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Becky Peterson ’08, MBA’15

Who is UW-Madison’s most-graduated graduate? That would be Robert Schubert ’74, ’75, MS’80, MA’83, MBA’92, JD’93. If you’re too lazy to count, then I’ll tell you that 1) Schubert has six degrees, and 2) you’ll probably never have enough academic gumption to catch him. Schubert earned two bachelor’s (dairy science and agricultural education), three master’s (dairy science, agricultural economics, and business administration), and a law degree. In addition, he also completed the UW-Extension’s Farm and Industry Short Course (with a certificate in 1973) and qualifies as PhDx’88 by Badger Voice’s standards, as he finished all but his dissertation for a doctorate.

Schubert has a challenger for the title of Alumnest Alumnus, however. William Schmitz ’85, MS’92, MS’93, PhD’97, MS’99, MS’09 also has six degrees. In order, he studied nursing, curriculum and instruction, industrial engineering, industrial engineering (again — the doctorate), nursing (again — his third master’s), and industrial relations. He, too, has a certificate (in women’s studies, earned in 1996). The difference is just that partial doctorate.

There are 11 alumni with five degrees:

  • Iva Rankin Mortimer ’20, MA’26, ’39, MS’40, PhD’47
  • Giancarlo Maiorino MA’68, MA’69, PhD’71, MA’71, PhD’73
  • Jaafar Al-Abdulla MS’57, ’64, MS’67, PhD’74, MS’75
  • Kathleen Riley Lindas MS’64, MS’74, MS’75, PhD’77, MS’77
  • Lynette Korenic ’77, MA’78, MFA’79, MA’81, MA’84
  • Farhad Jafari ’77, MS’79, PhD’83, MA’86, PhD’89
  • Karen Michaelis ’72, ’74, MS’85, PhD’88, JD’89
  • Teri-Christine Hall ’76, ’78, MS’82, MS’87, PhD’90
  • Joan Price ’84, MA’86, PhD’91, MA’92, MFA’93
  • (Thong Hwee) Terence Ow ’88, MS’90, MBA’92, MS’94, PhD’00
  • Ryan Toonen ’99, ’02, MS’05, MA’07, PhD’07

None of this counts grads who had double majors, which, despite common belief, don’t lead to double degrees. If you want to move ahead of Schubert and Schmitz in the degree-earning hall of fame, you’d better sharpen your number-two pencil and settle in for a long haul.

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