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If these walls could talk... Memorial Union Reinvestment

UNIVERSITY

OF

WISCONSIN

-

M ADISON


Photo courtesy of Karmen Swenson

I f t h e s e wa l l s c o u l d ta l k …

They would celebrate stories–precious, unforgettable human stories. As the heart of UW-Madison, the Union is a campus and community icon. Here people of all ages, backgrounds, opinions and tastes mix and mingle—each creating a personal story while adding to the Union’s rich tradition. Here people are invited to explore and enjoy their diversity. Students realize that mothers in Wisconsin are not much different from mothers in China, that romance can blossom over botany notes or while tending a pizza oven. Here alumni tales of pranks become more incredible and friendships more treasured with each reunion. Within these walls students have the opportunity to be enriched by the transformative power of discovery – of music, of art, of ideas, of self. They are encouraged to take

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on new challenges, to develop decision-making, teamwork and management skills, to test personal boundaries of capability and courage. From planning a lecture series to organizing a mountain climbing expedition, the Union has always inspired leaders to lead and shown them how. It is a place where students have always felt very much at home—from taking solace in that perfect study nook or napping spot that no one else knows about to reveling in the simplest of pleasures, that uncontrollable laughter passing between close friends over a brat on the Terrace. It is often the final place they gather to share one last story before they graduate and the first place they reunite after returning to campus as alumni, as parents, as forever-a-Badger.

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I f t h e s e wa l l s c o u l d ta l k …

They would teach. The Union is the most concentrated center for learning on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Every day it brings students, faculty, staff, alumni and members together to enjoy a variety of diverse programming. You can discover a talent for pottery, practice speaking Portuguese, share opinions on bioethics or music, be inspired by the words of a Nobel laureate or be challenged by a chess master. You can learn to ski, dance a samba or install an art exhibit. Whether you walked through Memorial Union in the 1940s or yesterday, education was happening everywhere—at Der Rathskeller’s loudest, liveliest table, in a hushed Union Theater, on a Hoofer’s sailing outing, or curled in a comfy chair with a book and a dream. The Union teaches life lessons—in leadership and cooperation, service and organization, diversity and acceptance. The Union is an essential element of the total UWMadison experience—a course in social education open to everyone.

“The Union teaches life lessons in leadership and cooperation, service and organization, diversity and acceptance. “

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I f t h e s e wa l l s c o u l d ta l k …

They would thank you for preserving the past and building the future. Nearly a century of high-volume traffic and normal wear-andtear are obscuring the Memorial Union’s beauty and usefulness. The goal of the Memorial Union Reinvestment is to preserve the building’s unique character while updating and improving essential areas. More than 15,000 people use the Union daily including a student population roughly five times larger than when the

building was opened. Modernizing the infrastructure will allow the Union to meet current standards for accessibility, safety, climate control, and sustainability. At the same time, the Union’s fundamental character will endure. The energy, atmosphere, personality, even the smells that define the Union and attract people day after day, decade after decade remain safe and secure.


Memorial Union Reinvestment

A story of vision, commitment, reverence The Memorial Union Reinvestment was carefully planned and introduced to the campus and community by today’s students. Thoughtful input from students and other people who care deeply about the Union has made the project a truly collaborative effort that will ultimately benefit everyone.

•F  ood service improvements in Der Rathskeller and Der Stiftskeller while preserving the unique atmosphere of these iconic spaces. •A  building and Terrace universally accessible to all visitors, eliminating cumbersome stairs and adding elevators to reach certain areas.

The project includes: • Preservation and restoration of Memorial Union’s classic historic features with the support of the Wisconsin State Historical Society. • Expansion and improvement of existing indoor and outdoor program spaces with more people-friendly areas and access onto the new Alumni Park. • A carefully restored, but technologically up-to-date Wisconsin Union Theater, which will increase the versatility of space and allow improved accessibility and comfort for all patrons.

•U  pgrades of meeting and office spaces to meet expectations for convenience, technology, communication and work functions. • Improvements to building infrastructure, including health and safety, HVAC, energy efficiency and sustainability, with the goal of achieving a minimum LEED silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. The project is already underway, which means your gift goes to work immediately. To check on renovation progress, visit unionreinvestment.wisc.edu. Or, please stop in, stay a while and share a story. These walls are listening.

t o l e a r n m o r e about how you can get involved with the Memorial Union Reinvestment contact: unionalumni@union.wisc.edu | 608.890.1997

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Their stories would be yours. P l e as e a d d yo u r v o i c e t o d ay.

You are invited to join the alumni and friends of Memorial Union who are writing the Union’s next chapter. They have come together to support and preserve the historical and educational significance of the Union.

“It is a place where students have always felt very much at home– from taking solace in that perfect study nook or napping spot that no one else knows about to reveling in the simplest of pleasures...”

UNION . WISC . EDU


Memorial Union Reinvestment Overview