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Michigan State University (MSU) is a public research university located in East Lansing, Michigan, United States and is the first land-grant institution that was created to serve as a model for future land-grant colleges in the country under the 1862 Morrill Act.
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The University of Wisconsin–Madison (also known as University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin, or regionally as UW–Madison, or Madison) is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, UW–Madison is the official state university of Wisconsin, and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It was the first public university established in Wisconsin and remains the oldest and largest public university in the state. It became a land-grant institution in 1866. The 933-acre (378 ha) main campus includes four National Historic Landmarks. Madison has been labeled one of the "Public Ivies," a publicly funded university considered as providing a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League.
UW–Madison is organized into 20 schools which enrolled 29,153 undergraduate, 8,710 graduate, and 2,570 professional students and granted 6,040 bachelor's, 3,328 graduate and professional degrees in 2008. The university employs 2,054 faculty members. Its comprehensive academic program offers 135 undergraduate majors, along with 151 master's degree programs and 107 doctoral programs.
Sports are an important part of the culture of the United States. Four of the nation's five most popular team sports were developed in North America: American football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey, whereas soccer was developed in England. The four Major leagues in the United States are the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL); all enjoy massive media exposure and are considered the preeminent competitions in their respective sports in the world. Three of those leagues have teams that represent Canadian cities, and all four are among the most lucrative sports leagues in the world. The top professional soccer league in the United States, Major League Soccer, has not yet reached the popularity levels of the top four sports leagues, although average attendance has been increasing and in fact has matched or surpassed those of the NBA and the NHL.
Professional teams in all major sports operate as franchises within a league. All major sports leagues use the same type of schedule with a playoff tournament after the regular season ends. In addition to the major league-level organizations, several sports also have professional minor leagues, active in smaller cities across the country.
The United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (US), America, or simply the States, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states, 16 territories, a federal district, and various overseas extraterritorial jurisdictions. The 48 contiguous states and the federal district of Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also has five populated and nine unpopulated territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) in total and with around 316 million people, the United States is the fourth-largest country by total area and third largest by population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The geography and climate of the United States is also extremely diverse, and it is home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Paleo-indians migrated from Asia to what is now the US mainland around 15,000 years ago, with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. Disputes between Great Britain and these colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously issued the Declaration of Independence. The ensuing war ended in 1783 with the recognition of independence of the United States from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire. The current Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. The first 10 amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and guarantee many fundamental civil rights and freedoms.
Buckingham U. "Bucky" Badger is the official mascot of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He attends all major sporting events for the Wisconsin Badgers as well as hundreds of other events around Wisconsin every year.
The SS Badger is a passenger and vehicle ferry in the United States that has been in Lake Michigan service from 1953 until the present. Currently, she shuttles between Ludington, Michigan, and Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She is the last coal-fired passenger vessel operating on the Great Lakes.
The boat is named after the University of Wisconsin's athletic mascot, "Bucky Badger". The Badger runs on Michigan time (Eastern Time Zone, whereas Wisconsin is in the Central Time Zone) and riders pay Michigan taxes on their fares.