UW’s First Class Graduates

How many students graduated in the UW’s first class?

Abe

As of fall 2019, UW–Madison is home to 44,411 students spanning academic statuses from first-year undergrads to scholars well into their graduate work. However, UW students didn’t always constitute enough to populate a small suburb. The University of Wisconsin’s inaugural class — which met for the first time on February 5, 1849, a day now celebrated by Badgers worldwide as Founders’ Day — consisted of 20 students ranging in age from 11 to 22. Much like today’s campus population, the majority of the original 20 students were from Wisconsin, save for one Canadian. Of those 20, only five would go on to graduate (the 11-year-old included). We’re proud to say that graduation rates have more than tripled since this initial 25 percent, and campus has exploded in the number of students who make the bold and best decision to become Badgers, and in the number of states and countries from which they hail. Whether you’re in a class(room) of 20 or on a campus of 40,000+, you’re in good company when you’re with Badgers