great.


TH: Awesome. How old were you when you knew you wanted to go to college and, uh, like you said, your parents influenced you to go to Oshkosh?

MB: My parents made it clear they expect us to go to college. Um, I was a bit of a rebellious sort and were it not for the fact that there was the war on-- I had a relative who was in the railway workers union that told me could get me a job as a tradesman on a freight train. So, I thought when I got my high school degree I would spend a couple of years seeing the country on the back of a freight train, saving some money before I went to college. Unfortunately, uh, spring of my senior year of high school, my guidance counselor said, "Well, there's one flaw in your plan there, knucklehead." Um, the government did away with the war-time necessary deferments for railroad rail workers in the late fifties! "So, if you don't go to college, you will get drafted." You and your 13:00favorite M16 will end up in Southeast Asia sooner rather than later. So, I freely admit I went to college for three reasons: to stay the hell out of Vietnam, to have a good time, and, while I was there, learn a trade.

TH: Those are all pretty good reasons if you ask me.

MB: Now I accomplished them all, in fact, uh, I started my declared major as a freshman was computer science because I was fascinated with computers, and they were still in their infancy, and Oshkosh had this new major called computer science. And right before Christmas they announced the addition to Dempsey hall that was to provide the space among other things, for the enhanced computer center to support a major with the later years we had to find something else to do. So, you know, I probably had seven majors the first year and a half of 14:00college. I was in a math a couple times, in and out of econ a couple of times, in and out of operations research at least once, a, let me just-- I was thinking of possibly transferring to Madison. I focused my sophomore year a pre-commerce type things for Madison. So then I took a lot of business classes. Finally, my father sat me down in the spring of my sophomore year and said, "Look, knucklehead, you have to pick a major you can graduate with in 2 years for two reasons. One, I'm done subsidizing your education. And two, you got a better chance of staying out of Asia if you're an officer." Well, the second thesis was blown all to hell by the subsequent research. But um, in the context of my objectives, I'd taken a couple of accounting classes, done well in them and I sat back and said, "OK, accounting; addition, subtraction, logic, no term 15:00papers." [unclear] How scientifically I selected my major!

TH: Not bad!

MB: I graduated in two years and then, unfortunately they'd implemented the universal draft lottery when I was a junior and fortunately I had a year left on my deferment because I would have been drafted otherwise. Um, and then, uh, when I got out, which was the summer of 71, they picked up 190 from the class of 70. But, uh, I was 180. So, I went through the usual interview process, being young and stupid, where anybody you talked to said "We don't care if you're draftable, if you're good we'll hire you." And I thought I was pretty good because I worked in the residence halls, um, had done some student government stuff. I actually 16:00was one of the two students at UW who was on the Student Project and the Governor's Commission on Education that Bill Kellet ran from about 1967 to -- I guess, we finished work in late 1970.

Um, the thing - the recommendations were approved, and as of - one of the recommendations was to reduce bureaucracy, takeout cause, eliminate the WSU system and consolidate everything into it was the UW system. So, I have one of the last degrees that says Wisconsin State University Oshkosh on it. I got out in May of 71, and July 1st, Oshkosh became the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

TH: Oh, okay, so you were right before the -

MB: Um, but that was the, I was actively involved but when I started getting the same letter as my buddy who had a 4.0, who was - who had a draft number of two, 17:00I immediately concluded that all the people putting on recruiting brochures were lying, thieving weasels. I had one job offer - that was from the Internal Revenue Service, which at the time had something that oxymoronically was called the Intelligence Division. They've since renamed it to what it really is: Criminal Investigations. I had bad knees, but I had passed a couple military physicals when I was trying to get in so that, uh, it was iffy and I - I think I would rather take my chances of surviving the Vietnam lottery than trying to deal with highly motivated mafioso in Miami or New York or Chicago.

TH: I would agree with that. I would agree.

MB: So I, uh, I opted not to take that job. Which put me in the unfortunate position of-- I'm graduated, I've got a college degree, and I was, again, even 18:00through college was kind of balancing how hard do I want to work or how hard do I have to work to get the next better letter grade. Once I was securely above draftability and then my last semester where I had taken some freshman stuff and I would attribute the senior halo, I pulled a four-point.

TH: Oh, wow!

MB: So, suddenly my GPA went from like 2.8 to 2.95, which for resume purposes and stuff I rounded it up to 3.0, but it shot right out of sight. But-- I graduate, I don't have a job. Um, so I - I wrote - because I'd worked in housing for two and a half years as an RA, both in Gruenhagen and then, uh, the first year they made Donner co-ed. I wrote to some schools that said they took a grad 19:00students into the housing program and actually had offers from ironically Georgia, and Illinois, but it was going to cost me more in out of state tuition than it would cost me to move back in with my parents and 4 school age siblings and spend a year in graduate school going until they avoided the, the, uh, the draft stick.

TH: Okay.

MB: And uh, that was the plan. It was down to-- do I want to go to Marquette, where a friend of my father's had put me in contact with the Dean of the MBA program Assistant? Which, among other things, covered the bulk of the tuition. Or go to UWM and get an MBA there. And, uh, the last minute I got a phone call from the University of Missouri, um, they were in the process of transitioning from little old lady house mothers to graduate students as the head residents in 20:00their residence halls and a couple people show up and quit. So they were really scrambling because school was supposed to start in about two weeks! And, uh, the bottom line is

I got the call on Thursday. I flew down on Sunday, interviewed, got the job, I flew back and then packed up my stuff, drove away on Wednesday and spent two years as the head resident is what we were called of a nine story, 350 student women's residence hall at the University of Missouri.

TH: Oh wow!

