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85-year-old conferred degree after decades of college classes

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PORT EDWARDS, Wis. (WAOW) -- In between a family and music, Judy Urban took college courses at both UW-Madison and UW-Stevens Point.

That work paid off in June.

Urban played piano and organ at a church in Wisconsin Rapids. She also taught students how to play for decades.

For twenty-one years she worked with choral director Peter Crawford. At one point their church choir toured overseas.

Crawford and Urban reminisced Friday.

Crawford said he knew Urban had taken college courses over the years.

Because she had enough credits, Crawford worked with UW-Stevens Point to present her with an associates degree.

After a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university chancellor presented the degree in June.

"You know, the more I thought about it, the more I got involved through the UW-SP foundation, the more I thought there has got to be a way to check and see if this is possible," said Crawford. "So I was really thrilled to be able to, you know, to make the ask."

Urban said she never dreamed of having a degree.

"I knew I had enough credits because I kept going back to school and taking class after class," said Urban. "And knowing I wouldn't graduate because I wouldn't do the Phy ed. classes. Because, ultimately, I felt I shouldn't have to pay for Phy Ed."

The journey from classes to diploma took around 60 years.

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Curtis Aderholdt

News Operations Coordinator.
A WAOW employee since December 2014.

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