Memorial Union among best in the nation

Danielle Ferguson

The Iowa State Memorial Union is among the best in the nation, according to a Best College Values ranking.

Best College Values has named the Iowa State Memorial Union the No. 13 college student union in the nation, behind universities such as Marquette, Oklahoma State University and High Point University, at which students can enjoy a swimming facility. 

The ISU student union made the list because of its original building intent  — to honor fallen former ISU students who had served in World War I — and because of its multifunctional facilities and spaces. 

The union recently had its 86th birthday and has undergone 12 renovations since its opening in 1928. 

12 Milestones for Memorial Union

1919: Concept for a memorial at Iowa State discussed & planned

1920: Project launched to be privately funded, donation pledging began in June with campus rallies

1927: Mortgage obtained, ground broken on April 26

1928: Opened Sept. 23, when there were 4,000 students enrolled at Iowa State

1929: Construction finished in January.

1939: Addition of South Ballroom

1955: Completion of Browsing Library and Chapel

1957-58: Covering south terrace to provide space for Book Store

1966-67: Parking ramp to the east of the building

1984: Names of Iowa Staters who perished in World War II, Korea War and Vietnam War engraved in walls of Gold Star Hall

2003: Memorial Union becomes department of the university