Graduating at Age 94 — With an Engineering Assist

UW-Madison Communications posted a great article about Lyle Francis Robert Knudson, who at age 94 may be the eldest degree recipient in UW history. As an undergraduate senior in 1941, Knudson was called to World War II active duty in the U.S. Navy — on June 13, the same day of his last two final exams.

Knudson’s journey to a business degree almost seven decades later received a nice boost from Joseph Battenburg, a 1967 PhD graduate in mechanical engineering. Battenburg went to bat for Knudson as soon as he learned of his neighbor’s amazing story.

“Being a Wisconsin grad myself, I felt that something should be done to assist him,” says Battenburg. “Many universities have given students credit or degrees for life experiences, or because they have had their studies interrupted or at one time were refused admission to universities.”

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2 Responses to Graduating at Age 94 — With an Engineering Assist

  1. Richard Olson says:

    Great story! Congratulations to Mr. Knudson, and many thanks Mr. Battenburg for his efforts. And it may simply sound like a cliche Mr. Knudson but, “Thank you for serving!”

  2. I am very proud to be an alumni of this great institution, UW- Madison College of Engineering. After graduating with a PD Degree, I was promoted to manager of Plant Engineering and maintenance. I was employed with a major Aerospace Manufacturing Company in Torrance, California, from which I retired after 20 years of employment. I will always be thankful to my advisors, professors and friends who helped me along the way. Thanks, UW.