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Alumni Park wins landscape architecture award

SmithGroupJJR honored by Wisconsin Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects.

March 01, 2018
Alumni Park entrance

MADISON, WI (March 1, 2018) — The Wisconsin Alumni Association® congratulates SmithGroupJJR for earning an award from the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for its work as lead landscape architect of Alumni Park.

The Wisconsin Alumni Association’s Alumni Park opened on October 6, 2017. It is located between Memorial Union and the Red Gym along Lake Mendota on the UW–Madison campus and is open year-round. It is the first alumni park of its kind in the country.

“We’re so proud of Alumni Park and how it has been immediately embraced by alumni, campus, and community,” said Sarah Schutt, chief alumni officer and executive director of the Wisconsin Alumni Association. “We’re so grateful to see SmithGroupJJR receive recognition for being such a huge part of this labor of love.”

SmithGroupJJR served as the lead landscape architect for space, working closely with the Wisconsin Alumni Association, project architect Uihlein/Wilson Architects, exhibit designer Ralph Appelbaum Associates, State of Wisconsin Department of Administration’s Division of Facilities Development and Management, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison Facilities Planning and Management, under the leadership of director of campus planning and landscape architecture Gary Brown and associate facilities architect Megan McBride.

“Alumni Park tells the story of what it means to be a Badger. It is a place that will leave a lasting impression on students — current, past, and future,” said Bill Patek, a SmithGroupJJR landscape architect principal for the project and UW-Madison alumnus. “It is incredibly meaningful and professionally fulfilling to help shape a project that has that kind of impact.”

Many others were involved in creating Alumni Park, including Wisconsin exhibits suppliers, artisans, and fabricators such as Madison’s Quarra Stone Company and Pechmann Memorials; American Custom Metal Fabricating of Green Bay; Valders Stone & Marble of Valders, Wisconsin; and Madison artist Nate Koehler, who designed the Badger Pride Wall. See the full list at

The completion of Alumni Park represents a seven-year vision to transform a 1.3-acre parking lot into the backdrop for more than 50 museum-quality exhibits that celebrate the achievements and stories of more than 120 alumni. The park’s first experience starts with a custom-designed sculptural fountain that represents the ripple effect that many alumni achievements have had on the world. Alumni Way — the primary storytelling path in the park — guides visitors through the space. It includes five 18-foot-long, stone-and-enamel exhibit panels that highlight alumni contributions relating to specific themes of service, discovery, tradition, leadership, and progress.

The $8 million project was privately funded through some 4,000 contributions from UW–Madison alumni and friends around the world.

The American Society of Landscape Architects and its Wisconsin Chapter issue awards to recognize people and organizations that have enhanced the visibility of the landscape-architecture profession in Wisconsin, promoted excellence in land planning and landscape design, promoted professional ethics, and fostered environmental stewardship and enhanced quality of life.

SmithGroupJJR ( is one of the world’s preeminent integrated design firms. Working across a network of 12 offices in the U.S. and China, a team of 1,300 experts is committed to excellence in strategy, design and delivery. SmithGroupJJR creates exceptional design solutions for healthcare, science and technology organizations, higher education and cultural institutions, urban environments, diverse workplaces, mixed-use and waterfront developments, and parks and open spaces.

Media Information

Contact: Tod Pritchard,, 608-609-5217, @WisAlumni

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