University of Wisconsin–Madison

In Memoriam: Remembering our Badgers

On May 5, UW-Madison will honor students who passed away during the summer and this academic year during a memorial performance at 1 p.m. at Muir Knoll site, Storyteller’s Circle. We will honor 16 Badgers this year.

Dean of Students and Vice Provost for the Division of Student Life Lori Berquam is saddened by the loss of each student.

“The hard part is that we don’t know what they could have become,” Berquam said. “They had their whole lives ahead of them and what amazing things they could have done, parents they could have been, the friends they were, all of those things are left unknown.”

All 16 students will nonetheless leave a lasting impact on the university, friends, and family members, she said.

“I think while they were here, the people they touched, the other students, the faculty, the staff, we will always remember the impact they’ve had on us,” Berquam said.

Certainly all 16 students will be missed by family members, friends, and the UW-Madison community.

** Please note that not all families wished to be included in this list, but all students are in our thoughts.

In Memoriam: Remembering Badgers who passed away in 2016-’17

  1. Nadia Al-Tabaa (Graduate Student)

University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student Nadia Al-Tabaa died on February 28, 2017. Nadia was raised in El Paso, Texas, before coming to Madison. She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at Loyola University and her M.S. in experimental psychology at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.  At the time of her death, Al-Tabaa was  pursuing a doctorate in education psychology.  She will be remembered for her passion for music, martial arts, and drawing, and most importantly, for her kind soul.

  1.   Alexandra Ihm (Junior)

University of Wisconsin-Madison junior Alexandra Ihm passed away on March 6, 2017. Alexandra was raised in Hollandale, Wisconsin, and graduated from Pecatonica Area Schools as valedictorian and class president.  Following high school, she enrolled at UW-Madison to pursue a degree in elementary education and teaching English as a second language.  Alexandra was widely known for her laugh, kindness and entertaining stories filled with humor.

  1. Robert Granger (Senior)

University of Wisconsin-Madison senior Robert Granger died on February 4, 2017. Robert was born in Racine, Wisconsin, and graduated from The Prairie School in 2014 as valedictorian and a National Merit Scholar. In his third year at UW-Madison, he was pursuing degrees in industrial engineering and economics. As president of Enactus, a global humanitarian organization, Robert was also known for his philanthropy. He will be remembered for his kindness, independence and passionate nature.

  1. Aaron Converse (Junior)

University of Wisconsin-Madison junior Aaron Converse passed away on January 29, 2017. Aaron was born in Racine and graduated from Serenity High School in McKinney, Texas, in 2009.  Following graduation, he enrolled at UW-Madison to study journalism and philosophy. With interests in Zen Buddhism and animals, Aaron will be remembered for his ability to listen without judgment and his compassion.

  1. Megan Casey (Sophomore)

University of Wisconsin-Madison sophomore Megan Casey died on December 29, 2016. Megan was pursuing a degree in nursing because she loved working with children; she participated in four mission trips building homes and churches. When not engaged in academics, Megan was actively involved in the Omega Chapter of Delta Gamma sorority and in the American Nurses Association Club. Megan will be remembered as a person who was determined, kind and who possessed a great sense of humor.

  1. Ethan Van Cuyk (Graduate Student)

University of Wisconsin-Madison PharmD student student Ethan Van Cuyk died on November 20, 2016. Ethan attended Kaukauna High School near Appleton, Wisconsin, and then enrolled at UW-Madison to attain a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry.  After completing his undergraduate studies in 2012, he remained at UW-Madison to pursue his doctorate in pharmacy. Ethan will be remembered for his passion for volleyball as well as his quiet and gentle persona.

  1. Candice Wentlandt (Graduate Student)

University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student Candice Wentlandt passed away on November 6, 2016. Candice was raised in Greenfield and attended UW-Madison as an undergraduate, performing as a member of the Wisconsin Marching Band.  Following graduation, she worked as a special education teacher at Kennedy Elementary School in Madison. Candice is remembered for her hard work, smile and sense of humor.

  1. John Brady (Graduate Student)

University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student John Brady died on October 9, 2016. John was a graduate student and research assistant in electrical engineering. He especially loved spending time with cats and dogs.

  1. Derek Rohr (Senior)

University of Wisconsin-Madison senior Derek Rohr passed away on October 3, 2016. Derek enrolled at UW-Madison following his graduation from Mauston High School in 2012. Known for his deep thinking and intellectuality, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in English with a focus on creative writing.  In his free time he enjoyed playing basketball and working as a lifeguard.  Derek is also remembered for his compassion and kindness.

  1. Jacob Brunclik (Law Student)

University of Wisconsin-Madison law student Jacob Brunclik died on August 13, 2016. Jacob obtained a bachelor’s degree in English literature and German language from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. After completing his undergraduate degree, he enrolled at UW-Madison in 2014 to pursue a degree in international and business law.

  1. Megann Schmitt (Graduate Student)

University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student Megann Schmitt passed away on August 2, 2016. Megann attended the University of Iowa and graduated from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington with a bachelor of arts degree. While in Olympia, she worked as a library associate for children’s programs in the Timberland Library System. Following her time in Olympia, Megann enrolled at UW-Madison to pursue a master’s degree in library science and information technology.  She will be remembered for her activism, friendship and kind soul.

  1. Beau Solomon (Sophomore)

University of Wisconsin-Madison sophomore Beau Solomon died on July 1, 2016. Beau attended Iowa-Grant Elementary School and River Valley High School before enrolling at UW-Madison. He intended to major in finance and to attend law school with aspirations to pursue a career in politics. Beau also excelled in sports, particularly in football at his high school. Beau will be remembered for his altruism as well; he participated in multiple mission trips through his church.

  1. Beau Allison (Junior)

University of Wisconsin-Madison junior Beau Allison passed away on May 21, 2016. Beau was entering his senior year at UW-Madison with the intention to major in communication arts. He is remembered for being a confident, courageous, talented, smart, and communicative young man as well as someone who loved music, acting, and writing.  Beau was a member of the SAE Fraternity.

Sources: El Paso Times,, St. Richard’s Catholic Church, The Journal Times, The Columbus Dispatch, Verkuilen-Van Deurzen Funeral Home, Mealey Funeral Homes & Crematory, Crandall Funeral Home, LinkedIn, Foster Funeral Services, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,