One of the most impressive sights at Camp Randall Stadium occurs at the conclusion of every halftime performance. While singing the final lines of the alma mater, Varsity, 79,000 Badger fans rise as one and wave their right arms proudly. This tradition dates to 1934 when newly arrived band director, Raymond Dvorak, instituted the custom. The idea for the arm motion was developed from a similar practice that Dvorak had observed when he traveled to the University of Pennsylvania as an assistant director at the University of Illinois. After Illinois defeated Penn, the Penn students sang their alma mater. Dvorak stated, “Well, at the end of the song, they waved their derbies in the air to the words ‘Hail, Hail, Hail’ and I thought it was pretty striking, so I stuck it in my back pocket. Later, at Wisconsin, the University President Glenn Frank was speaking. I cued the students beforehand to watch me and wave their hands at the end of Varsity. The song sort of became a toast to the President.”

This tradition is the crowning moment at every Badger game, and it has been said that during the playing of the time-honored melody, “even hard-bitten sportswriters lifted their fingers from their typewriters and stood in reverence.” According to Dvorak, “Varsity is the best-loved, best-sung alma mater anywhere in the United States.”