MB: And not only was I a full time employee of the state where I was a - I mean, the salary was like 500 bucks a month which was about the same amount as a first lieutenant made in the army, or a second lieutenant. But, um, as a full time 21:00employee, I was exempt from out of state tuition and the university picked up three quarters of my tuition, my apartment was on the first floor of a women's residence hall, a meal ticket for the cafeteria next door, uh, technically I'm faculty so I can go to the library when, when it came time to do a term paper I could check out every book I wanted and keep it for the semester because faculty, um, so it was a sweet deal.

TH: Yeah, it sounds like a luxury.

MB: The only downside was we had faculty IDs rather than student IDs, so we couldn't get student pricing when, you know, musical acts came to town, but small price to pay. But it was, uh, it was basically because I worked in, in you know, technically Gruenhagen was a co-ed residence hall in those days, even though it's two separate towers. Donner was the in 1970 they decided to make it 22:00co ed. So you had two floors of men with two floors of women's living on top of it. And, uh, so that was truly a co-ed facility. So in, they weren't unfortunately for the University of Missouri, all they have in terms of people with any type of clear qualification to run a residential hall, they were all men. So the fact that I'd worked in a co-ed hall was helpful, and we laugh about it now, but they were a hell of a lot less concerned about me than they were about the guy who was leaving the Navy after two years on the enterprise. We both ended up running women's residence halls for a couple of years.

TH: OK. So, uh, what was campus life like at Oshkosh? You said you were a part of like a hall staff or an RA in the residence hall, did everybody typically live in the dorms?

MB: Yeah, when I got there, freshmen and sophomores, unless you were over 21 or 23:00a towny living, you know, within like 30 miles of campus, had to live in a residence hall.

TH: Okay so the same as today.

MB: Same as today. Uh, the university did not have really - they experimented with a couple of houses that they made into small student residences, uh, in the late forties. Again, these were originally Teacher's Colleges for loans. Radford Hall was the first dormitory they built as a dormitory and that was in the early fifties. And then it just took off so that by the time I got there in the fall of 67, Gruenhagen had been open for two years. Scott opened that year. Radford was converted to faculty offices and the student health center, which I think it still is today. It was a campus in transition. If you can imagine, uh, with the 24:00exception of Gruenhagen and then River Commons. There were no buildings south of high street, part of the university, just like with the exception of Fletcher, Stewart, Evans and Elmwood Commons, there were no buildings north of Elmwood. So, I mean it was this very compact campus, but they had great expansion plans. When I started, there were literally a street that ran on the west side of Gruenhagen and I thinks it's called Osceola, I think it still is. And it ran up and dead ended at Algoma, but from

Osceola and Algoma, all the way down to where Fletcher Hall is, or I mean, Taylor Hall is, was still houses that the university had built, the same thing on the north side of High street. Similarly from literally right across the 25:00street from Donner hall all the way down to a, I guess Blackhawk Street, which was the straight up that I think is now an entryway into the parking lot, just east of a Taylor. Uh, those were some industrial buildings and some houses, uh, and then literally from a block between Blackhawk and Osceola, High and Pearl, was this huge mat, matchbook factory called diamond match that the university had bought, was tearing down and they were in the process of putting up a originally put up recreational facilities. I know it's changed, I think it's a parking garage there. It was really a hoot watching them try and tear down this six-story match factory designed to survive explosions, the uh, most of the 26:00houses were empty.

Uh, in fact one of the tragedies was right across the street from Taylor, had been on that been a bar called Brother's Place. There was a beer bar and the university bought it and shut it down. And that was one that everyone looked at and said OK Brother's is gone. Um, see, prior to about 1972, Wisconsin had a law, the drinking age was officially 21. The age to buy alcohol packaged goods was 21. But there was a provision that allowed counties at the local option to issue what they call the double B license, which allowed them to licensed businesses to sell beer and wine to people 18 to 21 years old for on campus consumption only and Brother's, Brother's was a, what we call beer bar. When 27:00that went away, the nearest beer bar to campus was a place called the Barbarian Inn, down on Pearl and uh, Jackson. Um, but over the next couple of years the place really changed. There was a liquor bar down, uh, and again to put this in perspective, they had changed the streets. It used to be that Oshkosh was laid up in a laid out in a pure grid system. So Pearl Street literally ran from Main St., due west, between Gruenhagen and River Commons behind the match factory 'til it dead ended at Blackhawk. There were a couple of more streets and on the city side of Wisconsin Street, and I think the one south of Pearl was called Warren if my memories are right. There was a liquor bar called Andy's Library 28:00that was the closest bar for the upperclassmen to drink at, or people with fake IDs. So when I got there, I mean the hottest place in town was you walked down to the BI and stood in line to get in as they controlled how many people could get in there, uh, but they tore down all those houses. When I got there, they were, they were building the addition on Dempsey, they were building the addition on Halsey. Um, they had just opened Scott. And in fact, because Oshkosh was growing so rapidly, the university bought up all the land on the south side of River Commons. And they were all set to put up a third high-rise. I remember there was one little corner bar called, beer bar, called the Titan Tap, we used 29:00to call it the Trap. The university shut down right before Christmas in 1967, but they were clearing that land in anticipation of building a third high rise when somebody said hey, wait a second, we may not need this. Um, and it never got built. But where you've got things like where the new visitor's center is and stuff, that's kind of the land that it was supposed to be for high-rise number three. But they tore down all of the houses ADT had them building. Ironically, there was a, a phone company service building where they used to run service trucks out of that was basically right across the street from a right where the road kinked on high street right across the street from Taylor when they snuck in the ROTC program there. The journalism program was in one of the houses on, uh, Algoma between Osceola and Taylor hall.


