Waters Hall History

Opened: 1940

Elizabeth Waters

Elizabeth Waters was a native of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and graduated from the senior high school there. She attended the University of Wisconsin, living in Chadbourne Hall, and graduated in 1885 with Phi Beta Kappa honors. She attended seven summer terms in Wisconsin and Chicago. Her higher education also included part-time attendance at the University of Minnesota for one year and attendance at the Milwaukee German Academy. She spent two summers abroad, one in Germany, familiarizing herself with the customs and speech of that country.

In 1892 she began her work as teacher of German at Fond du Lac High School and served in the capacity of instructor, assistant principal, and principal under eight superintendents - a period of forty years.

Public positions held:

  • Member of Board of Regents of University of Wisconsin, 1911-1915; 1921-27; 1927-33; in all, sixteen years. During much of this time she was a member of the Athletic Committee and gave much attention and support to women's affairs on the campus. It was her custom, when she attended regents' meetings, to stay at Chadbourne Hall, where she became well known to all the girls and took a keen interest in all their enterprises.
  • Member of executive committee of Wisconsin Educational Association. President of Wisconsin Educational Association. President of Wisconsin Modern Language Association. President of Fond du Lac Council of Education.

Quotations from testimonials at the time of her retirement:

  • "Those of us who know her on the Board of Regents of the University can quite understand the devotion of Fond du Lac to her wisdom and stimulating character, her clear and dependable mind, and her unerring loyalty to those she serves or serves with."
  • "Elizabeth Waters is one of the most generally beloved beings whom I have ever met. I have been associated with her on the board for several years, and I felt for her then and I feel for her now the affection of a friend."
  • "The greatest of all influences is that which comes from being oneself nobly. It is this that makes her influence so wide and so fine."
  • "Miss Elizabeth Waters' watchword - Education. In her early experience she was impressed with this great truth, that a successful life lies not in doing this or that, or going here or there, or possessing something else; but it lies in the quality of our daily lives."

Waters is one of the few residence halls named after a woman here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Within Waters, the houses are also all named after women:

  • Blanche M Trilling
  • Gertrude Johnson
  • Helen L Bunge
  • Julia Lowth Hill
  • Louise P Kellogg
  • Flora May Hanning
  • Helen C Dawe
  • Helen Pearson
  • Louise G Troxell
  • Marie L Carns

History of University Housing