UW chancellor wins Friend of Odyssey Award

Chancellor Blank poses with Char Jackson, making the UW W hand sign

“Odyssey is one of our best examples of the Wisconsin Idea in action,” Becky Blank observed.

We proudly announce that outgoing UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, winner of the 2022 Friend of Odyssey Award, will speak at our graduation ceremony on May 4, 2022.

She has been a tireless advocate for Odyssey, whether introducing our presentation to the UW System Board of Regents or writing letters of support for grants and awards.

Mark your calendar now to celebrate with us online or in person, cheering on 30 new Odyssey graduates while recognizing the chancellor before she leaves Madison.

Will you help us fund books, tuition, and graduation costs for the remarkable Class of 2022 as they continue their two-semester journey with us?

Becky Blank speaks highly of the 19-year track record of the UW Odyssey Project:

I first learned of the Odyssey Project early in my tenure at UW–Madison and have been delighted to meet Odyssey students and alumni on several occasions. Odyssey’s success derives from the solid commitment and innovative approaches of the unwavering Odyssey team, led by Director Emily Auerbach. 

The Odyssey team brings an engaging and encouraging approach to their teaching. Each semester, they deliver life-changing courses to their students. Odyssey covers all course-related costs, including tuition, textbooks, weekly meals, childcare, and–during the pandemic–laptops and Wi-Fi. Odyssey’s work to remove obstacles to higher education is successful: The student graduation rate is 95%, and almost all alumni report life-changing effects not only for themselves but also for their children and other family members.

The Chancellor’s office has actively supported Odyssey since its inception 19 years ago with annual funding and vocal recognition of its impact. Many people would have predicted a program like this would never have worked. Thanks to the dedication and creativity of Emily Auerbach and her team, this program has thrived and continues to transform lives.

At our May 4 graduation ceremony, Chancellor Blank will hear the powerful voices of the Class of 2022 as they take to the stage to share brief samples of their original poetry and prose.

Collage of the Class of 2022 graduates

Support the Odyssey Project Fund