Fall has arrived in Madison and as I type it is currently 63 degrees and sunny. In congruence with the weather, the Wisconsin Real Estate Club has been simmering with activity the first two months of the fall semester. According to club co-president, Regan Kennedy, there are 200 dues-paying members this fall. Aside from the bi-monthly club meetings, some highlights of the year thus far include the club trip to Milwaukee; an interactive discussion at the Pyle Center led by Michael Casey (MBA ’83), Graaskamp board member and Senior Managing Director at Blackstone; a Real Estate Club homecoming tailgate; and a Real Estate Club trip to Washington D.C. (Coincidentally, my father ran into second year MBAs Regan Kennedy, John Davis, and Megan Clower while flying back to New York from O’Hare. They were spotted by their attire, which included Wisconsin Real Estate Club quarter zips. But I digress…)
Around 30 students traveled to Milwaukee on Friday, October 16, to meet with alumni and tour development sites in the Milwaukee area. The trip began with a lunch at the offices of Irgens, followed by a tour of Irgens’ offices. Many students raved about the tour of Irgens new development called The Corridor which is going to a be a mixed used property with retail, hotel and class A office. Putting the hard hats on and touring construction sites are a great way for students to get out of the classroom to experience firsthand the complex process of building a multi-million dollar development project. A huge thank you goes out to Graaskamp Board Member and CEO Mark Irgens (BBA '77), founder, president and chief executive officer of Irgens, for organizing the tour and hosting the luncheon.
Another interesting stop on the Milwaukee tour was at the old Pabst Brewery, which has been converted into a hotel by Gorman & Company, a development firm based in Madison. The opportunity to see these innovative developers use existing structures for new uses to revitalize certain areas of Milwaukee was the highlight of the tour for many students. The trip concluded with a happy hour with Milwaukee area alumni, a staple of Real Estate Club events and an occasion to meet and network with our great alumni.
The Real Estate Club is a great extracurricular activity for undergraduates and graduate students alike. The opportunities to learn from real estate industry leaders, to network with alumni at club events and field trips, and to lead the group from club leadership positions are un-paralleled experiences. Having the best alumni network in the country only enhances our experience.