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Relax on Bascom Hill

By Corinne Burgermeister

UW-Madison students on Bascom Hill

Students on Bascom Hill

Warm weather has finally hit UW-Madison and it’s the time of the year students are out and about trying to soak up as much sunlight, and time with their friends before everyone parts ways for the summer.

One of the most popular places to spend a sunny afternoon is Bascom Hill, located right near the center of campus. Though students hate climbing up the 850 ft. tall hill, they do enjoy Bascom Hill for napping, studying, playing Frisbee and just about any other outdoor activity.

Although it seems most popular in summer months, Bascom Hill can be beautiful in any season. In fall, the leaves provide a beautiful scenery. In winter, Bascom serves as a battleground for a snowball fight between the Lakeshore and South East sides of campus. And in spring, budding leaves on Bascom serve as a sign that the winter is finally over.

Today’s students see Bascom as a centrally-located place to hang out between classes,but many forget that the hill also has a great history with the university.

UW-Madison came to be only after acquiring the land and quickly got to work setting up buildings.

The area is home to the Law School, the Education School and the Music School. The university’s oldest buildings; Bascom, North and South Halls (built in 1959, 1851 & 1855 respectively) also lay on the hill, with several other buildings and libraries nearby.

Bascom Hill is also believed to be one of Madison’s first cemeteries. During construction, the remains of two men were found– and  were later identified as a man and his friend who were struck by lightning while building the Capitol. Their bones were reburried and are marked by two grooves in the cement. Be sure to look for them!

And of course, atop the hill stis Abe Lincoln, keeping a watchful eye over the university. According to students the statue provides much more luck than any heads-up penny ever could. His shoe is worn down, as students rub it for good luck before exams. As a rite of passage, graduating seniors sit in Abe’s  lap for good luck.

Check out this slideshow to see the changing seasons of Bascom Hill. Which is your favorite? Reply in the comments!

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