TH: Okay. I think I might know what you might be talking about. I think it might be like the cultural center house or something like that.

MB: No, all that stuff got torn down and that's where they put up Blackhawk commons.

TH: Oh, okay.

MB: Similarly, on Algoma, as you went. Basically with the nursing building is now, there were also some houses. When I was in high school, all the state schools said you had to take the ACT. All but Oshkosh took the SAT. I didn't know Oshkosh was going to be so persnickety. They would not accept my SAT scores so to get in, I literally had to take an afternoon off, drive up to the testing center and take the ACT. In the testing center and two days later I got admitted.


TH: Well at least it worked out.

MB: They repurposed those houses. At this point I get, I've got a neph, my daughter graduated, or my sister graduated in about 19, uh, 1982. My nephew just graduated in the class of 2017, so I went to see him a couple of years ago so I've been on campus a couple of times. My daughter actually looked at it when she was in high school, probably 2004, 2005. So I've seen how the place has kind of changed so I couldn't, I couldn't get, my first notion was, wait a second. Within a year of my getting there on the city side of Wisconsin Street, starting at a Warren, and you had a place called Mars, was a hamburger joint. You had 32:00this huge rectangular building called Cautious, which was a gigantic beer bar. Behind Mars was a, a oversize pizza place called Red Ladder when I got there, while I got to Oshkosh early in the summer of 67, and Red Ladder was a small pizza place that delivered food to the campus on Jackson and Irving and they built this great big facility closer to the campus with a small, a small liquor bar in the back of it and that, you know, it kind of really took a lot of the business away from the bi and then there was also been a bar on the other side of Main street called The College Inn that used to have bands on the weekends that we use to track down to. So I mean, when I first got there, you ended up trekking somewhere between half a mile and a mile and a half to go have a beer if you're under 21. Now, within about 18 months, you basically just walk to the end of the campus.

TH: Wow. Sheesh.

MB: But uh, before Blackhawk was built, in Reeve Union, and again, Reeve Union's 33:00been expanded.

TH: Oh yeah.

MB: Uh, when I was in school, it kind of ended where the - the concrete mall is that runs past the library, that was the end of the Reeve building. And the back part was a huge, we called it the Titan Room, it was basically you could go in and get hamburgers and sodas and lots of tables where people spent their time between classes if they didn't want to go back to their dorms or go to the library. And then there was a, I think we called it Central Commons, but literally the food service supporting Breese Hall, Nelson Hall, which have now been replaced by the heritage complex. Clemens, which was right next to the union, Webster, Taylor, Donner, all eight in Reeve Union, and once they put 34:00Blackhawk up, they moved those people there and for a while we had a beer bar on the first floor and a liquor bar in the lower level of Reeve Union


TH: Wow.

MB: I tell people one of my proudest accomplishments being on the Governor's Commission of Education Student Project, we had two students from UW Oshkosh on it. Uh, and Bill Kellett, to his credit, said if we're gonna look at overall in higher education, we probably ought to get some input from the students. So they, they put, they hired a couple of guys who basically ran, there were probably a hundred student volunteers throughout the state of the various schools. Been a couple of off-site workshops and things, um, but some of the 35:00common complaints were only the union at Madison can serve alcohol. If you're going to transfer between schools, you have no idea what's transferable and what's not. Um, so we did that and I also did a climate survey of the head of residents to get a sense of what their hot button issues were, but the end results were: all of the student unions were allowed to serve alcohol. And if you were in a county that allowed you to get a BB license you can get a BB license, you have a beer bar. In the old college catalogs, again, pre-internet, you got this great big fat book that listed all the courses. There when they started adding cross-reference tables so that you knew that English 50 at Stevens Point was the same as English 101 at Oshkosh, which was the same as English 75 at Platteville. To facilitate, those were the highlights from the 36:00actual student project. Now obviously, the the larger commission recommended combining the two university systems, ah, doing away with branch campuses and basically making them stand alones. The Fond Du Lac Center was built in 1967 and 68 to be the Fond du Lac campus of WSU Oshkosh. Then it opened in 1968 with about 300 students, basically allowing the kids from around there to take a lot of their freshman and sophomore level stuff closer to home.

TH: Okay. Like gen eds almost.

MB: It also said let's have a single unified system of tactical schools throughout the state as opposed to having each county do their own thing. I mean those were positive outcomes and that's one of the things that when I was younger and working, Wisconsin had some credibility on a resume. Now, it's not 37:00even there because people go huh? But now that I'm semi-retired, I could care less what's on my resume. My objectives were pretty much met. I got a great education, I had a good time doing it, uh, had some challenges along the way, but ultimately I loved it. I really can't complain.

TH: Um, what were some of the classes like, cause I know today, uh, freshman typically have a couple of hundred people in it, and then as you move along through your semesters, they're like 30 person classes. Uh, what were your classes like then, and how did they change?

