Madonna Gaudio laughs when she mentions she is older than most of her professors.

“But it’s true,” she said. “I’m the oldest one in class, but I never felt a sideways glance. I always fit into the group.”

Gaudio’s life of faith, though, brought her to Regis in 2008 to begin her studies. She leaves the University at age 60 having graduated with a
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a minor in religious studies and undergraduate certificates in project management and leadership.

“It was rewarding for me coming back,” she said. “I believe I offered a lot to the classes. I brought a life experience a lot of young people didn’t have.”

Gaudio chose Regis for its accessibility for adult learners, but also for its Jesuit, Catholic ideals. She said she has always been a woman of faith. She graduated from the Denver Catholic Biblical School in 2001 before finishing a two-year program with the Archdiocese of Denver in 2006. She wanted to continue with Catholic theology at the Augustine Institute, but couldn’t get accepted because she didn’t have her undergraduate degree.

Regis, she said, provided a natural place for her. She said other schools were too secular and that the political correctness wouldn’t fit her.

She wanted a place where she could be challenged in the way she thought, but also challenge those in her classes.

“I’ll just flat out say it. Regis has a more prestigious reputation in the community,” she said. “I think it’s expected that a Jesuit education is a little more demanding and people know that.”

Now that she’s done, she’ll take her degree and move toward ministry work as it relates to building people, businesses and organizations.

It was a big change for Gaudio to go back to school, but she encouraged those thinking about it, to go and do it.

“My rallying cry was I’ll be 60 in 2016 regardless,” she said. “I’d rather be 60 and have gotten this goal accomplished than be 60 and still wishing I had done it.”


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