The University Gateway Corporation (UGC) is a private, non-profit entity that was founded in August 1997 by the University of Minnesota Foundation and the University of Minnesota Alumni Association “to showcase and serve the University of Minnesota.” Its first major project was the development, ownership and management of the McNamara Alumni Center, a building that includes both office space for 900 University employees and an award-winning event complex that hosts more than 800 events annually. Subsequent projects developed and operated by UGC that benefit the University of Minnesota have included the Heritage Gallery; Scholars Walk/Wall of Discovery; Regents Plaza; Discovery NEXUS; and the Gateway Plaza.
Led by alumni volunteers drawn from the business community and staff from the two founding organizations, the University Gateway Corporation’s sole mission is to benefit the University of Minnesota. Its hope is to strengthen the relationship of the community and the University by connecting them through campus recognition and campus enhancement projects. Over the past 20 years, UGC has developed nearly $60 million worth of buildings and outdoor features that have shaped and beautified the University campus. Funded entirely through private gifts and private financing, it is an outstanding example of what can be achieved through public and private collaboration to advance the interests of the University.