MB: The same thing, it was the same thing back then. They had opened Clow in about 1965. So you had huge pits at Albee for the basic science classes, you had huge pits at Clow for social science classes. Uh, they also would use the theater in the campus school, and the theater in Dempsey Hall for large classes. 38:00Then the rest was basically normal classrooms. You did not have the technology that we have today so that, a, Clow had a lot of social science, it had all the business. Um, so among other things, there was a, I forget what the hell we called it. But basically it was a facility that had nothing but 10 key adding machines and things to allow you to do heavy statistical work, in that environment. None of the dorms had phones other than you had an extension off of the university system, typically one per wing per floor. So communication got kind of interesting. There was Dempsey hall, which was still kind of the center point of the campus in those days. They had a couple of blackboards right on the 39:00main, one of the two main hallways intersect and where people would leave each other notes and then down a side corridor, there was a hallway filled with boxes that the fraternities used and as you opened them up and you could pin notes and stuff. Once they finished expanding the library, that moved over into the library building. But that was kind of the ways you communicated. It was very much catch as catch can. But yeah, your class sizes, uh, my freshman year I was, in my first semester freshman year I was in a pit for physics. I was in a pit, no I wasn't in a pit for history, that was second semester. I was in a large classroom in Albee for, I mean Dempsey for math, but all the rest were normal classrooms. History was in Clow, uh, what else did I take? I guess the five credit science and the five credit math chewed up a lot of the credits. So I 40:00mean, it was, I had English. Thats what it was. But, a, funny story. My parents were less than overwhelmed by my academic progress and prior to change, them changing the calendar, they changed it slightly in the fall of 70, but prior to that, your fall semester started the week after Labor Day. When you came back from Christmas, you had a week of classes and some studies aids and some exams, and then second semester didn't start until about the end of January, but it ran right through Memorial Day.

TH: Okay.

MB: Um, so, in all - because you didn't have all the automation, the automation and things. So you didn't get good, the way you registered for classes was you 41:00went to the gym and got a punch card. And if you were lucky you had a priority where they would pull your cards ahead of time, like housing staff or like I actually had a job for a while teaching swimming as part of the Phy. Ed. department. That got me my Card's pulled. So, uh, but you weren't, you wouldn't get your official report card until about the start of the following semester. So everybody would turn in a postcard that had your name, your address and place for your final exam score and your course grade. So a, I won't, between exams and the start of second semester my postcard started arriving and its obvious I pulled like a 2.6 and my mother walks in and hands me this heavy sweater. She bought it after Christmas and hands and she said, "Look, if you'd flunked out and we're going to Vietnam, I was going to give it to your dad." Thanks mom. Nice to know you were so, so comfortable with the belief that I could actually 42:00survive the rigors of college. So there wasn't any separately. There was a, as I said, a lot of smaller classrooms. Because I was planning on at least keeping my options open to transfer to Madison. I ended up blowing five elective credits plus another five, having taking taken calculus one and two rather than business math, which chewed up a lot of my electives, so I wound up taking a lot of, like, I took freshman speech as a first semester senior. Me and the veterans coming back from Vietnam terrified the poor seventeen year olds. "Are we gonna turn out to be like those degenerates?" Um, but I had a history class in a big pit. A art app-reach was in a big pit all the way that - I lasted about two weeks in there and said I am not going to memorize all these pictures and regurgitate them on a test. So I ended up finally, as a senior, taking music 43:00appreciation in the theater at Dempsey Hall, but it was probably the same way you do it today, but it was, it was far more single story- in the business classrooms like accounting you oftentimes had tables, most time was just the same desks you had in high school. And we did not have computers and hook up, power lines and stuff like that. The teachers lectured, wrote on the board. I did spend a couple of years, probably 15 years ago at this point, teaching at Keller Graduate School, which was, I mean, talk about the quantum leap. All my lectures were on computer. I plugged the computer into the wall. There was an overhead projector that projected the image on the screen at the front of the room. And I'm going, OK. But uh, so it was the technology, the time you took 44:00exams in what they call Bluebooks, which were little books, uh, probably eight by six with 15 or 20 sheets of paper in there, you had your name on the front and you wrote the answers to the test. There were some tests that they actually had the, you'd mark out the circle for the right answer and they would just lay a key over it and every time you had a wrong answer they'd highlight it. It was all manual. Different technology.

TH: Um, so you mentioned you were a part of the Accounting Club, correct?

MB: I was in the Accounting Club as a senior for the sole reason that I wanted it on my resume. I was going and I mean, quite honestly before that for a couple of years, I was far more preoccupied with the governor's commission on education 45:00and doing social stuff. Um, I was one of, it's not there anymore, but I was one of the guys that help found the Delta Epsilon fraternity chapter that went from county to - we had a house for year out on a Wisconsin by where East Hall used to be. Where you still have the, the athletic complex, uh, I was active, in fact working for housing, I couldn't have an official job, so I guess I was the bookkeeper I was actually the treasurer of the fraternity career. So I was in guide, I was far more interested in being engaged in that stuff than academic stuff. But again, I was there to have a good time and stay out of Vietnam more so than becoming honored as a super-duper senior senior honor graduate. But hell, I got out in four years without going to summer school. And I got enough 46:00of an education that, uh, after I got my MBA, went into public accounting, the first time I sat for my CPA exam I passed, which only 10 percent of the people in this country do. Um, but again, one of the, one of the reasons for that quite honestly was the beginning of my sophomore year, they hired a new dean for the business school, a guy named Cliff Larson. And among business schools, there is a separate accrediting agency called the American Association, American Assembly of collegiate schools of business. Larson got there and said, "We're gonna do what it takes to get accredited." At the time, only Madison and Marquette were accredited. Among the state schools, Whitewater. I mean all the state schools kind of had, most of the state schools had some kind of expertise. Platteville was engineering, Whitewater was business, La Crosse obviously was physical 47:00education. A Stout was where they taught the, in fact it used to be called Stout Manual Training Schools, where they taught the technology teachers. Oshkosh, I guess was kind of more education. But Larson came in and within a year and a half, we got accredited before Whitewater did. We were the third school in the state of Wisconsin to have a CSB accreditation, which added rigor to the curriculum, which was a big help.

TH: Oh yeah, I'm sure.

