Retro UW-Madison delivery van hits road to dispel myths about school, and get in a few licks

Karen Herzog:

If you’ve heard it’s next to impossible for Wisconsin kids to get into the University of Wisconsin-Madison, here’s the scoop.

And if you’re in the right place at the right time, you also may get some Babcock ice cream.

UW-Madison’s Alumni Association is on the road this summer with a retro 1957 dairy delivery truck loaded with campus-churned ice cream. It’s making scheduled stops across the state at community events like band concerts and farmers markets as part of a myth-busting #GetTheScoop outreach.

One of the biggest “myths” the alumni foundation-funded effort aims to knock down is that few Wisconsin kids get into Madison — something that creates frustration and makes the flagship campus seem elitist. The outreach aims to create positive connections with Wisconsin residents ahead of next spring’s state budget deliberations — where the rubber meets the road — and to make sure people know the facts; not just what they hear on the street. ‚

UW-Madison and other UW campuses in recent years have faced budget cuts and criticism from some Republican state lawmakers. There’s a lack of trust. Some of that comes from accounting issues within the UW System unearthed in recent years. But there’s also a sense among many residents that the flagship campus doesn’t benefit — or even looks down on — all residents of Wisconsin, UW officials acknowledge.