A Closer Look at UW Madison's Great Union Hall: A Comprehensive Overview

If you're a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, you've likely spent some time in the Great Union Hall. This iconic space is located within the Memorial Union building and has been a hub of activity on campus for decades. But how much do you really know about this historic and beloved space?

In this article, we'll take a closer look at the Great Union Hall and explore its history, design, and significance to the UW-Madison community. From its stunning hardwood floors to its impressive skylight, this space has a lot to offer. Whether you're a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply a curious Badger, you're sure to find something of interest in this exploration of one of UW-Madison's most iconic spaces.

Historical Significance

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The Great Union Hall at UW Madison's Memorial Union has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s. The Wisconsin Union was formed in 1907, and the Men's Union Board was established to serve as the all-campus program board. In 1914, the Wisconsin Union, along with six other college unions, founded the Association of College Unions.

The Memorial Union opened its doors on October 5, 1928, and has since become one of the most beautiful student centers on a university campus. At the opening ceremony, UW-Madison President Glenn Frank stated, "The Union is a living room, which converts the university from a house of learning into a home of learning."

The Great Union Hall, located on the fourth floor of the Memorial Union, has a flexible seating capacity of over 100 and covers an area of 4928 sq. ft. The hall is known for its elegant ambiance and is a popular venue for dances, weddings, meetings, and other gatherings.

Over the years, the Great Union Hall has hosted several notable events, including a visit by former President Bill Clinton in 1996. The hall has also been used as a filming location for several movies, including "The Last Kiss" and "Public Enemies".

Facilities and Amenities

Indoor Facilities

UW Madison's Great Union Hall is a versatile event space that can accommodate up to 1,000 guests. The hall features a flexible seating arrangement, a large stage with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, and a spacious dance floor. The venue is perfect for hosting large-scale events such as conferences, banquets, and weddings.

The Great Hall is located on the third floor of the Wisconsin Union building, which is conveniently situated in the heart of campus. The Union offers a variety of dining options, including catering services, which can be arranged for your event. The building also features an ATM and ample parking nearby.

In addition to the Great Hall, the Union offers several smaller meeting rooms and event spaces that are perfect for more intimate gatherings. These rooms are equipped with screens, projectors, and comfortable seating arrangements.

Outdoor Facilities

The Wisconsin Union building also features several outdoor spaces that offer stunning views of Lake Mendota and the surrounding campus. The Terrace, located on the shores of Lake Mendota, is a popular spot for socializing, relaxing, and enjoying live music. The Terrace features a full-service bar and dining options, including Babcock Hall ice cream.

Union South, located just a short bus ride from the Wisconsin Union building, offers additional event spaces, including Varsity Hall and The Sett. The Sett is a popular destination for students and features a climbing wall, billiards, and a stage for live performances. Union South also offers accommodations at the Wisconsin Union Hotel and Fluno Center for Executive Education.

Whether you're looking to host a large-scale event or a more intimate gathering, UW Madison's Great Union Hall and surrounding facilities offer everything you need to make your event a success.

Featured Image Source: college.library, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Memorial Union Theater At The University Of Wisconsin - Madison
Memorial Union Theater at the University of Wisconsin - Madison is a premier performing arts venue on the UW Madison campus, featuring Shannon Hall with 1165 seats. Elizabeth Snodgrass, the director of the Wisconsin Union Theater talks about the past and the future of the theater. The venue continues to host a diverse range of performing arts, including music, theater, and dance, with a strong focus on classical concerts.

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