UNIVERSITY CLUB HISTORY
THE UNIVERSITY CLUB TODAY
UNIVERSITY CLUB BOARD OF DIRECTORS
2019 – 2020
President – Lindsey Stoddard-Cameron • August 2015 – July 2021 (Second Term)
Vice President/Treasurer – Dennis Lloyd • August 2016 – July 2019 (Second Term)
Secretary – Tricia Nolan • August 2017 – July 2020
Past President – Margaret Tennessen • August 2018 – July 2020
Susan Cook • August 2012 – July 2018 (Second Term)
Kelly DeHaven • August 2019 – July 2022
Mark Fraire • August 2014 – July 2020 (Second Term)
Jerlando Jackson • December 2017 – July 2021 (Mid & First Term)
Laura Morris • August 2019 – July 2022
Bethany Pluymers • August 2016 – July 2019
Margaret Tennessen • August 2014 – July 2020 (Second Term)
UNIVERSITY CLUB MANAGER
Justin Duris • January 2012 – Present
THE UNIVERSITY CLUB HISTORY
The University Club was incorporated on 1907, under the leadership of University of Wisconsin President Charles R. Van Hise, as a private non-profit corporation. Having served the university community for over 100 years the University Club remains an important part of our great institution.
Located at the bottom of Bascom Hill at 803 State Street, the venerable and historic club has been a hospitality facility promoting social and cultural diversity, intellectual exchange, and community relations with programs and events throughout its history. As one of nearly 100 such reciprocal academic membership organizations throughout North America, the University Club continues a strong tradition in league with other prestigious universities.
The University Club has a long and distinguished history that includes many of the historic and current leaders of the university. Some highlights from the University Club’s history include:
Membership is open to University of Wisconsin faculty and alumni and alumni of other institutions. Charter members number 211, and include some of the great names in UW history: Edward A. Birge, John R. Commons, Richard T. Ely, Frederick Jackson Turner, William F. Vilas, Charles Van Hise, and E. B. Van Vleck.
The first clubhouse, the family home of University Vice President John B. Parkinson at the corner of Murray and State Streets, is purchased by club members through the sale of stock and bonds.
The club opens for business. The first addition, a wing on the west side of the old house, is completed; in 1912, dormitory wing to the south is added; and in 1924, the Parkinson house is removed and replaced by a wing on the east side, bringing the building to its current configuration. The latter two additions are the work of local architects, Law, Law, and Potter. As the building expands, income is generated from membership dues, room and board rates for residents, and restaurant service.
Parkinson House, 1914. Also visible are the 1908 west addition (right) and 1912 dormitory wing (left).
Declining income during the Depression threatens the life of the club. As a result, the club’s directors turn over title to the property to the university. In return for the gift, the university assumes the club’s utility and maintenance expenses.
Women are admitted to membership.
Professor Helen C. White becomes the first woman to head the club.
Rooms are taken over by the Army Student Training Program
The Arthur Burke affair results in the elimination of the color barrier by the board. The effort to end race discrimination is led by professor of history and Pulitzer Prize winner Merle Curti.
The University takes over most of the dormitory space and converts it into badly needed office space in the south wing of the building and the upper floors. The University Club retains space on the ground floor and lower level of the building.
Mildred Lindquist, who has worked at the Club for 46 years, retires as manager in 1979. She is succeeded over the years by Mimi Lyons, Julie Johnson, Christie Chastain, Edward Zaleski, and now, Justin Duris.
Complimentary membership is offered to all employees of the UW-Madison, though only Contributing Members may make reservations, sign for meals, and enjoy reciprocity at affiliated clubs in North America.
To this day the club provides weekday breakfast and lunch service and is available for meetings, dinners, receptions, and a wide range of activities. Coffee service is available in the large and comfortable Reigel Reading Room. Private meeting rooms, which can service a total of 250 people, are available for special events. Lunch service is available on the front veranda during summer months.