The Madison campus consists of 130 departments and is one of the most comprehensive universities in the world. Its libraries hold over five million volumes. There are more than 5,000 separate research projects currently underway in a staggering number of fields such as biotechnology, micromachinery, lake ecology, and the sociology of the American family. Here vitamin B was first discovered, social security legislation first drafted, and the gene first synthesized.
Founded in 1849 as a public, land-grant institution, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is built on a hill overlooking the state capitol building and three lakes. The campus extends one and a half miles along the shores of Lake Mendota, covering over 900 acres. It is one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.
Over 40,000 students are enrolled at the University, which offers over 4500 courses. Students come from every state in the country and from over 125 nations around the world. The national and international flavor of the campus offers a stimulating environment for personal and cultural as well as intellectual growth.
Some of the major attractions on the Madison campus are the Elvehjem Museum of Art, the Arboretum, the Wisconsin Union on the shores of Lake Mendota, and the collection of big-time intercollegiate athletic events.
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation is a unique foundation which grants over $15 million a year in support of research by UW-Madison faculty. The mission of the Foundation is two-fold: first, through patenting and licensing services, to assist faculty in making available to the public the results of some of their research, and second, through a program of annual grants, to help fund faculty research. Established in 1925 using profits from patents related to vitamin D, the Foundation now supports research in all areas, especially for junior faculty members.
In the mid-1980's, the University established a successful 325-acre research park to attract new industry to the area and encourage partnerships between businesses and university researchers. The University is currently expanding its research park, roughly doubling its size.
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