Letters: Of Badgers and Multiple Degrees

“A Matter of Degrees” [Winter 2008] reminded me of an episode from my days working at the UW Foundation. One of our benefactors — I don’t recall the name and probably wouldn’t mention it if I did — left us a nice chunk of money with one controlling condition. A grandson collected the income on the fund “as long as he was a student at the university.”

It didn’t take him long to figure that one out. He took just enough classes each semester to stay in school and got good enough grades to keep from flunking out. Each time he garnered almost enough credits for a degree, he switched his major and started over. I don’t recall the final outcome, but I know he had a long and happy tenure as a student.

James Bie ’50
La Jolla, California

In regard to “A Matter of Degrees,” I am one of ten siblings who graduated from UW-Madison. We have never researched it, but we feel we must have set some kind of UW record. We grew up in a general store located on U.S. 14 halfway between Madison and Oregon. There was not one dollar of student loans, nor could our folks pay our tuition. We all worked and were expected to pay our way. In my freshman year, our country store blew up and we lost everything. I could go on, but the big story is that hardships can be overcome.

Richard Kellor ’64
Muscatine, Iowa

Published in the Summer 2009 issue

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