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An Unexpected Discovery

UW-Madison sophomore Tori Dexter x’15 comes from a long line of Gophers on both sides of her family. So it came as a surprise when she discovered her great-grandfather was actually a Badger, too … and graduated exactly 100 years before Tori herself will accept her diploma and join him as a UW-Madison alum.

Wendy Krause Hathaway '04
November 08, 2012

UW-Madison sophomore Tori Dexter x’15 comes from a long line of Gophers on both sides of her family.

So it came as a surprise when she discovered her great-grandfather was actually a Badger, too … and graduated exactly 100 years before Tori herself will accept her diploma and join him as a UW-Madison alum.

Tori says the Dexter connection with the UW had been long forgotten until recently, when Albert Jenness Dexter 1915 came up in conversation about their family history and Tori’s father retrieved a century-old diploma from a safe.

“I did not expect to find another ‘traitor’ like me!” she says of the discovery.

It turns out that as a student, Albert Dexter rowed crew for Wisconsin for four years and was named team captain as a senior. He also served as sergeant-at-arms for the junior class and belonged to the Agricultural Literary Society and the Mendota Boat Club.

Albert Jenness Dexter's diploma, dated 1915
Albert Jenness Dexter's diploma, dated 1915

“There’s so much I’d like to ask him if he were still alive,” says Tori, an anthropology major. “I’ve always felt super-connected to this campus, but now it’s a totally different, much deeper connection.”

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