In Memoriam – Spring 2023

A headshot photo of John Rowe.
John Rowe

John Rowe ’70, Lifetime Supporter of Research and Education at UW

A longtime supporter of research and education and a leader in the energy industry, John Rowe ’70 died Sept. 24, 2022.

Rowe helped University of Wisconsin–Madison build on its reputation as a leader in discovery and invention. A former CEO of the energy company Exelon, he also served as a trustee for the UW’s Morgridge Institute for Research and as president of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

Rowe grew up near Dodgeville, Wisconsin. At the university, he studied history and law, but his career took him to the energy industry. In 2000, he helped merge Chicago’s Commonwealth Edison with PECO Energy to form Exelon, and he served as the new company’s CEO and chair of the board until his retirement in 2012.

He and his wife, Jeanne, endowed three chairs in UW–Madison’s Department of History along with a new professorship in Roman history. Rowe was also a longtime supporter of University of Wisconsin Law School. In 2011, Exelon and Rowe created a $2.5 million endowment to establish the John W. Rowe Fellowship at the Law School to support and retain law faculty.

In Chicago, the Rowes co-founded the Rowe-Clark Math and Science Academy and the Rowe Elementary/Middle School, and they supported many cultural institutions, including the Field Museum, the Chicago History Museum and the Illinois Holocaust Museum. The UW awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2008.


A headshot photo of Carl Gulbrandsen.
Carl Gulbrandsen

Carl Gulbrandsen ’81, Initiator of the L&E Clinic

Carl Gulbrandsen ’81, a University of Wisconsin–Madison leader who was instrumental in creating University of Wisconsin Law School’s Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic (L&E), died Oct. 17, 2022.

Gulbrandsen, 75, worked for two decades for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the university’s independent licensing and patenting arm; he served as managing director from 2000 until his retirement in 2016.

Gulbrandsen initiated the idea of the L&E Clinic to promote WARF’s goal of developing businesses and technology from research done on campus, as well as foster entrepreneurship in the community, according to a Fall 2011 Gargoyle story.

“As someone who’s taught many business law courses and realizes the limitations of classroom teaching in giving students hands-on experience, I’m particularly thrilled that students can have this opportunity with the Clinic to integrate their classroom experiences with the opportunity to work with real clients,” said Dean Emeritus Kenneth B. Davis of the 2010 commitment.

The L&E Clinic provides free legal services to about 300 nascent entrepreneurs and early-stage companies each year through the work of law students supervised by faculty and private sector attorneys.

Gulbrandsen delivered the 2006 Robert W. Kastenmeier Series lecture, “The Law in Action: What the Bayh-Dole Act Means to the University of Wisconsin and the State of Wisconsin, and to an Effective National Science Policy.”


A headshot photo of Mike May.
Mike May

Longtime Madison City Attorney Mike May ’79

Longtime Madison city attorney Mike May ’79 died Oct. 3, 2022. May, 68, was remembered for his deep love of all things Madison, sharp legal mind, dedication to family and playful sense of humor.

“Mike May had a great impact on the Madison community as a lawyer and during his long tenure as city attorney,” said Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway during an interview with the Wisconsin State Journal. “His colleagues and the city benefited from his wise and steady leadership and mentorship. He helped to shape the legal careers and skills of countless attorneys, and the principles he championed continue to have an influence on the City Attorney’s Office.”

May grew up in Monona and originally wanted to be a Roman Catholic priest. In 1968, at age 14, he left home to live and study at Holy Name Seminary. He was class valedictorian in 1972 and won a National Merit Scholarship that he used to attend the University of Wisconsin–Madison. May earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications in 1975. After working for ayear, he enrolled at University of Wisconsin Law School, graduating cum laude in 1979. He was a member of both the Wisconsin Law Review and the Wisconsin Law Revue, a group of law students who performed risqué skits.

May’s law career spanned 43 years. He was an associate, partner and then managing partner at Boardman, Suhr, Curry and Field. After 25 years in private practice, then-Mayor Dave Cieslewicz appointed May city attorney in 2004, a position he continued to fill under mayors Paul Soglin and Rhodes-Conway. He retired from the city in 2020.

An image of a budding green plant against a blue sky with a bee flying near the leaves.


  • Herbert Dakin ’52
  • Don Herrling ’52
  • John Gambill ’53
  • Richard McKenzie ’53
  • Albert Hanna ’55
  • O K Johnson ’55
  • John Whaley ’56
  • Lawrence Burnett ’58
  • Gordon Richards ’59


  • Charles Aschenbrenner ’60
  • Edmund Drager ’60
  • Mark Koenig ’60
  • Allan Edgarton ’61
  • Art Wojta ’61
  • Curtis Worden ’61
  • George Jacobs ’62
  • Donovan Riley ’62
  • Michael Vaughan ’62
  • John O’Brien ’63
  • Peter Dohr ’64
  • James Smith ’64
  • Wayne Hansen ’67
  • Jonathan Jackson ’67
  • Edward Stege ’68
  • Mark Ulevich ’68
  • Timothy Wendt ’69
  • Sherwood Zink ’69


  • John Rowe ’70
  • Nathaniel Friends ’71
  • Dennis Wojahn ’72
  • Harold Kingsbury ’73
  • Lynn Oestreich ’73
  • Michael Ryan ’73
  • Steven Glick ’75
  • James Frisch ’77
  • Michael May ’79


  • Steven Elmer ’80
  • Carl Gulbrandsen ’81
  • Frank Humphrey ’89


  • Mary Rider ’92
  • William Donarski ’94
  • Susan Gramling ’96
  • Megan Rosborough ’99