“It’s a bittersweet occasion,” said President William Hynes, as reported by Montclarion reporter Martin Snapp. “We’re happy she’s going to have such a happy retirement, but we’re going to miss her terribly.”
Madge will be spending retirement in the company of Cipriani’s sister, Emily, and Emily’s dog, Buddy, another yellow Labrador. Emily owns a 30-acre property in Minnesota.
Belo was blinded when he was badly beaten by people he had considered childhood friends. “After that betrayal, it took me a long time to trust again, but I was finally able to do it,” he said. “And Madge’s unconditional love had a lot to do with that.”
After completing the master’s program in culture and spirituality, Cipriani was invited to become HNU’s writer-in-residence. He published his first book, Blind: A Memoir, in 2011; his next book, Faceless, will be published in 2014.
Cipriani has worked out of the library and Edwin A. Heafey Hall, and Madge has become a favorite around campus with students and staff.
“She’s been a loving companion for Belo and a year-round animal therapist for stressed-out students,” University Librarian Karen Schneider said. “If anybody has earned their retirement, it’s Madge.”