Who has appeared at the Stock Pavilion?
Tucked into the curve of Linden Drive, the Stock Pavilion might be easy to miss, but in its heyday, this national historic site hosted some of the biggest names in UW history. Built in 1909, the Stock Pavilion boasted the most seating and some of the best acoustics of any venue in Madison until 1930, with the construction of the Field House. Accordingly, the Stock Pavilion bore witness to many legendary speakers and performers. Famed Russian pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff gave a Valentine’s Day performance there in 1927, followed by Polish pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewksi in 1928. In 1935, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra headed north for a concert at the “University Pavilion,” as the flyer reads. In 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. drew a crowd of nearly 3,000 to the Stock Pavilion, where he delivered his speech “The Future of Integration.” In 1968, another 3,000 came to hear the world’s greatest former boxer, Muhammad Ali , talk about life outside the ring. The late John Prine graced the Stock Pavilion’s stage in the early 70s, and Bonnie Raitt later sang his “Angel from Montgomery” under the same roof in her concert with Muddy Waters in 1978. Our ’80s alumni may remember the night that R.E.M. rocked the Stock Pavilion in 1985. Honored guests have also trended toward the presidential: President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt; his successor, President William Howard Taft; and President Harry Truman all made appearances. President Bill Clinton stopped into the Stock Pavilion in 2008 to campaign for his wife, then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. This certainly doesn’t exhaust the list of people who have taken the stage in one of the UW’s most historic (and multipurpose) buildings, but it’s a reminder that while the Stock Pavilion may continue to live up to its name in serving the animal sciences department, you still might hear the echo of a far-off speech or song ringing in its rafters.