UW–Madison Firsts

Updated March 2015

Year Event
1875 Nation’s first Scandinavian studies department
1890 First test of butterfat content in milk
1909 Country’s first agricultural economics department
1910 Country’s first genetics department
1913 Discovery of vitamin A
1914 First American speech clinic
1916 Discovery of vitamin B
1919 First educational radio station
1924 Discovery of methods to enrich food with vitamin D
1926 First university dance program
1928 First university union art gallery
1929 Nation’s first graduate program in public utilities
1930s Discovery of methods to iodize salt
1932 Nation’s first monkey-breeding colony
1936 First artist-in-residence program at a university
1939 First university department of wildlife management
1959 First space-based weather camera
1963 Country’s first formal glass-working course
1966 Nation’s first poverty-research center
1968 Nation’s first graduate program in arts administration
1968 First bone-marrow transplant
1970 First creation of synthetic gene
1972 First graduation program in health-care fiscal administration
1973 Nation’s only on-campus blood donation center
1981 First medical physics department developed within a medical school
1987 Development of the Wisconsin Solution, used in transplant surgery
1998 First cultivation of embryonic stem cells in a lab
2002 Nation’s first MBA program focused on product management
2005 Nation’s first National Stem Cell Bank
2007 First “naming gift” given to a U.S. business school to preserve school’s name
2007 First human skin cells genetically reprogrammed to create cells indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells