Photo of the Alumni Park sign and University crest.

The Bucky List: The Top Five Things You Need to Know about Alumni Park

They say that good things come to those who wait, and that’s exactly what’s coming to the Lake Mendota shoreline between the Memorial Union Terrace and WAA’s headquarters: Alumni Park. In 2009, the park was conceived as an elegant and spirited way to complete the Lakefront Gateway, which includes the Gordon Dining and Event Center, East Campus Mall, Library Mall, the Red Gym, Memorial Union, and the Lake Mendota shoreline. This fall, that idea will become reality as Alumni Park celebrates its grand opening on October 6, 2017.

So what is Alumni Park anyway? Here are the top five things you need to know:

  1. It’s not just a green-space kind of park.
    Although there will be 7,877 trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennials planted in the park’s 1.3 acres, it will also include many photo-worthy, museum-quality outdoor exhibits featuring the accomplishments of UW alumni.
  2. Alumni Park celebrates the Wisconsin Idea.
    The exhibits — laid out in 10 areas of distinction such as health and medicine, education, and the environment — tell the stories of more than 200 alumni. These are graduates from all decades and academic areas whose work has embodied the Wisconsin Idea: the UW’s cherished principle that the “beneficent influence” of the university should reach to the borders of the state and well beyond.
  3. Alumni Park is a multimedia project.
    If you want more information about the amazing alumni whose accomplishments are outlined through the park’s exhibits, or if you can’t get back to Madison, you need look no farther than your computer or mobile device. will feature expanded content on the stories you’ll find in the park.
  4. Alumni Park will be great day and night.
    All of the park’s exhibits, panel walls, and fountain will transform into illuminated displays once the sun goes down. Putting the lumen back into Numen Lumen, so to speak.
  5. The park officially opens on October 6, 2017.
    Throughout the fall, look for opening-season celebrations and special programming, often in conjunction with WAA’s many campus partners.
  6. For updates on Alumni Park and One Alumni Place, sign up for the mailing list.