Remembering Chancellor Blank: A life well lived

Former UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank, Emily Auerbach, and Corey Saffold with several former Odyssey students

“For the rest of my life, I’ll remember how Chancellor Blank treated me with dignity, kindness, and respect,” said Odyssey alum Char Braxton, who attended the chancellor’s memorial service and spoke to the chancellor many times over the past nine years.


Along with the entire campus and community, Odyssey mourns the loss of UW–Madison Chancellor Emerita Rebecca Blank, who championed greater access to college for first-generation and low-income students and called Odyssey “one of our best examples of the Wisconsin Idea in action.” When we honored her with an award last May, she said, “I am deeply honored to be named a ‘Friend of the Odyssey Project.’ Supporting Odyssey’s mission over the years, and seeing it grow and thrive, has been a joy.”


Chancellor Blank introduced Emily Auerbach to the UW Board of Regents as “passionate, tireless, and deeply touched by what her students can achieve” and referred to Odyssey students as “some of the most inspiring people you will ever meet.” Listen to a Wisconsin Public Radio interview Emily recorded with the chancellor and view our photo gallery paying tribute to the chancellor below. 

Emily Auerbach with former UW Chancellor Rebecca BlankAward to former UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank

Former UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank with Odyssey and Odyssey Junior students

Former UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank with student Jonathon

Former UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank with Odyssey student Erendira

Former UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank speaking at podium for Odyssey graduation


Former UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank with Odyssey student Ericka Booey