This refers to former UW president Charles Van Hise’s declaration that “I shall never be content until the beneficent influence of the University reaches every home [some sources say family] in the state”; that is, he wanted the work of the university to extend to the boundaries of the state and beyond. Today this is viewed as global reach and influence. Lowercase the in the Wisconsin Idea. There is some debate as to when Van Hise made this declaration: some sources say 1904; others say 1905. Cite a date at your own risk.