The Ripples: Continuing the tradition
When the Reverse Viking scholarship ended in 1975 the Reverse Vikings, in turn, created the Kubly-Bunn Scholarship. This scholarship, named after two of the driving forces behind the Viking Organization at the University of Wisconsin, brought students from Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark to study at UW for the summer.
The Kubly-Bunn scholarship ended in 1987. Past recipients of this scholarship created the Madison Viking Scholarship to once again reverse the flow and provide the opportunity for UW students to have a summer of study and travel in Scandinavia.
In addition to the programs created by past scholars, descendants of Thomas and Margaret Brittingham continued to provide support for scholarships, bringing students from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark to UW-Madison annually. Traditionally, two students attended the University each year on the Brittingham Memorial Scholarship.
Furthermore, the Louise & Göran Ehrnrooth family foundation of Finland has been a longtime supporter by dedicating funds to specifically send a Finnish scholar to accompany those on the Brittingham Memorial Scholarship. The Ehrnrooth family also started providing funds in 2002 for two UW-students to study abroad in Helsinki, Finland during the Spring semester.
The year 2002 also saw the addition of a scholarship that sends two UW students to Denmark to attend the Copenhagen Business School Summer Program. The scholarship later became known as the Middelboe-Kellner Scholarship after its biggest contributors, original Viking Lars Middelboe and Reverse Viking Ted Kellner.
Additional Scholarships over the years include many namesake scholarships through the Wisconsin Alumni Association for the Summer University at UW, as well as a long list of namesake scholarships for various programs to and from UW-Madison.
Apeland Scholarship - Summer at UW-Madison (NO)
Dr. Paul and Renate Madsen - Summer at UW-Madison (DK)
Anders Wall Scholarship - Summer at UW-Madison (SE)
St. Erik Viking Scholarships - Summer at UW-Madison (SE)
St. Erik Viking Scholarships - Academic Year at UW-Madison (SE)
Ulf Jansson - Summer at UW-Madison (FI)
Madison Horelli - Semester in Helsinki, Finland (US)
The Brittingham Viking Scholarships Today
The flagship Brittingham Memorial Scholarship Program expired in 2011 and was replaced with the Scott & Ella Brittingham Viking Scholarship program, funded generously by the Scott and Ella Brittingham family. This Scholarship Program is the current flagship scholarship for Scandinavians to study abroad at UW-Madison and supports sending one student from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark for a full year of studies annually.
The Reverse Viking program continues today by sending three UW-Madison students to Scandinavia every Spring and Summer. A group of three students spends the Spring Semester spread out at Universities in Helsinki, Uppsala, and Copenhagen and then study together at the International Summer School in Oslo, Norway.
Alumni of all of the scholarships automatically become members of the Brittingham Viking Organization. We have around 500 living members that stay in touch and support each other as well as the new scholars. Each year the BVO hosts a Convention to make decisions about the future of our scholarship programs and to socialize with friends in the alumni organization. The Convention site rotates among Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Madison in the US and usually, has over 150 members in attendance.
Brittingham Viking Organization members refer to themselves as the “Viking Family.” This "family" constitutes the social infrastructure necessary to provide the non-classroom component of the Viking scholarships. The expanded professional network of our Viking Alumni also provides new scholars with incredible support and inspiration for their own career aspirations.
The American author Mark Twain once said: “I never let my schooling get in the way of my education.”
Tom Brittingham who founded the original Viking Scholarship and his wife Peg had a clear objective in mind. They wanted to strengthen the relationship between Scandinavia and the U.S. From the very beginning, the various Viking Scholarships have included social interaction between past and present scholars and friends of the organization.
Before and after school sessions, as well as on weekends and during free time, our scholars have the opportunity to travel to different places in Scandinavia and in the U.S. They are taken care of and shown around by families and friends of the Viking Organization.
The scholarships are primarily funded by private donations from companies, individuals, organizations that believe in Tom's original idea. The hope is that the scholars will, from these experiences, contribute to the ties between Scandinavia and the U.S, continue “Tom’s Ripples”, and take an active role in the organization administration following the completion of their time abroad.
These are the Ripples of Tom's Vikings, the Brittingham Viking Scholarships and this their history and impact on those that have been lucky enough to receive them.