Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Timeline Express Announcements

Partners in Discovery: The Construction of the Discovery Building in 2010

No place on campus encapsulates WARF’s history over the last decade quite like the Discovery Building. Occupying a full city block on University Avenue, Discovery houses three complementary entities: the private, nonprofit Morgridge Institute for Research, supported by WARF; the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID), managed by the university; and……

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A Professional Investment: WARF’s New Financial Strategy in 1983

Over the first 50 years of its history, WARF gained international attention for its groundbreaking inventions and lucrative patents. Meanwhile, most of the foundation’s growth came not from innovative science but from financial investments as the trustees spent much of their time buying and selling stocks to grow the WARF……

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Fighting the Taxman: WARF Faces Off with the IRS in 1962

On November 27, 1962, the Milwaukee District Office of the Internal Revenue Service sent a letter threatening to revoke WARF’s tax-exempt status. If Washington, D.C., confirmed the district’s recommendation, it would mean more than a new tax bill. An adverse ruling might mark the end of WARF’s existence as a……

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Agreeing to Disagree: The End of the Steenbock Patent Debate in 1946

Last month’s installment of Decade by Decade recounted how a federal court in 1944 ruled Harry Steenbock’s patents were invalid.1 The decision made little sense in terms of the actual science of vitamin D and can only be understood within the context of a larger political struggle over federal regulation……

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Get the Sunshine In: The Licensing of Irradiated Milk in 1932

The previous installment of Decade by Decade told the story of an influential booster in 1925 who worried that Harry Steenbock’s vitamin D patents would undermine Wisconsin’s dairy industry.1 By the 1940s, controversy would come from the opposite direction. According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,……

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Of Rats and Men: Warfarin Becomes World Famous by 1955

While the era of the Steenbock patents came to a close when WARF dedicated them to the public in 1946,1 Harry Steenbock remained engaged with the foundation into the 1950s, monitoring the actions of the trustees and offering them advice. Meanwhile, a younger generation of foundation management dedicated most of……

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