UW-Madison recognizes alumna Tashia Morgridge with honorary degree

alumna spotlight


UW-Madison recognizes Tashia Morgridge with honorary degree

UW–Madison this spring recognized three people with honorary degrees, including esteemed School of Education alumna Tashia Morgridge.

“We are so proud of Tashia and the extraordinary impact this alumna of the School of Education has had on our campus and beyond,” says School of Education Dean Diana Hess, the Karen A. Falk Distinguished Chair of Education. “After beginning her career as a special education teacher, Tashia has remained committed to high quality education for all students. As a member of the School’s Board of Visitors, Tashia’s understanding of, and interest in, education is invaluable. Add in Tashia’s ongoing outreach and philanthropic endeavors, and it’s obvious that the Committee on Honorary Degrees made an outstanding selection in deciding to recognize Tashia Morgridge.”

Tashia Morgridge
Tashia Morgridge delivers remarks after receiving an honorary degree during
UW-Madison's spring commencement ceremony at the Kohl Center May 12.
The graduation was attended by more than 800 doctoral, MFA and medial
student degree candidates, plus their guests. (Photo: Bryce Richter)
Sociologist Cora Marrett and the late musician Clyde Stubblefield also were honored during the university’s commencement ceremony for doctoral, master of fine arts and some professional degree recipients on Friday night, May 12 at the Kohl Center.

That afternoon, the School of Education hosted an Honorary Degree Luncheon at Blackhawk Country Club to celebrate and recognize Morgridge. Among the many friends, School of Education and UW–Madison dignitaries to attend the event was UW–Madison Chancellor Emeritus David Ward.

Morgridge also shared remarks with Ph.D. and MFA degree recipients during the School of Education’s traditional Hooding Ceremony that evening at the Gordon Dining and Event Center.

Honorary degrees from UW–Madison recognize individuals with careers of extraordinary accomplishment.

As an educator, advocate, volunteer and philanthropist, Tashia F. Morgridge has made incredible contributions to improve the state of public education throughout Wisconsin, across the country and around the world. Her dedication to the field of education and desire to make a difference in the lives of children and young adults will have a lasting impact on generations to come.

Morgridge received her bachelor’s degree in education from UW–Madison in 1955 and later earned a master’s degree from Lesley University in Massachusetts. She worked as a special education teacher for more than 13 years.

Morgridge has remained devoted to the field of education well beyond her retirement. Her understanding of and interest in education, both in school and in the broader sense, is evident in her multiple degrees in education, her work and volunteerism, and her philanthropic commitment. The cornerstone values of her work are to provide educational opportunities for all and to promote civic engagement through public service in the context of the Wisconsin Idea.

Tashia Morgridge
The School of Education hosted an honorary degree
luncheon at Blackhawk Country Club to celebrate and
recognize Tashia Morgridge. (Photo: Olivia Madden)
Morgridge serves on the School of Education’s Board of Visitors, participating in biannual meetings and providing feedback on school initiatives. In addition, she encourages civic engagement among students across the UW–Madison campus through the Morgridge Center for Public Service. Along with her husband, John, she serves on the board of the Morgridge Institute for Research at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

“Tashia has committed her career to the field of education and helping others,” School of Education Professor Gay Ivey, the Tashia F. Morgridge Chair in Reading, wrote in her nomination letter. “We are indebted to her and John’s ongoing and unequaled commitment to the future of the School of Education, UW–Madison and the state of Wisconsin.”
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