MB: It was also a time when there was a lot of transformation going on. Like I said, when I got there, they were already digging the hole, to expand the library. They were expanding Halsey, they were expanding Dempsey. Uh, later on they put up the fine arts building and the theater. They put up the nursing building on the west side of Clow. Uh, they, they started building the Kolf 48:00center when I was a junior. They didn't finish it until after the two year undertaking. Up until that time, everything was in Albee hall. Facilities sucked. Football team practiced, it's got a different name now, you can't get in there the same way. But the old normal school stadium was off of, uh, New York Avenue. That's where the football team practiced. Then they had to walk up Congress Street about three blocks because they actually played their games at the Jackson Dr. athletic field, which was a junior high football field. Titan stadium opened about halfway through the 1970 season. So they played, I got to go to two or three games there as a student. At one point in time, they were 49:00supposedly building a student footbridge across the Fox River, the length of campus. That obviously has never happened. And in those days, it was just the football stadium. Now I've been past there and I've seen they've got a baseball stadium and it's become quite a complex. Uh, the other thing that was really kind of, to show you how big the place was, and it had gone from about 8,000 to about 11,000 students in a couple of years. My freshman year they had a band that actually marched. The next three years they had a band at the football games that basically sat in the stands and played. They weren't capable of marching. Uh, hey wait a second. Most high schools have marching bands. My first year there was a rather embarrassing situation. The university could only afford one set of jerseys. So the football team played home games and away games in yellow jerseys. Eau Claire shows up and their road uniform was blue pants with 50:00the yellow Jersey. So, it made it kind of interesting.

TH: Oh, I bet.

MB: My second year, we actually got black jerseys and white jersey, so they're more like a real football team. But uh, all the athletics were done at Albee. Um, basketball, swimming, wrestling. I was supposed to be part of the first group to ever graduate at Titan Stadium. But, they uh, the morning of graduation there was a forecast of possible rain. So the university panicked and said we're going to do graduation in two pieces, in Albee hall. And they'd given us the day before the contingency plan. So I guess I was fortunate because it was like 90 degrees and hot and sunny and Albee in those days was not air conditioned if it is now? Um, I was in the second group so we only got the commencement speakers 51:00address and they gave us our diplomas. But it was just hotter than blazes. Prior to that, they used to do the winter graduations in Albee hall, and the spring and summer graduation's over at Jackson Drive, outdoors. But now obviously I don't know where they do the spring and summer. I know when my sister graduated probably 10 years after I got out of there, she did it at Kolf.

TH: Yeah I think that's where they do it today.

MB: But uh, in those days, now Gruenhagen is a conference center. Scott and Gruenhagen used to eat at River Commons, uh, there were actually four separate dining rooms. Scott had the two closest to Scott. Gruenhagen you had to walk around and use the other two except on weekends, when enough people left they only open two of the dining rooms. Another thing that kind of got him into the 52:00conference business is about 19, probably 69 or 70, is when they moved the EAA fly in to Oshkosh. One of the reasons they could do that was the university said we will turn Gruenhagen into a hotel for the pilots to stay at. That's how the EAA fly in ended up staying at Oshkosh. They would bus the pilots over to Gruenhagen and basically give them room keys the night there and leave in a day or two. When I worked at Gruenhagen, one of my buddies was really into airplanes and Oshkosh in those days had commercial service. So he used to go up on the roof, to watch the north central planes come in at night, because they came in about once every two hours for a couple couple, three times a night. But, and we 53:00probably had some of the same issues that you all have with the townspeople. They liked the economic benefit, but they're not wild about the college students. In fact, they're having a, is St. Patrick's Day still a big deal?

TH: Uh, no we actually have spring break - spring break over that time because they had so much trouble with it in the past.

MB: Yeah. When I was in school, um, and they opened the beer bars. Tosh's opened, Back Door was there, then they opened the bar, they opened a bar literally right across the street from Gruenhagen called the Campus Club. On St Patrick's Day, the students would come out of the bars and would be milling around. The cops would have to shut down the Wisconsin Street bridge. And the townies were not real thrilled to say, OK, I got to drive all the way out to the Highway 21 bridge around the Jackson drive bridge.

TH: Because all the college students were drinking all day.

MB: Still while, no well, we're standing on, the beer bars couldn't open till 54:003:00. The liquor bars could, but yeah, you know, during the evening rush, the street was just full of students you couldn't get past. You still have traffic issues on Algoma during class changes?

TH: Uh, no we don't actually.

MB: That was one of the big hot buttons, in fact, spring of ninth, spring of 1970, Oshkosh traditionally, the students, when the weather got warm, found something to demonstrate about. It was usually benign, like somebody is threatening to raise the drinking age, but, traffic through campus was a real problem. The city put up the signs for the Elmwood bypass, but nobody did it. They put up fences which they thought was going to help things but it actually made things worse because now you're funneling everybody between classes through, in essence of, probably a double wide walkway between Dempsey and Clow. 55:00Um, so finally, that year, the students took it upon themselves on a Sunday night to take pick axes and tear up about a block of Algoma just beyond the Elmwood bypass.

TH: I do remember reading about this actually.

MB: And I vividly remember the president of the student body going, "It'll be months before the streets repaired." Guess what? The next morning they painted over, they put cops there. The only reason I bring it up is our time of unrest was just beginning to cool off when the kid got shot at Kent State. And the place went absolutely nuts again.

