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Bill Curtin, PhD '59

The Knapp Graduate Center still exists in its original location on Gilman Street and is the residence of the Marie Christine Kohler Fellows.

The house, originally built for Julius White in 1854, was purchased by the state of Wisconsin in 1885 and served as the Governor's Mansion until 1949. When the state purchased a new Governor's Mansion in 1950, the University of Wisconsin acquired the house from the earnings of the Kemper K. Knapp endowment fund and used it as a center for graduate students. Those chosen to live there were students within one year of completing their PhD and were to live there and discuss their specializations with each other during regular seminars. The experiment in student housing was a success, but the expense of maintaining such a huge, old building and the poor location of Knapp house caused the university regents to vote to sell the house in 1957. This sale never took place. The Kohler Foundation has generously funded the program since 1954, and the house still maintains its tradition as a center for rich academic and cultural exchange.

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