Design of the Park

There are some 207 alumni names listed in Alumni Park and One Alumni Place — but they aren’t meant to be the final word in the conversation about which Badgers are most significant. Alumni Park is meant to begin that conversation.

By The Numbers

207 Alumni names inscribed in the park: 123 featured alumni plus 84 donors and contributors

50Park exhibits, including sculptures, statues, panels and inscriptions

4 Number of alumni Nobel Prize laureates featured in park exhibits

Creating the park’s content took many months, and it involved the work of a content-and-design committee, incorporating alumni, the city, the state, and representatives of campus and the Office of the Chancellor.

That committee sought input from the UW’s various schools, colleges, interdisciplinary centers, libraries, and others to generate a list of hundreds of alumni who had an important impact in Wisconsin or around the globe. The committee sifted and winnowed that list, using several criteria: which Badger alumni made contributions that were truly superlative or unique? Which ones showed the full range of the UW’s areas of strength? Which ones seemed to have the farthest-reaching or longest-lasting effect?

Design Partners

The committee then consulted with Ralph Appelbaum Associates, (RAA), a world-renowned exhibit design firm, to create exhibits that harmonize with the natural space. RAA worked as part of team led by project architect Uihlein/Wilson Architects and overall park designer, landscape architect, and civil engineer SmithGroupJRR, and many partners and artists to create an award-winning park design.


  • 2019 Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) Honor Award for Alumni Park, Excellence in Landscape Architecture-Open Space Planning & Design—SmithGroup
  • 2019 Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Bronze Circle of Excellence Award for Alumni Park, Interdisciplinary Advancement Projects—Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association
  • 2018 Honor Award, general design competition, Wisconsin Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects—SmithGroupJJR
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin, 2018 Engineering Excellence, Best of State Award, Memorial Union Renovation and Alumni Park—GRAEF
  • InBusiness 2018 Commercial Design Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Union Redevelopment Phase II & Alumni Park—Miron Construction
  • 2018 GOOD DESIGN® Award, The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Design and Architecture and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies – Ralph Appelbaum Associates

More to Come

The result is the park you see today. We know you’ll think we missed someone. Maybe several someones. Possibly lots of someones. Be sure to share your thoughts with us or add a tribute. We’re happy to continue the conversation.

About the Park

The inspiration and action the brought Alumni Park to life. More >

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 >