Odyssey Events

Tuesday Morning Booktalks: A benefit for Odyssey

Bookshelf full of books, highlighting Bone Black by Bell Hooks, and Here I Stand by Paul Robeson

Join award-winning UW English professor Emily Auerbach and other booklovers to explore thought-provoking novels. Classes are offered free but with hope that participants will donate to the life-changing UW Odyssey Project. Classes meet on Tuesdays from 10-11:30 AM Central Time in the Community Room located at 2300 S Park St. Parking is free and light refreshments will be provided. Details for the Spring 2024 sessions are below:

Tuesday, March 5th — Valeria Luiselli, Lost Children Archives

*Participants also may wish to attend “An Evening with Valeria Luiselli,” Monday, April 15, from 7-8:30 PM, at the downtown library as part of UW Center for the Humanities’ Great World Texts program.

Tuesday, April 23rd — Barbara Kingsolver, Demon Copperhead (winner of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)

REGISTRATION LINK: If you plan to attend Tuesday Morning Booktalks this spring, please register (even though free) so we know how much food to order and how many handouts to make. Please fill out our digital interest form below.

Register here

Questions about Tuesday Morning Booktalks? Contact Professor Emily Auerbach at emily.auerbach@wisc.edu.

Around the World in 95 Years: A birthday benefit

For 21 years, a jovial, white-haired pianist has dazzled his listeners at Odyssey classes and graduation ceremonies. That’s Bob Auerbach – one of the program’s biggest champions. Bob, Emily Auerbach’s father and a refugee from Nazi Germany, and his late wife, Wanda, from Appalachia, met at tuition-free Berea College, which both credited for lifting them out of poverty.

This year, to mark his 95th birthday, Bob has announced he will match up to $100,000 in all donations made to the Odyssey Family Fund. The Family Fund addresses basic needs and emergency expenses our Odyssey families face RIGHT NOW; it also supports Odyssey Junior, Odyssey Senior, and Odyssey Beyond Bars. More amazing news? Through May 1st, Emily Auerbach and her husband, Keith Meyer, are honoring Bob and Wanda Auerbach by offering an ADDITIONAL $100,000 match of their own. This TRIPLES the impact of every donation!

To celebrate, we invite you to join us for a party on Bob’s actual 95th birthday! Our free, global-themed party will feature a map to mark where you or your ancestors came from, international food, music, and decorations, and a chance to mingle with Odyssey families and staff at our expanded space.

Click below to learn more about Bob, the match, and donation information!

More Info

Day of the Badger 2024

UW-Madison’s Day of the Badger is a spirited day of giving that unites alumni, friends, and students to strengthen the university and ensure future generations enjoy the same level of educational excellence.

This year marks Odyssey’s third year participating in #DayoftheBadger and Odyssey families need your support now more than ever! The award-winning UW Odyssey Project, now in its 21st year, expands the UW–Madison experience to a wider and more diverse population and addresses racial and economic inequities through its unique (and free!) humanities programs. Your support provides educational programming and wraparound services to Odyssey students, alumni, and whole families so they can stay on their educational paths. Your gift truly changes lives.

Who: You!

When: April 16-17, 2024

Where: online HERE

Odyssey Class of 2024 Graduation Ceremony

2024 group photo

You are cordially invited to attend the inspiring and memorable graduation ceremony for students of the UW Odyssey Project Class of 2024! Please join Odyssey staff, alumni, and supporters in celebrating students’ successful completion of six UW credits following two semesters studying challenging works of literature, American history, art history, and philosophy.

This event will be HYBRID, so please feel free to join us in-person at Memorial Union in Great Hall or online via Zoom! Register below to receive up-to-date information regarding this event as well as the Zoom link and password. Heavy appetizers and refreshments will be provided following the ceremony. As a bonus, Bucky Badger will be making an appearance in Great Hall before the ceremony from 5:30 – 6 PM as well as after the ceremony from 7 – 7:30 PM!

