In March 1965, the 86-acres that comprise the UWM at Waukesha campus were purchased from William J. Hughes and his wife, Blanche I. Fischer Hughes. Waukesha County continues to own the land and buildings.
In fall 1966, the first classes met at Mt. St. Paul Seminary because the new buildings were not ready for occupancy. In December 1966, the campus opened in its current location. Original campus buildings included Northview Hall, the Field House, and the Commons. Southview Hall opened in February 1969. Both the Administration Building and an extension to Northview Hall, which more than doubled the size of the library, were added in 1978. The Fine Arts Center, with its 337-seat Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, was built in 1987. In 1992, a computer center and a new entryway to Northview Hall added 5,000 square feet to the campus.
In celebration of the campus’ 30th anniversary in 1996, the Student Commons was completely remodeled. Westview Hall was dedicated on September 8, 1996 - the $5.7 million project added 20,000 square feet to the Commons and renovated an existing 29,000 square feet. Along with expanded space for the student lounge, student activities, student services and study center offices, a beautiful dining area and new bookstore were added.
In 2001, a new gym floor was installed in the Field House. The building was also remodeled and expanded to include three classrooms and a fitness center, adding 9,885 square feet.
Originally an extension of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Waukesha campus gained a new identity in 1972 when all such satellites around the state became UW Centers, a separate institution within the UW System. In July 1997, the Board of Regents approved a new name: University of Wisconsin Colleges. The thirteen UW Colleges offered freshman and sophomore courses and an associate degree.
In 2017, The University of Wisconsin System developed a plan to merge the state’s two-year UW Colleges with its four-year institutions, turning the 13 small schools into branch campuses of the larger universities. After approval by the Higher Learning Commission on July 1, 2018, the Waukesha campus became an official branch campuses of UW-Milwaukee. UWM at Waukesha along with UWM at Washington County comprise UWM's College of General Studies.
Field Station Donation
To preserve a natural environment for educational use, Miss Gertrude Sherman donated a 92-acre Field Station, located approximately 10 miles west of the main campus, to the University in 1967. The former farm land is being restored to native prairie and woods, and harbors the UW System’s only large wood-fired kiln. In 2001, a 3,000-square-foot classroom building was constructed on the site. Open year round, visitors are welcome to come and explore the station during daylight hours. The station is home to a beautiful restored prairie/oak savannah, as well as a variety of forest land, an ephemeral pond, Henrietta Lake, and Scuppernong Creek. There are 3.5 miles of mowed walking trails, as well as boardwalks over wetland areas. More Field Station information.
Stephen Schmid, 2018-present
Jackie Joseph-Silverstein, 2016-2018
Harry Muir, 2011-2015
Patrick Schmitt, 2006-2010
Jane Crisler, 2005, 2010-2011
Brad Stewart, 1999-2005
Mary Knudten, 1981-1999
Gordon Goodrum, 1979-1981
(Acting Dean, due to K. Oliver's illness)
Kenneth Oliver, 1973-1981
Murray Deutsch, 1966-1972