About the Park

Welcome to Alumni Park! Here, between Lake Mendota and Langdon Street, between Memorial Union and the Red Gym, you’ll find a place that celebrates the University of Wisconsin–Madison and its graduates.

Not only does Alumni Park give graduates, students, and visitors of all kinds a beautiful spot to enjoy, but it also tells the stories of the university and its alumni and the ways they’ve changed the world. As you scroll through these pages, you’ll find the people, things, and traditions that make UW–Madison unique.

The Inspiration

The park’s story began in 2009, when then Wisconsin Alumni Association president Paula Bonner determined that WAA would create a green space at the most popular entryway to campus: on the lake, near State Street and the Memorial Union Terrace. She decided that this should be more than just a garden — it should celebrate the university’s most hallowed tradition: the Wisconsin Idea. Over the course of the next eight years, Bonner led fundraising efforts, convened a committee of alumni and UW staff to determine content, and built excitement among alumni, faculty, staff, and students.

Thus the park is more than merely beautiful. It also says something. Alumni Park tells the story of what it means to be a Badger. It’s an art gallery and a museum and a storehouse for the memories and achievements that Badgers have created in the seventeen decades since this great university held its first class.

By The Numbers

7,877 Trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennials planted

80 Length in feet of the Badger Pride Wall featuring Madison artist Nate Koehler’s whimsical renditions of UW icons

1.3 Size of the park in acres

Advisors and Consultants

The Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA) thanks the following alumni and friends for giving input, advice, and support in the effort to develop park content that represents more than a century and a half of the Wisconsin Idea.

WAA Leadership

Sarah Schutt
Chief Alumni Officer and WAA Executive Director

Paula Bonner MS’78
WAA President Emerita

Steering Committee

Nancy Ballsrud MBA’75
Steering Committee Chair, Fundraising Cochair

Jeffrey Wiesner ’83
Fundraising Cochair

Nancy Ballsrud MBA’75
Steering Committee Chair, Fundraising Cochair

Jeffrey Wiesner ’83
Fundraising Cochair

Kathy Dwyer Southern ’68, MA’72
Concept-and-Design Committee and Content Selection Committee Chair

Kelli Trumble ’79
Inaugural WAA Alumni Advisory Council Chair

History of the Park

Before it was Alumni Park, it was a parking lot. But that’s not where the story began. More >

Partners & Artists

The culmination of many years of work by many inspired individuals. More >

Design of the Park

Learn about the breadth and depth of the park design. More >