Fraker House as the Reeve Memorial Union, 1954
Fraker House, built 1868, demolished 1955, used as Student Union.

Upon her death in 1949, Mary Fraker willed her family home to the university to be used as a campus social center. Her one stipulation was that the center bear the name of her grandfather, Thomas T. Reeve, once president of the Oshkosh Commercial Bank and a previous owner of the home. Reeve had bought the house in the early 1870s from a D.D. Ruggles.

The elegant Georgian Revival home opened as Reeve Union in 1951 after $20,000 in renovations. The house served as the campus union until 1958, when it was demolished to make room for the new union to be built on the same property. The first union had a snack bar with enough room to seat forty students. A lounge room equipped with a record player, television, and piano, offered a place for students to relax after classes and entertain friends. A small campus store was added later. Four rooms on the second floor were rented to female students as dormitory rooms.

 

 

 

In April 1956, the Regents announced plans to build new union buildings on all of the Wisconsin State College campuses. Construction contracts were approved in December 1957 and two years later, the Thomas T. Reeve Memorial Union was completed. The dedication took place on September 25, 1959. In 1964, Reeve Union was expanded due to increased enrollment. The new addition included space for recreational facilities as well as more dining areas and meeting rooms. Again in 1998 and 2000 the Union expanded to meet the demands of a larger and more discerning student body.

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