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A Tradition Since 1861

The stories of our nation’s service members have been a part of the Wisconsin Union’s story since its beginning. When Memorial Union opened in 1928, wooden planks were inscribed with the names of UW-Madison attendees who died in service of their country during the Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War I. These planks, installed on the walls of the Memorial Union’s Memorial Hall, are the original UW-Madison Gold Star Honor Roll.

In 2013, the stories of our fallen service members received renewed attention. The Class of 1963’s 50th Reunion committee believed the renovation of this beloved building should include the updating of its Gold Star Honor Roll. Their class gift launched this project. Together with the Wisconsin Union, a digital display was developed to add the names of those UW-Madison service members who had died in wars and conflicts since WWI. It was critical the display have the ability to update information as it was received and that information be shared through a dedicated website as well. Four years later, the Class of 1967’s 50th Reunion committee learned about this project and the on-going need to enhance, update and maintain the kiosk and website. Their goals were to remember fellow UW-Madison attendees who bravely served their country and to create a space for alumni and students to reflect on the complex facets of war and conflict. In the spirit of UW-Madison’s commitment to “sifting and winnowing” for truth, the Class of 1967 dedicated their class gift to support this effort.

The kiosk you see today located in Memorial Hall on the 2nd floor of Memorial Union is a culmination of those efforts.

This project is not over. It will probably never be over, because one service member unacknowledged is one service member too many. Help us tell the stories of UW-Madison’s fallen heroes by submitting additional information about service members or by submitting new service members at
The Wisconsin Union team expresses their sincere gratitude to the UW-Madison class of 1963 50th reunion and class of 1967 50th reunion for their leadership in making this project possible. You can also support UW-Madison’s Gold Star Honor Roll with a gift.

The Wisconsin Union also wishes to thank and recognize the following individuals for their generous support of the project:
  • Conrad and Phyllis Andringa '63
  • John and Jean Berndt '63
  • John W. Council '63
  • Jere and Anne Fluno '63
  • Daryl and Dawn Lund '63
  • Nicholas and Judith Topitzes '66
  • Thomas Pyle '63
  • Jay and Patricia Smith '63
  • Thomas and Karen Binder '67
  • John and Jeanne Rowe '67
  • Pamela and James Specht '67

Research Assistance

The Wisconsin Union is grateful to the following who provided assistance in gathering information contained in the UW Madison Gold Star Honor Roll:

  • The American Legion
  • Brown County Veterans Service Office
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • The Highground Veterans Memorial
  • Madison Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • National Military Family Association
  • State of Wisconsin Historical Society
  • United States Navy Gold Star Program
  • UW-Madison Alumni Association
  • UW-Madison History Department
  • UW-Madison Registrar's Office
  • UW-Madison, ROTC
  • UW-Madison, University Archives
  • UW-Madison Veteran Services & Military Assistance Center
  • Wisconsin Public Television
  • Wisconsin Veterans Museum