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Yours was the 53rd and final class to graduate from University of Wisconsin High School before it was merged with Madison’s Central High School, the oldest secondary school in Madison, and renamed Central University High School. As you’d suspect, the former rivals didn’t blend without some bumps and bruises. A member of Wisconsin High’s 1923 state basketball championship team said it would be a sacrilege for their athletic trophies to grace the halls of Central High School, “our bitter rival. Better to melt them for scrap or drop them in Lake Mendota.”

Your alma mater was founded in 1880 as a nonsectarian private school, located on the corner of Fairchild and Mifflin streets. After several name changes, the Wisconsin Academy moved to State and Gilman streets in 1890, with the aim of providing students with a practical business education and preparing them for the state university. Over the next 20 years, the school grew rapidly and in 1911, the UW Board of Regents purchased its rights and equipment for an impressive sum of $1,000 and renamed it Wisconsin High School of the University of Wisconsin. From the beginning, Wisconsin High School was a leader in secondary education, known for encouraging students to make choices, explore areas of interest and take accountability for their actions.

You can find a brief history, plus newspaper articles, school songs, photos, videos and class links at

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