Founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, UW–Madison is the official state university of Wisconsin, and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System.It was the first public university established in Wisconsin and remains the oldest and largest public university in the state. UW–Madison is organized into 20 schools and colleges, which enrolled 29,536 undergraduate and 13,802 graduate students, and granted 6,902 bachelor's, 2,134 master's and 1,506 doctorate degrees in 2014–2015.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, UW–Madison was shaken by a series of student protests, and by the use of force by authorities in response, comprehensively documented in the film The War at Home.
The first major demonstrations protested the presence on campus of recruiters for the Dow Chemical Company, which supplied the napalm used in the Vietnam War. The struggle was documented in the book, They Marched into Sunlight, Among the students injured in the protest was current Madison mayor Paul Soglin.
The UW is one of America's Public Ivy universities, which refers to top public universities in the United States capable of providing a collegiate experience comparable with the Ivy League.
UW–Madison is also categorized as an RU/VH Research University (very high research activity) in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. board of regents) never actually accomplished anything before Wisconsin was incorporated as a state in 1848.
North Hall, constructed in 1851, was actually the first building on campus. Wakeley became the first graduates of the university, and in 1892 the university awarded its first Ph D to future university president Charles R. Research, teaching, and service at the UW is influenced by a tradition known as "the Wisconsin Idea", first articulated by UW–Madison President Charles Van Hise in 1904, when he declared "I shall never be content until the beneficent influence of the University reaches every home in the state." The Wisconsin Idea holds that the boundaries of the university should be the boundaries of the state, and that the research conducted at UW–Madison should be applied to solve problems and improve health, quality of life, the environment, and agriculture for all citizens of the state.