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From Grandchild to Grad-child

As Grandparents University approaches its 15th year, its grads are now becoming UW undergrads.

Erika Krueger (right) and her sister, Jamie, had their first taste of the UW as participants in Granparents University. In 2013, they returned to the program as student guides, Erika is now preparing to graduate.

Former GPU participant prepares to graduate for real

In 2002, Erika Krueger x15 had her first experience as a UW student. Then nine years old, Krueger came from her native Sheboygan Falls to campus for Grandparents’ University, accompanied by her grandmother, Alice Gabriel, and her sister, Jamie.

“I remember it being so cool,” Kruger says. Her experience, studying nursing, included learning to take blood pressure and other medical skills. “Now I’m interested in pursuing health care as a career, and I really think GPU had something to do with that.”

GPU is an annual event sponsored by the Wisconsin Alumni Association and the UW. Grandparents and their grandchildren — aged seven to 14 — come to campus to stay in a residence hall, study a major, and take part in typical student activities. The program began in 2001 and July will see its fifteenth year.

Krueger and her sister are among the first GPU alumni to become UW alumni.

“It’s a long-lasting impression,” she says. “I was nine when I came here, and I still remember it 12 years later. Obviously it played a decision in going to school here. I’m proud to be a Badger because it’s awesome. It’s such a respected institution.”

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