McNamara Alumni Center

McNamara Alumni Center

Unique Venue Features

  • Runner-Up: Large-Market Venue
  • Best of Awards - Unique Venues

Event Types Welcomed

  • Adult Social Events
  • Corporate Social Events
  • Expo/Competitions
  • Professional Meeting / Training / Conference / Retreats
  • Wedding Ceremonies
  • Wedding Receptions


With ten unique rooms all on the first floor, McNamara has many conveniences: award-winning D’Amico Catering onsite and tunnel connections to an adjacent 500-car parking ramp and the Graduate Minneapolis Hotel. With an average customer satisfaction rating of 4.9 out of 5, McNamara is a popular Minneapolis, Minnesota event venue for conferences, galas, holiday parties, wedding receptions and more. A national car commercial, MTV music video and U.S. presidential campaign stops have taken place here. We average between 700-800 meetings, conferences and special events annually.

The alumni center is located on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota. Its architecture is bold and inspired by the Minnesota landscape of wood, water and copper. The alumni center offers quick highway access, and we’re just 2 Light Rail stops from downtown Minneapolis and 1 transfer to the Minneapolis airport.

Our industry peers have awarded the McNamara Alumni Center with numerous accolades:

  • Best High-Tech Venue by Unique Venues 2015
  • Best Venue Website by Unique Venues 2016
  • Best Meeting Package by Unique Venues 2018
  • Best University Venue by Minnesota Meetings & Events magazine 2016
  • Best Meeting Venue by Minnesota Meetings & Events magazine 2007 to 2012
  • Top 50 Places to Get Married by Brides magazine 2015

Visit to view sample floorplans, menus, photos, pricing and an availability calendar for our event spaces!

Find Us Online

Meeting & Event Spaces

  • Max Capacity: 800 guests
  • Largest Classroom Style: 96
  • Largest Theatre Style: 500
  • Largest Seated Reception: 600
  • Largest Standing Reception: 1000
Memorial Hall
Our largest, most stunning event space reflects Minnesotas lakes, the North Shore, Iron Range and Northern Lights. Ideal for galas, keynote addresses, tradeshows and lectures
  • 12000 Sq. Ft.
  • 500 Banquet Style
  • 600 Theatre Style
Johnson Great Room
Our premier meeting room features copper and wood walls, built-in projector and screen.
  • 2000 Sq. Ft.
  • 160 Banquet Style
  • 96 Classroom Style
  • 175 Theatre Style
  • 36 Conference Style
Heritage Gallery
The Heritage Gallery is a multimedia museum that honors the accomplishments of University of Minnesota students, alumni, faculty and staff.
  • 2000 Sq. Ft.
  • 50 Banquet Style
  • 50 Theatre Style
Named after a phrase from the University of Minnesota rouser, Ski-U-Mah (SKY-u-ma) is a centrally located meeting room with built-in AV.
  • 1100 Sq. Ft.
  • 90 Banquet Style
  • 56 Classroom Style
  • 100 Theatre Style
  • 36 Conference Style
University Hall
This room boasts McNamara-signature copper and wood interior with one entire wall of windows overlooking a landscaped patio.
  • 2000 Sq. Ft.
  • 120 Banquet Style
  • 96 Classroom Style
  • 176 Theatre Style
Thomas H. Swain Room
Opened in Fall 2010, this room is similar in ambiance to the Johnson Great Room--copper and wood interior with built-in AV.
  • 1500 Sq. Ft.
  • 90 Banquet Style
  • 56 Classroom Style
  • 108 Theatre Style
  • 32 Conference Style

Food & Beverage Options

D'Amico & Sons Cafe
Award-winning D'Amico & Sons operates an on-site cafe Monday through Friday 7 am to 2 pm.
  • Seating Capacity: 100

Catering options

D'Amico Catering
Award-winning D'Amico Catering is located on-site. Their full-time staff office in the building.


