UW-Madison Veterans Campus Tour
Take a walk around the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus and explore it's military history since its founding in 1848.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Union was built with two purposes in mind. Look at the back terrace facing Lake Mendota on a glorious sunny day to discover one. You will see groups of students gathered to relax and socialize, exactly what UW President Charles Van Hise envisioned in his 1904 inaugural address when he called for a student union. The other purpose is found sealed in the cornerstone of the building, laid on Memorial Day, 1927. It is called the Memorial Union because that cornerstone contains the names of students who served their country in the military, including those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
One look at the University of Wisconsin Armory and Gymnasium building and you can see why most people refer to it as the Red Gym. Opened in 1894, the red brick building built in the Romanesque Revival style resembles a castle. The fortress-like structure emphasized its military training function by expressing stability and permanence. It addressed the University’s need for better athletic facilities, as well as improved military training for male students.
Originally dedicated to those who served in World War II, Memorial Library is the major research library in the state of Wisconsin. This is particularly true in the academic areas of Social Sciences and Humanities. It is also considered the "graduate" student library at the University of Wisconsin. Its numerous reading rooms and expansive collections make it a perfect place for study on campus.
Positioned to the front of the Wisconsin Historical Society, this decorated flagpole commemorates the founding of the National Society of Scabbard and Blade. This is a military honor society whose membership is comprised of both junior and senior Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) cadets. It was founded here at the University of Wisconsin in 1904.
The next stop is the Middleton Building, named after Doctor William Shainline Middleton, a long-serving member of the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Medical School. Dr. Middleton arrived in Madison in 1912 and served as a member of the faculty for 63 years, with several breaks for federal service.
While this location is off of the path of our tour, we would be remiss if we did not include a building named after one of the university's most prestigious veterans. Signe Scott Cooper Hall is the home of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Nursing. Completed in 2014, the building bears the name of “one of nursing’s greatest national resources” and one of University of Wisconsin-Madison’s most distinguished veterans. Her lifetime of service, to her country, the university, and her fellow educators and nurses, is one of inspiration.
While today it is known as home of University of Wisconsin-Madison Badger football, Camp Randall got its name during the Civil War as the primary training camp for soldiers from our state. Of the 91,327 Wisconsin soldiers who fought, some 70,000 trained at Camp Randall. In 1912 a Memorial Arch was dedicated in their honor where Dayton Street meets Randall Avenue. The ceremony was the occasion for a reunion and celebration. Be sure to check out the other memorials related to Camp Randall’s Civil War past, including the guard house, Lincoln in Wisconsin sign, and the brown historic site marker.
Although now a beautiful park and part of Engineering Hall, in the years immediately following World War II, this was the site of a trailer park built to house the tremendous influx of students at the University of Wisconsin. A large majority of these students were veterans, who lived in these trailers with their fellow students or their families, while they used their GI Bill to gain a university education.
Although the majority of visitors would think this spot is the University of Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, it is also the site of the Camp Randall Memorial. The "Shell", as it is known, honors the soldiers of the United States Army who fought in the Civil War. The University of Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1991 and currently numbers more than 180 members.
Camp Randall Stadium is an outdoor stadium in the north central United States, located on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. It has been the home of Wisconsin Badgers football in rudimentary form since 1895, and as a fully functioning stadium since 1917. The oldest and fifth largest stadium in the Big Ten Conference, Camp Randall is the 41st largest stadium in the world, with a seating capacity of 80,321. Camp Randall Stadium is not named after the team or someone associated with the university. Camp Randall was an army base during the American Civil War and the Badgers stadium was built on its location.