Terrace Views

Wisconsin Union Joining in on Celebration of 175 Years of UW–Madison

A singer accompanied by his ukelele performs during Open Mic Night on the Terrace stage

A birthday party 175 years-in-the-making will soon begin: on July 26 from 4-10 p.m., we at the Wisconsin Union will help kick off a months-long 175th anniversary celebration of the incorporation of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. 

UW–Madison began in 1848, and, not long after, our organization the Wisconsin Union started in 1908 with our famous building, called the Memorial Union, an outdoor dining and entertainment destination, called the Memorial Union Terrace, opening in 1928. With a century-long tradition of providing student leadership opportunities, experiences for a lifetime, and out-of-classroom learning on campus, our spaces feel like the perfect place for our University’s birthday party to start. 

Teams from across UW–Madison will host events through 2024, and we cannot begin to express the honor we feel with the opportunity to host some launch day events as well as serving as a location for many festivities

As you may know, UW–Madison students plan most of our more than 1,000 events each year. They take part in the Wisconsin Union programming board, called the Wisconsin Union Directorate (WUD). From the beginning, our organization has operated with shared governance with students and has empowered and trusted students to take the lead in creating experiences for a lifetime. Our 175th programming contributions will continue that tradition of student leadership with an event called Open Mic Night hosted by the WUD Music Committee.  

Open Mic Night is similar to a talent show; patrons can showcase their talents, whether singing, dance, comedy or another area of skill, at the Terrace for hundreds, perhaps thousands of audience members. Participants and audience members can take part in this for free each week throughout most of the year with the event taking place on the UW Credit Union Terrace stage during warmer months (pending inclement weather when it moves indoors to Memorial Union) and in der Rathskeller inside Memorial Union during the rest of the year. Individuals can sign up to perform their talent on Wednesdays at 6:45 p.m., which enters them in a drawing to perform. Staff pull names at random to determine who will perform from 7-9 p.m.

The WUD Music Committee and the Chancellor’s Office will also host a performance by The Mersey Brothers featuring Sean Michael Dargan. This is presented with support from the UW Credit Union. This local band will add to the celebration with ‘80s-inspired new wave and college rock covers. 

The launch day celebration will also feature activities and events hosted by campus partners, including free ice cream, fireworks, performances by the University of Wisconsin Marching Band and the University of Wisconsin Spirit Squad, an appearance by Bucky Badger, and more, all at or near the Memorial Union Terrace. 

Stop by Memorial Union Terrace to join us for the beginning of the UW–Madison birthday celebration. Check out the full and growing list of festivities at 175.wisc.edu

Author: Beth Shoop

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