MB: And then about two days later at that point. And again, you gotta love Wisconsin. A lot of guys went to the National Guard to avoid going to Vietnam and uh, you had a very famous National Guard unit because it drilled on Thursday 56:00nights as opposed to weekends. So Vince Lombardi used to get his draftable, high potential players in the Oshkosh National Guard unit. Donny Anderson was in the guard there. Jim Grabowski was in the guard there, but Madison went crazy after Kent State. Oshkosh was already in the process of going crazy, but literally they activated the Oshkosh National Guard, sent 'em to Madison. They activated the Madison National Guard, sent 'em to Oshkosh to patrol the streets. And then about two days after Kent State, there's a huge crowd milling around in front of Dempsey Hall, and some kid races up on a motorcycle and says -- announces the National Guard just shot a student in Madison, which was totally false, but the place went crazy again. So, I mean that [unclear] between the time they tore up the street when the campus kind of went back to normal. That was crazy -- I was 57:00also there for Black Thursday, which was another [unclear.

TH: Yeah, that's what I was going to talk about next.

MB: Pardon?

TH: I said that was next on my list! Could you tell me about Black Friday a little bit? It happened obviously a little bit before you attended, correct?

MB: Pardon me?

TH: Obviously -- so did Black Friday or Black Thursday occur just before you started attending, correct?

MB: No, I was there.

TH: Oh, you were there at the time?

MB: Yeah, Black Thursday was in '68. I was a sophomore.

TH: Okay.

MB: Oshkosh -- again, to put in perspective, I mean there was no right answer. Because of some of the federal aid programs, you had had more minorities coming to campus, but at the end of the day there were probably 125 African Americans 58:00student out of a student body of 11,000. And they had a hardcore who made a bunch of demands about they wanted black studies classes, they wanted black instructors, yadda, yadda, yadda. And they presented 'em to President Guiles, and when they didn't see enough progress being made, they should up with a doc -- basically, what they thought was a contract, trying to get him to sign it, and he said "I can't." So they occupied his office. They trashed his office. Then they went down to the Financial Aid Office and trashed that and came back. In the meantime, Winnebago County had brought out all their deputies and stuff. Bottom line, 90 students got arrested. They took them in a large trucks down to the courthouse which is, in those days, is still where it is today, down on, uh --

TH: Jackson?

MB: Jackson and, uh, Algoma, I guess. Processed them all there, uh, charged them 59:00all with disorderly conduct and something else and set their bond at 250 bucks, but word got back to Milwaukee, so all of a sudden there was an activist priest out of St. Boniface parish in the near North Side of Milwaukee named James Groppi. He shows up with a bus load of people to support it. The NAACP shows up, the Black Panthers show up. So, as the campus was beginning to calm down, these groups were meeting with student activist leaders in the Titan Room trying to plan their next move. And everybody freaks again, so the cops come back out. And that was when they made the decisions like 10:00 o clock at night, "We're going to shut down the school." This was the Thursday before Thanksgiving. We're going shut down, block on the schedule, Thanksgiving break. Then the Regents got involved because they were concerned that "Okay, we don't want this happening 60:00other places," and they were the ones who basically forced the university to rebel. All of the students involved, most of which were involved until summer of '69, a few that had showed up late were expelled until the start of the next semester. So, second -- spring semester of 1969, there were less than 40 African Americans on campus. On a proportional basis, Oshkosh was more lily-white than Alabama was. It was -- one of the things that's unfortunate about this is is that mob psychology kicked in. A buddy of mine was a guy named Lenny Washington. He was a linebacker on the football team. His dad was a minister in Madison. He and my dad knew each other. They basically went to all the students, said, "You're going to do it," and Lenny said, "I'm not." So he got beat up and left in his dorm room by the mom. But as a consequence was able to stay in school and 61:00play ball a couple more years. But it was all very, very unfortunate. Yeah, I understand. You want some sensitivity, but you have to understand the climate you're in, and, at the end of the day, just looking at it from a purely economic perspective, developing a specialized curriculum for less than 1/10th of one percent of your student population -- that ain't going to fly with the Regents or the taxpayers.

TH: Exactly.

MB: It was my job -- I was there. Also, one thing that doesn't get a lot of publicity, if you're interested in, get your hands on the, uh, the yearbook, the Quiver or whatever the hell they called it. The month before -- or two months before -- because of student discontent with student government, the student body officers and the class presidents abolished the student government.

TH: Wow!


MB: And then they were through and came up with a different structure. I think -- my recollection is, when I was a freshman there was just like the US Congress, you a Senate and you had a legislature in both of them had to agree and all that happy crap. And then it was replaced by a single student senate or student assembly, whatever, the hell it was called. But-- it was all kinds of interesting stuff. Oh, by the way, [unclear] they started an ROTC program! So that was -- there were a lot of people who were unhappy with that. Certainly, some of us of my generation -- I guess I've always maintained that guys my age were more realistic about their mortality because we had friends who did not come back from Vietnam. So, to us Vietnam was not Walter Cronkite on grainy film. It was, "Hey, people are dying." I had a high school classmate who was 63:00very gung-ho -- he was a lightweight wrestler. And literally the week after graduation went to boot camp, finished AIT, ended up in country, middle of the December, came home in a box in the middle of January.

TH: Oh, my.

MB: So, we're all back, and most of the school in the state had the same calender So, most of us are back in town after finishing our exams. And are we partying? No, we're going to Denny's funeral. And just to make it worse -- he had a twin sister! We graduated with both of them. So, that -- it made it very real, which made our fear of -- "Okay, we have to keep our grades up. We have to do everything we can to keep from getting our asses shipped over there."

TH: 'Cause that's a death sentence.

