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What’s Your Favorite Terrace Memory?

Photo by Bryce Richter / UW–Madison

Spending time at the Memorial Union Terrace is a summer staple for Badgers and visitors alike. With that in mind, we asked Badgers for their favorite Terrace memories — here’s what we heard, published verbatim.


Back in the early 1980s, when the last final exam of spring semester happened to be our meteorology one, and our prof Frank Sechrist treated the class to brewskies on the Terrace (drinking age was 18 back then!). Great memories!

Kathy Strebe

My summer job was pouring beer on the Terrace. One night, Chris Farley showed up with a huge entourage. And I did what any red blooded Badger would do. I abandoned my post (sorry if you were there and had to wait longer for your beer because of this), marched up to Chris Farley and did my best Chris Farley imitation. I got a round of applause and someone from his group came up to where I was working and gave me a pretty massive tip.

Jora Daley

Pat McCurdy concerts of course. My 1st year Spanish class hanging around with a few Spanish speakers during finals week. We learned more in an afternoon than all semester.

BJ LeRoy

1st date with my future husband.

Darcelle Tachon Krause

Covid convocation! I wore my gown at the terrace for pics, and one last round of drinks before heading home to Singapore. The badger family there gave me the loudest cheers, and an unforgettable 'convocation'!

Marilyn Lim S S

Our engagement

Charles Lindorfer

Finishing my last final & walking down the hill to the Union with a group of friends. Each of us bought one of those big beers. Went out on the terrace while celebrating that we’re graduating.

Becky Christiansen

Playing euchre, drinking beer and eating pretzel rods with friends all day on a summer Sunday!

Julie Spragia Fitch

My husband, not a UW Grad but knowing it is my favorite place, proposed to me on the Terrace

Karen Klein

Finding enough chairs for my peeps

Sharon Lynn

Hanging out one summer with my friends there until 2am in 1988…it was the last stop in The Waste Olympics!

Tina Staszewski

Studying at the Rathskeller, having a beer and popcorn routine. Watching Woody Allen/Diane Keaton movies at night in the summer and just enjoying the Terrace on a beautiful sunny day! Many many great memories!

Marisa Totero

My children and I are alumni. While sitting at the terrace the three of us painted a picture of a terrace chair with the lake in the background.

Julie Heikkinen

“Hot Summer Nights” concerts airing on WORT radio. (I was one of the engineers running the broadcast.)

Kevin Ruppert

I saw the northern lights while standing at the end of the old concrete pier on a cold night in winter '91.

Neil M. Sheldon

Having Sunday morning brunch under the big tree with friends while reading the Sunday editions of the Wisconsin State Journal and the New York Times and watching the sail boats.

James Jim Rinehart

Our wedding in Tripp Commons and pictures on the Terrace, 8/14/05

Jill Huibregtse McCormick

Just one, over 5 decades? That's impossible. Highlights would include any time Marques Bovre and the Evil Twins or Reptile Palace Orchestra played. Watching tiny, tiny fireworks from across the lake. The night (in the 80s) there was a huge storm and everyone poured out of the Union to help rescue some folks who got stuck on their boat.

Debi Grif


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