Who: This event is free and open to the public!

When: Wednesday, May 1, 2024 from 6-7:30 PM

Where: This is a hybrid event and will be both in-person (Great Hall in Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.) and shown via Zoom (register below for link)

Register here!

Why Vote?

Odyssey students holding a teddybear with a 'Vote' shirt

The UW Odyssey Project presents: A Celebration of Voting!

In an effort to encourage increased voter participation and the understanding of voting, we invite you to come register to vote, get information about where and how to vote, vote at a nearby location, hear Odyssey students read their winning “Why Vote?” essays, meet specials guests, share refreshments, and win door prizes. There will also be activities for children.

*Odyssey’s next voting event will be fall 2024 – stay tuned for more details!

Voting Information

Annual Odyssey Holiday Bazaar

2022 Odyssey Holiday Bazaar

Our annual Odyssey Holiday Bazaar is a great way to start your holiday shopping early while supporting Odyssey artists and entrepreneurs. Mexican handbags, delectable caramel cake, handmade soap, and Ecuadorian ponchos: This is just a small sampling of the student-created gifts you can purchase at this event.

*Our next Holiday Bazaar event will be in December 2024 – stay tuned for details! 

Past Events

  • Harmony in Black

    Harmony in Black

    On Wednesday, October 11, Black composers Bill Banfield and Patrice Rushen, along with Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra CEO Joe Loehnis and other staff members, visited our Odyssey class and engaged in conversation with the Class of …

  • Odyssey students at APT

    Odyssey visits the American Players Theater!

    Thanks to American Players Theatre (APT), American Family Insurance, and other donors for sponsoring a trip for Odyssey students and their families to see “Romeo & Juliet” on Saturday, September 30th, at 2 PM. Students …

  • Odyssey Program class of 2023

    Odyssey Class of 2023 Graduation Ceremony (May 3)

    Thank you so much to those of you that were able to join us either in person or via Zoom as we celebrated the incredible and resilient UW Odyssey Project Class of 2023 on May …

  • A collection of images of UW–Madison Odyssey Project students and staff.

    Celebrating 20 years of Odyssey (April 20)

    Thank you to everyone who joined us in celebrating Odyssey’s 20 years of life-changing impact at our Chazen anniversary event! Guests enjoyed appetizers, drinks, and music by Kinfolk (featuring Odyssey alumni) as they mingled in …

  • Odyssey crafts

    Odyssey Holiday Bazaar (December 3)

    Many Odyssey students create handmade items such as jewelry, books, notecards, cookbooks, soap, and musical instruments. Attendees were able to start their holiday shopping early, support Odyssey artists and entrepreneurs, meet staff and students, and …

  • Odyssey students holding a teddybear with a 'Vote' shirt

    20 Years of Amplifying Odyssey Voices and Celebrating Voting (October 12)

    Thanks for joining us in person or via Zoom to celebrate Odyssey’s 20 years of empowering students to find their voices and change the world. The powerful evening featured Odyssey student and alumni readings, a …

  • A digital flyer for the play Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry

    A Raisin in the Sun (September 18)

    “Just tell me where you want to go to school and you’ll go. Just tell me what it is you want to be—and you’ll BE it. Whatever you want to be—Yessir! You just name it, …

  • Odyssey 2022 graduation

    Highlights from last year’s graduation ceremony! (May 2022)

    2022 UW Odyssey Project graduation ceremony  Odyssey Class of 2022 student video  2022 graduation photo gallery  2022 graduation Oracle

  • Digital flyer for the 15th Annual Charity Gala, Saturday November 2nd, 2019

    Odyssey Raises $200,000 via Madison Club Charity Gala

    The recent charity gala at the Madison Club benefiting the Odyssey Project was a smashing success in every way! Over 240 guests joined us for a heartfelt celebration of Odyssey’s impact, a fun evening with …

  • More Past events posts