  • Total Number of Overnight Guests: 300
Graduate Minneapolis Hotel
Graduate Minneapolis Hotel is connected by tunnel to the Alumni Center and offers 304 sleeping rooms. The hotel was completely renovated in 2015. 
  • 304 Rooms

Featured Amenities

  • A/V Equipment
  • Accessible Facilities
  • Air Conditioning Air Conditioning
  • Bus - Shuttle, Public Bus Access Bus
  • Dance Floor
  • Eco-Friendly
  • In-House Catering
  • Lactation Station
  • Near Public Transit
  • Outdoor Space
  • Overnight Rooms
  • Paid Parking
  • Running Trails
  • Taxi
  • Theater Seating
  • WiFi

Venue Location + Transportation


University of Minnesota,
200 Oak St SE,
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455


  • BusBus
  • LyftLyft
  • MetroMetro
  • SubwaySubway
  • TaxiTaxi
  • UberUber

Nearby Airport

  • Minneapolis St Paul Int'l - 15 minutes

Nearby International Airport

  • Minneapolis St Paul Int'l - 15 minutes


  • Onsite Parking: Yes
  • Car Charging Stations: Yes

Nearby Cities

Minneapolis – 1.5|St. Paul – 4

Things to Know


  • Must Use In-house Catering: Yes
  • External Catering Allowed: No
  • Can Bring in Own Food: no
  • Cultural Catering Available: Yes
  • Food and Beverage Onsite: Yes
  • Do you offer tables, chairs, and linens?: Yes


In 2015, Unique Venues named us Best High-Tech Venue! Memorial Hall’s built-in 32,000 lumen laser projectors are superior with dual screens that exceed client expectations. Wireless Internet access and video conferencing are available throughout the conference center. The Johnson Great Room is capable of 2-way teleconferencing and videoconferencing. Outstanding on-site AV technicians and videographers are also available for virtual streaming and hybrid events.

  • Guest Wi-Fi: Free
  • Onsite Tech Support: Yes
  • Wi-Fi in meeting space: Yes
  • Equipment Available On-Site:
    • Projector Screen
    • Laptops
    • Microphones
    • Sound System
    • Custom Lighting

Venue Policies

  • Alcohol Consumption: Yes
  • Smoking Permitted: no
  • Cannabis Industry-Friendly: No
  • Cannabis Consumption: No
  • Eco Friendly: Yes
  • ADA Accessible: Yes
  • Family Friendly: Yes


I can honestly say that I have never worked with a better facility and staff in all my 20 years in the special events industry. From the time we began our planning-right through to the final goodbye-every person associated with the McNamara Alumni Center bent over backwards to understand our needs, offer advice, support and solutions, and deliver everything that was promised.
Historic Events
I never worry about my events held at the McNamara Alumni Center. The event staff anticipates my needs and meets all of our complex logistical requirements. For every event at the Alumni Center, my high expectations are exceeded.
Carlson School of Management
I wish I could convince all of our course directors to hold their conferences at the McNamara Alumni Center. Ive never received so many unsolicited comments praising the location and food! I look forward to working with their wonderful staff again.
Continuing Medical Edication
I have never worked with more professional event staff. From a logistical standpoint, our event was flawless. I would recommend the Alumni Center to anyone looking for a state-of-the-art facility offering first class service.
The Alumni Center is a gorgeous setting for a celebration with terrific amenities. The Alumni Center staff is exceptional.
Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine
The Alumni Center is a fantastic place to throw a party! The staff gave us the feeling that they cared as much about our daughters wedding as we did.
The Alumni Centers audio visual capabilities are outstanding. At the last minute we required a live video feed to our overflow seating and the staff cheerfully responded with, Yes, we can do that. I was extremely pleased.
Breck School Auction
The Alumni Center is a great space - the architecture is so alive and dynamic. The huge projection screen makes our video presentations very powerful.
Headwaters Foundation for Justice
The Alumni Center is a tremendous location for a conference. It is conveniently located, its meeting rooms have distinguishing characteristics and the service was outstanding. I received many unsolicited comments praising the location by our conference attendees.
Allina Hospitals & Clinics
Nothing, and we mean nothing, could have gone better on our wedding night and we thank you for that. The building, set-up & AV were all amazing.


Best Meeting Facility
Voted by Minnesota Meetings Events Magazine as Best Meeting Facility (Non-Hotel) 2007-2012. Noted for our superior, built-in AV and video conferencing capabilities.
Best High Tech Venue
Voted by Unique Venues 2015