A Tribute to Betty Quadracci

Betty Ewens Quadracci: 1938-2013

Betty Quadracci was a force of nature. She overcame childhood polio and, with a fierce resolve, went on to accomplish more things than seem humanly possible in her 75 years.

She taught impoverished schoolchildren in South Carolina and helped start a Montessori school in Waukesha. With her husband, Harry, she co-founded Quad, which started as a printing company and grew to be a multibillion-dollar global organization.

A native of Milwaukee, Betty graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C., and attended the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. She was a founder of Milwaukee Women Inc. and served on numerous boards, including Artists Working in Education, Preserve Our Parks and the University Club. Betty also served as president of the Windhover Foundation, a philanthropic organization funded by Quad and the Quadracci family.

In all that she did, she was known for her sharp, inquisitive mind, no-nonsense attitude and willingness to speak the truth as she saw it.

Together with Harry, Betty kicked off fundraising for a stunning addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum. The couple were instrumental in bringing Santiago Calatrava to our city to design the pavilion that now bears their name – the Spanish architect’s first project in the United States.

In addition to all of the above, she ran Milwaukee Magazine for 30 years, where she proved to be a stickler for accuracy who didn’t mind ruffling feathers. In today’s parlance, we’d call her a disruptor. While helming the magazine, Betty also served as president of Quad/Creative LLC, a graphic design firm she launched in 1985.

A friend and mentor of many and the mother of four – Richard, Kathryn, Joel and Elizabeth – Betty was the inspiration that propelled others to do more than they ever imagined.

The Betty Awards” appears in the November 2019 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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