In the 608: UW Homecoming is here; ‘Fill the Hill’ celebrates 10th year with pink flamingo invasion

MADISON, Wis. — For the 10th year, Bascom Hill will be transformed into a sea of pink flamingos when the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA) holds its annual Fill the Hill event. It comes ahead of Homecoming Weekend at UW.

Fill the Hill is the largest day-of-giving initiative during the university’s fall annual campaign. For each gift given during Fill the Hill, a flamingo will be put on Bascom Hill to represent how private support helps UW-Madison maintain its excellence in education by supporting the university’s most immediate needs.

Over the past 10 years of Fill the Hill, more than 11,750 gifts have been made, raising more than $2,040,000. In 2021 alone, donors gave more than $436,000 through 2,238 gifts.

New this year, WFAA is encouraging everyone to go “flamingoing” on social media by posting pictures in a flamingo pose using #uwflamingos. Also new this year is a special 10-year celebration with activities and giveaways for students who stop by Bascom Hill from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21. As always, donors who contribute $250 or more will receive their own plastic lawn flamingo.

Flamingos became a symbol of UW–Madison’s unique spirit in 1979, when students from the Pail and Shovel student political organization planted more than 1,000 of the plastic birds on Bascom Hill (1,008 birds, to be exact). Bringing back the flamingos is a powerful way to unify alumni and friends, inspiring them to support the university’s mission and the UW for future generations.

Wisconsin Football hosts Purdue with a 2:30 p.m. Homecoming kickoff on Saturday.