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The Wisconsin Union Association

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Whether it’s the Terrace in the summer, the Rathskeller on a wintry day, a concert in the Union Theater’s Shannon Hall, a special event in Great Hall or a football Saturday at Union South, the Wisconsin Union is that special place that brings the community together.

How We Began

The Wisconsin Union Association began in the early 1920s, when the Board of Regents voted to undertake a fundraising campaign to build the Memorial Union. Then known as the Union Building Committee and later known as the Memorial Union Building Association, the Committee raised funds to build the Memorial Union.

The Regents envisioned this as a gathering place. With that goal in mind, the Regents encouraged donations to the building fund by stating that anyone contributing $50 or more would become a lifetime member of the Wisconsin Union. More than $1 million in gifts from loyal supporters from around the world made the opening of the Memorial Union in 1928 a reality. 

Who We Are

The Wisconsin Union remains a membership organization today, and membership is open to everyone 18 and over, including people with no UW-Madison affiliation. When you become an annual or lifetime member, you join the Wisconsin Union family and gain access to the full array of programs and services available at Memorial Union and Union South.  Lifetime members automatically become a member of the Wisconsin Union Association, the organization committed to being stewards of the Wisconsin Union’s heritage and ideals while encouraging positive change, growth, and financial support.  The Wisconsin Union Association is led by a volunteer Board of Trustees who are dedicated to preserving and continuing the mission of the Union.

How You Can Help

Since its inception, the Wisconsin Union Association has helped the Wisconsin Union create experiences for a lifetime and strives to be your home away from home.  Donations have supported student sponsored programs, building services and Union building improvements. Your gift to the Wisconsin Union Association via the GIVE button below supports all that is the Wisconsin Union. For other Wisconsin Union donation opportunities, please click here.



Join Us

Take your place in history now by joining more than 105,000 Wisconsin Union members worldwide. Life membership purchase options are available online, at the Wisconsin Union Hotel Desk at Union South, or the Membership Office at Memorial Union. For questions call (800) 262-6623 or email

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