Oldest UW-Madison Graduate Dies

By: January 17, 2005
By: January 17, 2005

The oldest known graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has died at the age of 109.

Irene Newman graduated in 1917 -- when her college education cost ten dollars a semester.

Newman, who never married or had children, earned a bachelor's degree and a librarian certificate the following year. She says reading was always important in her family.

She worked for the state Department of Public Instruction as a librarian for 43 years. She also worked to train teachers as librarians. She retired in the mid-1960s.

Newman also lived for 100 years in the same Madison house, where her paternal grandparents built a home when they arrived in Madison from Poland in 1853.

She also voted in all 22 presidential elections held since women were given the right to vote.

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