Celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Science Hall

Celebrate Science HallWhen alumni talk about their experiences as students in the Geography Department, they often speak of the fondness they have for Science Hall itself. Once home to all sciences on the UW-Madison campus, Science Hall is steeped in history, mystery and some great traditions that are literally tied to the walls of this grand building.

This year Science Hall reached a milestone —  its 125th anniversary!

Join us on Wednesday, October 30th (49pm) for the anniversary celebration of our department home as we take a look back at the building’s past and look ahead toward its future. 

The event is free and open to the public. Let us know if you plan to attend via this RSVP form. Can’t join us?  As part of our celebration, we’re collecting stories and reminiscences about Science Hall. Share your favorite Science Hall memory here.


Science Hall Entry

4:00 pm:  Science Hall Past & Present – Guided Tours 
Tours leave from the first floor elevators at 4:00, 4:15
Join Geography Department staff members as they guide you through the building’s past and into the present. Tours will take approximately 45 minutes. Self-guided walking tours and displays available throughout the night. Complimentary copies of Clarence Olmstead’s Science Hall: The First Century pamphlets available.


David Null

5:00 pm:  History of Science Hall
Room 180 Lecture Hall
UW Archivist, David Null, will take us through Science Hall’s rich and interesting past with a presentation of historic photos and stories of former inhabitants and bygone days.



Library Relief Map5:30 pm:  Reception
Arthur Robinson Map Library, 3rd floor
Join us for food and drinks in one of the jewels of the department – our beautiful Robinson Map Library. Here you can explore more historic photos and documents – and perhaps a map or two!



Angela Pakes Ahlman7:00 pm:  Greening Historic Buildings
Room 180 Lecture Hall
How do we move an old building into the future – renovating for sustainability and modern needs and expectations while being sensitive to historic preservation? Architect and engineering manager, Angela Pakes Ahlman of the UW-Madison Office of Sustainability, has led a number of high-profile campus building renovations, including that of our historic Bascom Hill neighbor. Her experience with the renovation of the School of Education building will be featured as an example of the challenges of bringing our architectural legacy into the 21st century in a way that complements UW’s environmental mission.


Haunted Science Hall8:00 pm:  Haunted Science Hall – A guided tour
Meet by the first floor elevators
On this walking tour of the building you’ll discover some of the more hidden and quirky parts of Science Hall and hear anecdotes about how it earned its spooky reputation.



Join us for the celebration!



One Response to “Celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Science Hall”

  1. reposted comment…

    Dear fellow geographers,

    I still have fond memories of Science Hall. The medical school was in that building at one time and the fifth floor was full of beakers holding human body parts suspended in liquid. I also hold fond memories of my adviser, Arthur Robinson. He was a great teacher and a great man.

    I most likely cannot attend the event but my blessings will be with you all.

    For those who do not know me, I went on to get my MA in mathematics at U of Missouri in Columbia. Later I earned my PhD in mathematics from U of Houston, the largest university in the U of Texas system. Geography is a tough subject. I was always hampered by my lack of statistics for most courses and my lack of mathematics for Dr. Roberson’s cartography courses. My solution may have been on-orthodox but I ended up as one of the few people to Hold a doctorate in mathematics without having an undergraduate degree in that field.

    Best regards,

    Dr. Robert Paul Giese
    Bachelor of Science,
    Geography 1961

    Posted by Geography Staff | October 19, 2013, 3:59 pm

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