MB: [unclear] who got arrested. There was a -- it was basically a strip club on the west side of 41 called the Speakeasy. And he and some buddies had been 64:00drinking, and he broke into the dressing room and stole a couple of costumes of the dancers. And the judge gave him one of two choices: you got to jail or enlist in the service. So he enlisted in the service. But he -- that was a thing that was overhanging a lot of our heads. And then in the fall of '69 when they -- but the conventional wisdom was the draft was unfair to the underprivileged because if you had [unclear] you could keep going to different schools and keep your student deferments. So the Congress finally said, "Okay, we're going to solve that. Everybody's going to get a number on their 18th birthday, you'll know what your deal is, and anyway with the deferment you're going to be part of the same lottery." So, uh, I got my draft number with everybody else, but we were allowed to keep our deferments for their natural life, which is how I ended up. Had I not had an extra year of deferment, I would have got drafted. I would have had to enlist and then do something else. But, I was giving 180 but, uh, I 65:00wasn't draft eligible until June of 1971 and in 71, they only got up to 125. Then [unclear].

The other thing that changed on campus was by 1968 or 69, you had the first groups of draftees coming back to campus. If you look at the old yearbooks, one of the larger student organizations was the Vet's Club. Because these guys had gotten drafted, done their two years, come back, had GI benefits, and they were going to college. So, like I said, in my freshman speech class, there were four or five guys who were [unclear] to me sitting in the back row. And another proclivity of the Wisconsin alcohol laws in those days was that beer bars had to close at 1PM local time. 1AM local time. Liquor bars could stay open until 1AM 66:00Central Standard Time, which meant during daylight savings, they could stay open to 2. So, when you're in a speech class where, okay, you learn some things and 80% of the time you're listening to other students giving speeches, it wasn't like you had to be real prepared. So, I -- I scared the hell out of the freshman a couple of ways. I was an RA at Donner Hall, which meant the backdoor of Donner to the side entrance of Clow faculty was, uh, maybe 100 feet. My first class was a 10AM freshman speech class. [unclear] So, it was not uncommon for me -- even in December -- I'd sleep 'till 9:45, go in, brush my teeth, throw on cut-offs and a t-shirt, sandals, walk out to class! And here are the freshman, all 67:00bundled up in winter coats, and he's this maniac senior coming in like he's in Florida! It just intimidated the hell out of them.

TH: Yeah, I can imagine.

MB: All part of the fun!

TH: Oh yeah.

MB: What else could I tell you about those times?

TH: Um --

MB: You guys try to fill in the blanks that you get by reading the old Advance Titan. The various documents.

TH: So, let's see here-- so you said that, uh, after you graduated you went to Missouri, correct?

MB: Yes!

TH: So, how much did Oshkosh actually help you -?

MB: I went to Missouri and Columbia.

TH: So, how much did Oshkosh actually help you prefer for your careers and jobs after school?

MB: I, well, in the case of Mizzou, I was in the MBA program. Uh, they decided that I was deficient in social sciences, marketing and management. So they made 68:00me take remedial classes which, again, this all political. When I applied at UWM, they told me I was overqualified in finance and had all the prerequisites! They were gonna, in essence, waive me out of some of the required courses. So, I had to take some remedial courses, but I had the foundation. The other thing that was, again, even in graduate school, I'm going "Okay, this is about -- not necessarily about being the greatest academic." You had, in a very unique graduate school, in a business program, you had PhD candidates, you had people who were getting a Master of Arts degree, you had a specific discipline, which was really the prerequisite to the PhD, you had Master of Science degrees in the various disciplines, which was really designed for Engineers who wanted to get a business degree, and had the MBA program, and you had this common pool of 69:00classes! So, uh, in the MBA program, you had to have an area of concentration, which I took finance, then you had to have three collateral areas, which meant you essentially took at least one graduate school class above the prerequisite graduate curriculum. Uh, and two of those had to be in functional areas, which they defined as being marketing, management, or human resources, which I never understood, but ah, so bottom line, I was able to take the controllership course for the MS, which was a glorified cost accounting course that covered all the same stuff I've done in cost accounting as an undergrad! [unclear] So I got double credit for the same thing. Because of the academic rigor, you got in there and some of our courses weren't -- at Oshkosh, we were using the case 70:00study method, like [unclear] did. A lot of times, people coming from smaller schools was all lecture and test as opposed to case studies. I had experience in case study at Oshkosh, uh, didn't have to take any of the accounting stuff. Of course, it also helped - I could only take six credits a semester. So I was a glorified part time student, which gave me more time to actually study what I needed to. And certainly when I got, when I got into the real world, I had a solid [unclear] from Oshkosh, but two years I was in business school, the AICPA went crazy adding pronouncements, so I had to play a bit of catch up when I got into public accounting, but I had a solid foundation and, um, it's been that way ever since.

TH: So it sounds like overall you had pretty damn good experience here at Oshkosh.


MB: Oh, absolutely. I've got a good education in spite of myself. Ah, now we've all had bad teachers, um, I had some of those. But by in large, the stuff that was important, uh, one of my other claims to fame, which you probably don't want to put in your report, but you'll find humorous, uh, you know, you had to take a certain amount of English, literature, and history and political science to get any degree.

TH: Yeah.

MB: My girlfriend and I signed up for the same English lit class. She was a -- I think at that point she was probably still pre-med. She ultimately decided she couldn't afford to go to med school, so she flipped to Med Tech. But first semester, you know, schedules worked, we both had classes, we met, we'd go sit 72:00through English lit. That guy was a pretty cool guy. Second semester, I end up -- we take the same class. I end up with a guy who is teaching English lit who is, who talked in a monotone in a basement, windowless classroom. In Clow. At 11:30 in the morning. Now, I had a couple hour break. I went to the first class and fell asleep. I went to the second class and fell asleep. Uh, so I said, "There -- you're going to be on campus. I ain't coming back." So I literally -- I showed up for the first exam. I had to prove who I was. Took the second exam 73:00-- I'm going over her notes. And because -- especially the second exam, I didn't do so hot, I think I got a high D. Bottom line, I'm going "Shit. I gotta study for this final exam, I haven't gone to class in virtually the entire semester." At that poor woman, God love her, we spent a day and a half where she was just tutoring the hell out of me for this class. It was unusually warm, so we walk in, and the one decent thing this clown did, he said "It's hot. I know you haven't felt like studying. I don't feel like grading papers. I'm going to pass around a paper that has your -- the last four digits of your student ID," which even in those days was your social security number, is that still the same thing today?

