They were classmates in the early 1940s, earning their BS degrees in the ME department and preparing themselves not only for their life's work but also to go off to war. Now, 55 years later, these eight men who still gather monthly to continue their long friendship, have decided to donate a scholarship to a deserving ME undergraduate student.
Carl Wulff, Racine, wrote that all but one of the group are 1942 UW mechanical engineers; the eighth graduated in 1944. Five live in metropolitan Milwaukee, but one lives in northern Wisconsin, one in Iowa, and one in Texas.
He writes, "Although World War II sent members of the class of 1942 in different directions, eight of us returned to employment in Milwaukee. Of these, five were employed by Oil Gear Mfg. Co. (manufacturers of hydraulic machinery). Two fellows remained with Oil Gear until retirement.
"It was our UW heritage that brought and kept us together. We and our families enjoyed parties, picnics, UW football games, and vacations together. After most of us retired about ten years ago, we decided to meet each month for lunch at a Milwaukee restaurant, usually the John Ernst Restaurant. We talk about our families, UW sports, and the good old days on campus. Then we get down to the serious business of playing the card game 'schafskopf' (sheepshead). Our wives are included for special occasions such as Christmas luncheons, dinner parties, and a yearly trip to Cedar Rapids, the home of one of our members.
"Upon noticing the article on scholarships in the first issue of the ME Newsletter, our group decided to sponsor a scholarship of $1,000 to be given to a student who has a real desire to be an engineer and who expects to remain in the field. We expect to continue this scholarship in the years to come. Right now we refer to the grant as the 'Schafskopf Scholarship.' We expect to come up with a more dignified name in the near future." Most of the group planned to return to Madison in May for their 55-year class reunion during Alumni Weekend.
The eight alumni are Herman Knappe of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Ralph (Red)
Weidner of Harlingen, Texas; Herman Luebke of Big Bend, WI; Donald
Niles of Nashotah, WI; Walt Parduhn of Bayside, WI; Harry Thies of
Oconomowoc, WI; Ervin Wege of Birnamwood, WI; and Carl Wulff of
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MAY 1997 Contents