TH: No, no, no.

MB: It was [unclear] into our brains. Before all the anonymity stuff [unclear], you remember it. But I got a sheet of paper -- next to my digits, were the 74:00letter C. It's 8AM in the morning, I got up and walked out and said "Good riddance." I basically went to two lectures and three exams, and I managed to pack in a C in English literature. And for someone who would have took English as a foreign language in high school -- pretty freaking amazing! But that was the kind of stuff you could do in those days.

TH: Yeah, so one last thing --

MB: I had a great education, I had good times. When my youngest daughter was thinking of -- unfortunately, we didn't discover 'till about the time she looked, she had a learning disability, so she probably would have not got -- I took her up there to look at the campus, and she was seriously considering going there. Happy to have her go there.

TH: It's an awesome place, I think. So, uh, one last thing I would say is, after how much I've learned about your experiences there, and how campus was then, what would you say your thought on Oshkosh now are?


MB: Uh, without having contact with the students? I can't tell you whether the quality of the educational experience is still there. Certainly the couple times I've been on campus, um, I've not been in Sage Hall, but everything I've seen about it -- I mean, I am a lifetime member of the Alumni Association, so I get emails and magazines and stuff, and I do follow it. It looks like they've started -- finally started reinvesting in the campus. Certainly, when I was in school -- down near where the Environmental Research Center is, that was a great big printing plant. Miles Kimball was a catalog retailer out of Oshkosh; they had a great big printing plant there. So other than some university storage buildings and stuff, none of the stuff along the river was developed. You guys 76:00have a -- have it a hell of a lot better. We wanted to go near the water, we would usually walk all the way down to Menominee Park!

TH: Oh, wow!

MB: Because it was-- it was so grungy, it was weedy and grungy and grown over. So we did not have the -- the amenities that you all have, where it appears that the riverfront is spectacular.

TH: Oh, it's gorgeous.

MB: Obviously, all of our student activities, if you wanted to lift weights, crap like that, you had to go to Albee Hall, we did not have the big --

TH: Rec Center that we have there.

MB: [unclear] So that's kind of cool!

TH: Yeah, that place is awesome.

MB: But it's still -- but one of the reasons I decided not to go to Madison was the fact that the campus was so compact. Now most of my classes at that point were in Clow, some were in Dempsey, as opposed to -- you could go, if you happened to stay at the commerce building in Madison, that's great, if you were taking something outside of commerce school, you could be, you know, 15-20 77:00minute walk between buildings. I still [unclear] go down there, and our fraternity had a house right on the edge of campus, so I could crash there and hit the bars on State Street, so I had all the -- the good -- the amenities of Madison, without having to put up with the academic crap.

TH: Exactly. And the price!

MB: Ah, yeah, well, in those days -- this is good -- and I don't know what the hell happened. My deal with my parents -- my mother was all adamant that we should -- but my dad wanted to pay all of out -- college costs. My mother, who had been basically beholden to her father, said, "No, they gotta contribute." So the deal we had -- I had to pay tuition, which including book rental, and spending, and they provided room and board. And after I got a job working in housing, we flipped it so they paid the tuition and the -- but I definitely 78:00remember sitting in the Cashier's Office at Dempsey Hall in December of 1967, paying my second semester tuition of 152 dollars.

TH: Oh, my! Wow!

MB: One of the things that you don't have now that we had then, we had a tremendous influx at the southern WSU schools, Platteville, Whitewater, Eau Claire -- I mean, Oshkosh, because you could literally take the train from Chicago, it stopped in Oshkosh, before they did away with train service. Uh, out of state tuition in Wisconsin schools was less than in-state tuition in Illinois schools.

TH: Wow!

MB: The legislature fixed that while I was there. But early on, you had all of these kids coming up to Wisconsin because it was cheaper and they could drink! But, uh, certainly now I've seen that the tuition --


TH: Skyrocketed.

MB: [unclear] The schools aren't too bad, the tuition is very, very low. I think Georgia is only about 5000 a semester now.

TH: Wow!

MB: Compared to Madison's probably 15 or 18.

TH: Yup.

MB: But, uh, certainly my impression -- the times I've been there have been very favorable. I know my nephew got a great education and, uh, was able to get a job working for Reynolds and Reynolds right out of school installing -- Reynolds and Reynolds is an old form manufacturer, got into, uh, forms -- a lot of them electronic for auto dealerships. So he basically goes dealership to dealership, installing new systems. He was in high demand a year and a half ago. Um, so, overall I have a -- if I had a kid of college age in Wisconsin today, I'd have no qualms with him going to UW Oshkosh.

TH: That's awesome. Well, I know me as well as a lot of other students 80:00appreciate alumni still reaching out and being involved with their campus, their college, uh, I think that was awesome that you volunteered for this. It was a privilege to talk to you and learn all this. And unless you have anything else to share, I think that was an awesome interview.

MB: Terrific. If you have any follow up questions, give me a call.

TH: Perfect, thank you very much Michael.

MB: Okay, Tanner, take care!

TH: You too!

MB: Buh-bye.

TH: Good bye.

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